Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Scores, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Scores, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arsenal and Liverpool fought to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates on Wednesday afternoon, giving each of the polarizing squads one point. 

As a result, they will stay in sixth and seventh place in the EPL, respectively. 

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It didn't take long for Liverpool—with a little help from Arsenal's back four—to get the scoring started. 

In the fifth minute, Glen Johnson escaped down the left sideline thanks to an untimely Bacary Sagna slip. The ball fell to Daniel Sturridge, who was stoned by a nice Wojciech Szczesny save.

However, Jordan Henderson ended up with the rebound and fed Luis Suarez, who finished from 12 yards out courtesy of a Per Mertesacker deflection. 

That led to this demoralizing stat via Opta Sports' Twitter account:

Moments later, it appeared as though The Reds would make it 2-0 when Luis Suarez delivered the pass of the season (courtesy of @Gerrard8FanPage):

Alas, Sturridge was unable to find the back of the net, and the rest of the half scuttled by without many more chances. 

The same can't be said, however, for the second 45 minutes. 

Arsenal came out the far more aggressive and interested side, but as it naturally goes, it was Liverpool to strike first when Jordan Henderson struck off a counter-attack and a very fortunate bounce

A two-goal deficit wasn't nearly enough to disinterest Arsenal from this match, as the Gunners responded with two lightning-quick goals.

In the 64th minute, Olivier Giroud finished a clinical header off a brilliantly curled-in free kick from Jack Wilshere. 

Just three minutes later, a world-class buildup by Arsenal put Theo Walcott at a difficult angle, but the young budding star blasted a low, beautiful finish that left goalkeeper Jose Reina looking like a statue (courtesy of Feint Zebra).

Arsenal continued to threaten with Liverpool on its heels, but that's where it would end: 2-2. 

In the end, the Gunners finished with a dominant 62 percent of the possession and 19 total shots to Liverpool's 13. 

 

Player Grades

Luis Suarez, Liverpool: B

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Uruguay international's first 10 minutes were about as world-class as they could possibly get. Not only did he net his 17th goal of the EPL season, but also his long-range connection with Sturridge via the outside of his foot was easily one of the best passes you'll see all year. 

However, thanks in part to Liverpool's counter-attack strategy, he wasn't able to make much of an impact on the rest of the match, and when he did get his feet at the ball, it was underwhelming (until a near game-winner in added time). 

Still, a very good effort. 

 

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal: A

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As Arsenal was hurting to do much of anything in the first half, it was the 21-year-old who was serving as the engine that made Arsenal's attack function.

He was seemingly the only one interested in challenging the defenders. 

Wilshere's free kick in the second half that found Giroud—who also receives a very high grade—only capped off a brilliant performance that saw him complete 74 passes at a 93 percent success rate. 

 

Glen Johnson, Liverpool: B+

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool gave up two quick goals, but it was a relentless attack by Arsenal, and overall, it was an impressive effort by The Reds' back four. 

Johnson was a major part of that. According to WhoScored.com, he racked up nine tackles, three interceptions, 10 clearances and three aerial duals won. Overall, his match rating of 7.74 led Liverpool.  

 

Theo Walcott, Arsenal: A-

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Not only was his goal a brilliant one, but Walcott made several dangerous runs down the sideline—and turned those into nine crosses—and led everyone with three shots on target. 

He was his normal, dangerous self. 

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