Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal: Player ratings as Gunners stay top of the Premier League for Christmas

  • Gabriel opened the scoring early on but Mohamed Salah equalised in an all-action first half
  • Liverpool lost both Kostas Tsimikas & Luis Diaz to injury
  • Draw keeps Arsenal top of the table at Christmas
Arsenal stayed top of the league
Arsenal stayed top of the league / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Arsenal will spend Christmas at the top of the Premier League after battling to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening.

Needing simply to avoid defeat to cement their position, Arsenal enjoyed the perfect start when Gabriel headed home after just three minutes, but Mohamed Salah's equaliser midway through the first half restored parity.

Trent Alexander-Arnold struck the crossbar in a lively second half but ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils.

How the game unfolded

Arsenal weren't far off opening the scoring in the first minute. Bukayo Saka's cross caused chaos and Gabriel Jesus saw a strike deflected perilously over the crossbar.

But the lead would come three minutes later as Gabriel rose highest to head home a free-kick from Martin Odegaard, surviving a tense VAR check before seeing his opening goal awarded.

Liverpool dominated possession in their search for an equaliser but it was Arsenal who looked most threatening, with Odegaard dragging wide from inside the box after some lovely play 20 minutes in.

The Norway international survived a massive handball shout against him. Odegaard slipped while trying to defend Salah and clearly struck the ball with his hand, but the referee did not make the call and VAR declined to intervene.

However, Liverpool did manage to tie things up shortly before the half-hour mark when Alexander-Arnold's glorious ball was collected by Salah, who cut inside Oleksandr Zinchenko and fizzed a shot right into David Raya's top corner.

Five minutes before the interval, Gabriel Martinelli fired wide after Alisson came off his line to deny Saka one-on-one, inexplicably failing to hit the target.

The tempo continued after the break and Joe Gomez nearly netted a stunning effort early on. The substitute curled a beautiful shot goalwards but just couldn't steer the ball inside Raya's far post.

Harvey Elliott saw his own effort fizz agonisingly wide, before Alexander-Arnold thumped the crossbar in a four-on-one counter, but there were to be no more goals as both Arsenal and Liverpool had to settle for a point.

Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3)

Ibrahima Konate, Gabriel Martinelli
Konate was particularly impressive / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

GK: Alisson - 6/10 - Indecisive for the opening goal but did his best to make up for it with a handful of impressive saves.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7/10 - Tried to play plenty of outrageous long balls. Didn't all come off but his stunning assist for Salah's equaliser was the perfect example of why he kept trying.

CB: Ibrahima Konate - 8/10 - Caught in a poor position for the early goal but responded with an enormous performance which saw him bully Martinelli for large periods of the game.

CB: Virgil van Dijk - 7/10 - Great positioning to get out and compete with Saka time and time again. A really composed, authoritative performance.

LB: Kostas Tsimikas - 6/10 - Appeared to suffer a serious shoulder injury in a collision with Klopp. Pretty comical before it became apparent he was actually hurt.

DM: Wataru Endo - 8/10 - A really classy performance at the base of midfield. Probably his best outing in a Liverpool shirt.

CM: Dominik Szoboszlai - 5/10 - Another quiet performance from the Hungary international. Really struggled to get involved and made a handful of inexplicably poor passes.

CM: Curtis Jones - 6/10 - Looked comfortable and composed at both ends of the pitch. Didn't really stand out but simply did his job.

RW: Mohamed Salah - 7/10 - Mauled Zinchenko for the equaliser. Another emphatic performance from Salah.

ST: Cody Gakpo - 4/10 - Barely involved in Liverpool's moves forward. Struggled up against Saliba and Gabriel, who dealt with the Dutchman with real ease.

LW: Luis Diaz - 5/10 - Too predictable. Arsenal quickly realised he was only trying to cut inside and had very few issues stopping him.


SUB: Joe Gomez (35' for Tsimikas) - 8/10 - Dealt well with Saka but was equally impactful in attack. Could have easily scored once or twice.

SUB: Darwin Nunez (68' for Gakpo) - 6/10

SUB: Ryan Gravenberch (68' for Jones) - 5/10

SUB: Harvey Elliott (68' for Diaz) - 6/10

Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), Jarell Quansah, Conor Bradley, Bobby Clark, James McConnell


Jurgen Klopp - 5/10 - His changes didn't help things. Klopp also moved Salah central late in the game which ended up neutralising his impact.

Arsenal player ratings (4-3-3)

Gabriel headed Arsenal ahead early / Michael Regan/GettyImages

GK: David Raya - 6/10 - Couldn't do much about Salah's goal but made a couple of smart saves as the clock ticked on.

RB: Ben White - 5/10 - A humiliating dive to try and mask a poor pass in the first half. Didn't really seem switched on.

CB: William Saliba - 7/10 - Barely troubled by Gakpo and was always on hand to help out his full-backs against Liverpool's tricky wingers.

CB: Gabriel - 7/10 - Similarly impactful defensively but with the added bonus of an early goal.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko - 4/10 - Had a torrid time up against Salah. Made the wrong decision for the equaliser and was fortunate not to hand the Liverpool star an extra goal or two along the way.

DM: Declan Rice - 7/10 - Had his work cut out for him bailing Zinchenko out but always seemed to find himself in the right place. A really intelligent performance.

CM: Martin Odegaard - 5/10 - Set up Gabriel's goal from a free-kick but was nowhere near good enough for the remainder of the game. Found space hard to come by but failed to make the most of possession anyway.

CM: Kai Havertz - 5/10 - Shied away from a few challenges early on and struggled to really impact the game. Booked and suspended for the West Ham match.

RW: Bukayo Saka - 5/10 - The occasional bright moment but never really looked like doing anything of note. Really disappointing.

ST: Gabriel Jesus - 6/10 - Some outstanding work rate with his press. Absolutely gave everything to try and help his team in the first half, but saw his impact fade after the break.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli - 4/10 - Another really poor game from Martinelli. Failed to offer any sort of spark for Arsenal's attack.


SUB: Leandro Trossard (68' for Martinelli) - 5/10

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (77' for Jesus) - 5/10

Subs not used: Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Jakub Kiwior, Cedric Soares, Mohamed Elneny, Jorginho, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson


Mikel Arteta - 5/10 - Arsenal's attack was a bit too limp here and Arteta didn't seem to know how to change that. His lack of faith in his substitutes may also have proven costly.

Player of the match: Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool)