In form striker Robin van Persie scored a brace, including an injury time winner as Arsenal came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 and cement their place in the top four.
Liverpool were the brighter of the two sides and should have opened the scoring on 19 minutes when Luis Suarez was tripped by Wojciech Szczesny, only for the keeper to redeem himself with a save from Dirk Kuyt, the sixth penalty miss of a less than prolific season in front of goal for the reds.
The home side eventually got their rewards on 23 minutes when Laurent Koscielny, under little pressure, turned a Jordan Henderson cross into his own net.
It should have been two nil a minute later when Henderson’s shot was parried into the path of Suarez whose effort hit the post.
With Liverpool seemingly on top it looked as if the killer second goal would arrive however Kenny Dalglish lacks a striker of the quality of Van Persie, and the Dutch man once again showed his value to the Gunners when he got in front of Jamie Carragher to head home Bacary Sagna’s cross on 31 minutes.
Suarez and Kuyt both had chances before half time with Kuyt hitting the post with his injury time effort.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Liverpool dominating without really threatening.
Theo Walcott had a shot saved by Pepe Reina while Martin Kelly missed a good chance for Liverpool before Downing twice had efforts to win it.
Liverpool were made pay for their poor finishing in front of goal when two minutes into injury time Van Persie volleyed home the winner. Arsenal are now ten points ahead of Liverpool in the race for fourth.
Van Persie admitted in the post game interview on sky that his side were lucky to come away with all three points saying: “Liverpool played better.”
“It means a lot, to score at Anfield is big because Anfield is a massive ground,”
“I’m proud of that, but even more proud of this win. I don’t think we really deserved it to be honest because Liverpool played better.”
Like many Liverpool fans manager Kenny Dalglish could not understand how his side failed to take away at least a point from the game, saying “It’s difficult for anybody to believe (Liverpool did not get at least a point),”
“We played some fantastic stuff and came away with nothing.
“I think it’s rewarding to play a team like Arsenal and play as well as we have done, being so dominant in the first half. The scoreline doesn’t really reflect the game.
“We were beaten because we didn’t score enough goals. Van Persie’s a fantastic footballer, no doubt about that. But we did enough to win that game.”