Arsenal v Liverpool: Matchday blog
Follow all the build-up, team news, action, stats, reaction and much more in our live matchday blog as Liverpool take on Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
Stats all, folks
Try and digest that mad game through the medium of numbers with our Opta widgets.
Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool
An utterly ridiculous game ends all square.
The Reds secure a place in the top four Christmas with a point.
Four minutes of added time indicated by the fourth official.
Wijnaldum breaks at pace and feeds Salah inside the box but the Egyptian can only shoot at the side netting.
Mignolet does well to collect a dangerous low cross into the box.
Time for another sub as Coutinho makes way for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who doesn't receive the warmest welcome.
And now the Reds make a change, Wijnaldum replacing Mane.
A change for Arsenal as Alex Iwobi makes way for Danny Welbeck.
Just under 15 minutes to here in the capital and it is anyone's game to win/lose.
This is an incredibly open affair.
Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool (Firmino)
Madness at the Emirates Stadium.
Firmino fires a powerful left-footed shot at Cech and the goalkeeper can't do enough to stop the ball squirming in.
Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool (Ozil)
The Gunners ahead in this crazy game.
Ozil charges into the box to play a one-two with Lacazette and coolly lifts a finish over Mignolet.
Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool (Xhaka)
The hosts level it.
Xhaka is urged to shoot by the home fans and takes the invitation, smashing a swerving shot past Mignolet.
Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool (Sanchez)
The Reds see their advantage immediately halved.
A floated cross comes in to the back post where Sanchez gets around Gomez to nod in from close range.
Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool (Sanchez)
Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool (Salah)
It's two and it's that man again.
Firmino plays a beautiful inside pass to Salah who stands up two defenders before curling a deflected effort beyond the reach of Cech.
Liverpool spring another counter that ends in Salah getting played in on the right of the box.
His low shot is subsequently smothered by Cech as Arsenal recover.
Arsenal get the game back under way at the Emirates Stadium.
A half-time change for the hosts.
Shkodran Mustafi replaces Nacho Monreal at the heart of defence.
Take a look at the stats behind that first half with our Opta widget.
Coutinho celebrates a rare headed goal.
Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool
Philippe Coutinho's strike the difference between the teams at half-time and the Reds really could have had more.
Mohamed Salah had two good chances just before the break, the sort which he usually converts - let's hope the visitors don't rue those misses.
It really should be two.
A deflection gets Salah in on goal but the Egyptian's strike is well saved by the advancing Cech.
Mane goes for the spectacular with the follow-up but his acrobatic strike flies just over the bar
Coutinho has a free-kick in what you would describe as Coutinho territory but the Brazilian doesn't shoot.
Instead he knocks a clever ball over the top for Lovren, who has two men free in the middle of the box to pick out.
The Croatian can't make good contact, however, and Arsenal are let off the hook.
So close to a second.
Firmino cuts inside at the edge of the box and unleashes a powerful curler that looks destined for the top corner of the net.
Sadly, it lacks the five inches or so of dip that might have seen it nestle in the net.
Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool (Coutinho)
The Reds get the opener.
Milner's long pass gets Salah in behind and, though his centre is deflected, it loops up nicely for Coutinho to lob a header over Cech.
Robertson picks out Firmino for a back-post header but Cech produces a decent stop to keep it out.
Disappointment for the captain - let's hope it's not too serious.
A brilliant exchange between Coutinho and Salah earns the former some space at the edge of the Arsenal box.
Unfortunately, his left-footed shot flies wide of the upright.
Jordan Henderson punts the ball out of play and drops to the turf; he's in some discomfort and is going to have to make way.
James Milner will replace the skipper.
Mesut Ozil floats in the first corner of the match but Liverpool do well to defend the first ball before catching a host of Arsenal players offside from the second.
The hosts have started well but the Reds holding firm thus far.
Liverpool get the game under way.
Here we go
An impress pre-match light show at the Emirates Stadium and here come the players. Kick-off is minutes away.
Jürgen Klopp has explained his reasons for making two changes tonight.
A reminder of the line-ups...
One hour until kick-off - here's how we line up for #AFCvLFC https://t.co/8NmcQs2XkK— Arsenal (Arsenal) 22nd Dec 18:45
Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Henderson, Can, Coutinho, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum, Milner, Solanke.
Inside the dressing room...
Carra on the questions...
Jamie Carragher is the man with the mic at Emirates Stadium tonight - and Sadio Mane is his subject for the pre-match host broadcaster interview.
Ready for action...
The pitch at Emirates Stadium is looking immaculate ahead of kick off this evening.
Wenger wary of rotating Reds
In his programme notes ahead of tonight's game, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has acknowledged the attacking threat possessed by the Reds and admitted it is hard to predict their line-up due to Jürgen Klopp's recent squad rotation.
"Liverpool are very good going forward, so we'll need a strong defensive performance. I have to analyse that well and you have to guess a little bit who will play. It's not always the same - it depends on their personnel. They have plenty of offensive players and look at them recently they have changed their team around a lot, so it's difficult to guess. For me, the most important thing is we turn up with a positive performance."
The odds are in
Match prices from BetVictor...
Arsenal - 6/4
Draw - 14/5
Liverpool - 7/4
Click here for more information.
Some interesting quotes from the manager regarding the tactical nuances of tonight's game. He expects Arsenal to adapt their usual approach in an attempt to counter Liverpool's strengths.
"We have to be prepared and to be fit," said Klopp.
"Because without exceptional distance covering, there is no chance to play a game like this at the end of December. That's the challenge for both teams. It will be exciting and I would buy a ticket if I was not there already."
"Where is the weather update in today's matchday blog?"
You're not the only person asking the question. Let us end your wait immediately.
It's a surprising 12 degrees in north London currently, but less surprisingly, that temperature will decrease by the time of kick-off at Emirates Stadium. Coat: yes. Gloves/hat: optional.
A return to his former club this evening for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"He has so much potential it's unbelievable," said Klopp after the No.21's outstanding display against Bournemouth last weekend.
Liverpool have scored at least three goals in each of their four #PL matches against Arsenal under Jurgen Klopp, sc… https://t.co/8m5zRtCt0v— premierleague (Premier League) 22nd Dec 05:52
A reminder of how the top of the Premier League table looks before the 19th round of matches...
View from the opposition: Arsene Wenger
Liverpool's strength in depth has allowed Klopp to shuffle his attacking options to good effect in recent weeks, and the Arsenal boss acknowledged it is difficult to predict precisely what the Reds will do tonight.
"You have to guess a little bit who will play. It is not always the same – it depends on their personnel," said Wenger ahead of his 53rd meeting with LFC as a manager.
"They have plenty of offensive players and, looking at them recently, they have changed their teams a lot so it is difficult to guess. But I will try to see what I do. For me, the most important thing is we turn up with a positive performance. We have been strong at home and it is important we continue to dictate our game at home."
Summer signing Mo Salah is the first Reds player since Ian Rush in 1986 to score 20 goals in all competitions in a season before Christmas.
And you can watch each and every one of those strikes for free below...
Did you know?
A few choice facts and figures to impress your mates with ahead of kick-off...
- The Reds' next away goal will be their 700th on the road in the Premier League
- Philippe Coutinho is in line for his 150th Liverpool league appearance
- Klopp's team have conceded only four goals in the past nine PL fixtures
Important travel information
Fans heading to London to attend tonight's match should note some important travel information regarding trains and the vicinity of the stadium. Click here to read the guidance in full.
The gaffer's take
There was plenty for Jürgen to discuss ahead of a crunch encounter - and you can watch everything the boss had to say at his pre-match press conference in the free video below...
While there are no fresh injury concerns for the Reds, defender Joel Matip and Daniel Sturridge remain doubts for the game and Alberto Moreno is still sidelined.
Adam Lallana is in contention again and Emre Can returns from suspension.
Arsenal have lost Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey to hamstring injuries, and Francis Coquelin is a doubt, but Shkodran Mustafi should be available.
Stat, stats, stats
Be warned, the Opta tool below could steal a chunk of your Friday.
It has all of the facts and figures about both sides' squads and individual performances in the Premier League so far this season you could possibly need...
Matchday at the Emirates... 🆚 @Arsenal 📍 London ⏰ 19:45 GMT ✏️ @OverratedDesign https://t.co/0F92ozJjrr— LFC (Liverpool FC) 22nd Dec 07:49
So, there's one more game before Christmas and it's a big one. A huge one. A significant one.
The Reds take on Arsenal at Emirates Stadium - and we'll be keeping you updated throughout the build-up, the game itself and the aftermath.
Stay right here.