Liverpool saw an early penalty save and a host of missed chances as Robin Van Persie’s lethal strike rate gave Arsenal all three points at Anfield.
The reds were aiming for the first league double over Arsenal for a number of years and the opportunity to cut the gap on 4th place right down, but the early team news wasn’t good.
Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger were all unavailable for selection from last weeks League Cup Final victory.
Jamie Carragher returned to captain the side, and Jay Spearing, Martin Kelly and Dirk Kuyt joined the starting line up with Andy Carroll returned to the bench.
The reds dominated the first half although sloppy finishing was again the Liverpool problem. In the 19th minute Suarez and Kuyt split Arsenal’s defence and Szczesny brought down Suarez leaving the ref to point to the penalty spot.
But Liverpool’s penalty woes were to continue as Dirk Kuyt saw his second penalty of the season saved, and Liverpool’s 6th failed penalty out of the 10 awarded this year in all competitions.
It wasn’t long before we got the lead we deserved when Henderson’s low angled cross caused Koscielny to put the ball in to his own net. Immediately after the restart the reds should have doubled their lead but Suarez’ shot found the post. Later on in the half Kuyt also saw his shot rebound off the woodwork.
Arsenal drew level from Robin Van Persie who dispatched Sagna’s cross with aplomb.
The second half saw more of the same as the reds looked the most likely to snatch a winner. But it was Robin Van Persie who got the winner in injury time – firing a shot inside the near post – on replays it seemed Pepe Reina should have done much better.
The reds, not for the first time, will go away wondering how they didn’t get all three points – and wish they had a lethal finisher like Robin Van Persie doing the business.
The reds are now 10 points off 4th place Arsenal, with a game in hand.