Trailing by a goal with only minutes left to play, it was two Liverpool substitutes in Christian Benteke and Joe Allen, a pair of players that have been maligned throughout the season, who combined to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat with the big Belgian flicking on for the Welshman to sweep home past Arsenal ‘keeper Petr Cech and send Anfield into hysterics.
“I think that’s testament to the characters we’ve got in the dressing room,” match-winner Allen told BT Sport immediately following the match. “We’ve got that attitude of going to the final whistle. Obviously we had some setbacks in the game, to be ahead and then throw it away a little bit with some disappointing goals was a shame,” conceded Allen. “But we kept at it and thankfully we come away with something.”
Roberto Firmino twice gave the Reds the lead in the first half, but Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud were on hand to level both times before the Frenchman gave the Gunners the lead early in the second half. Under increasing pressure, the visitors refused to bend and with legs tiring Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was forced to look to the bench for answers. Despite putting in an impressive performance yet again, it was pretty obvious that Emre Can was starting to flag in the closing stages with the calming, steady influence of Allen the perfect remedy to the German’s increasingly erratic passing — and who would have known he’d be the one to go on and snag us a point?
“Then you need a little bit of luck and we had it,” said Klopp of his side coming from behind in his post-match presser. “We changed players and it was a perfect ball for Christian, a perfect header and a perfect finish,” continued the German manager, full of praise for the Anfield outfit. “I think it was a well-deserved draw in an all-time spectacular game.”