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Five of the Best – Liverpool v Arsenal games ever

Arsenal and Liverpool are two of English football’s greatest clubs, and have played out some truly epic encounters over the years.

As the two teams prepare to meet in the Premier League this weekend, we thought it would be the perfect time to reminisce about five of the best Liverpool v Arsenal games of all time.

 

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal – (1989)

A match sometimes referred to as the game of the century, or the greatest finish to a title race in English football history.

Liverpool were the league leaders as second-place Arsenal visited Anfield in the final fixture of the campaign, the north Londoners needing to win by two clear goals to overhaul the Reds and snatch the title.

Alan Smith gave Arsenal a 1-0 lead at the start of the second-half, but as the game entered the final few minutes it looked as though George Graham and his side would be unable to end the Gunners’ 18-year wait for a top-flight crown.

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In the most dramatic of fashion, Michael Thomas burst onto a ball over the top to dink the ball over Bruce Grobbelaar in stoppage-time, with Arsenal crowned champions following an unforgettable clash on Merseyside.

Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool (2001) 

Sometimes due to the ridiculous amount of stupid things he says in his role as a pundit, it’s easy to forget just how good a player Michael Owen actually was.

Owen’s brilliance proved the difference as the two teams met in the 2001 FA Cup final in Cardiff. Arsenal battered Liverpool for the majority of the contest, though a combination of wasteful finishing and misfortune meant Freddie Ljungberg’s goal gave the Gunners just a marginal lead heading into the final stages.

With seven minutes remaining Owen levelled the scores with a close-range equaliser, before capping Liverpool’s comeback with a stunning second.

Patrick Berger pumped a hopeful long ball forward as Liverpool countered from an Arsenal corner, with Owen’s electric pace leaving Lee Dixon in his wake.

He darted past Tony Adams and nestled an inch-perfect left-footed finish into the bottom corner, sealing FA Cup success for Liverpool in a game that will forever be remembered as the Michael Owen Cup final.

Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool (2004)

Arsenal were headed towards the Premier League title during the 2003/04 season, though saw their proud unbeaten record come under threat as Liverpool visited Highbury in April.

The Gunners trailed at half-time as goals from Sami Hyypia and Michael Owen sandwiched a Thierry Henry effort for the hosts, before a second-half fightback continued the ‘Invincibles’ march towards immortality.

Henry’s brilliance decided the outcome of the game with the Frenchman – arguably the greatest forward in Premier League history – scoring a stunning hat-trick.

His third and Arsenal’s fourth was the pick of the bunch, a scintillating run through a succession of challenges before firing home.

Receiving the ball from Gilberto Silva’s flick near the halfway line, Henry set off on an unstoppable run, driving past Didi Hamann and sending Jamie Carragher for a hotdog before rolling home a trademark finish into the bottom corner.

Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal 2009

As has so often been the case in great games between these sides, their 2009 meeting proved an utterly bonkers game of football, one which left title-chasing Liverpool broken-hearted.

Liverpool were in the midst of a title race with Manchester United and went into their clash with Arsenal knowing that anything but a win would hand the Red Devils the advantage.

What followed was a phenomenal performance from Arsenal’s winter window signing, as Andrey Arshavin ran riot at Anfield to kill Scouse dreams.

The Russian produced a sensational display to score four goals in a pulsating 4-4 draw, a result which dented Liverpool’s title hopes as Rafael Benitez’s side finished four points behind United.

Iconic Performances: Arshavin hits four at Anfield as Arsenal and Liverpool play out eight goal thriller

Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal (2014)

Brendan Rodgers’ side played some sublime football during a memorable 2013/14 campaign, as Liverpool came agonisingly close to winning an elusive league title.

Rodgers’ side welcomed league leaders Arsenal to Merseyside in early February and produced an exhilarating attacking performance to tear the Gunners apart.

The home team raced into a 2-0 lead inside the first ten minutes via the unlikely source of Martin Skrtel, before Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge struck to hand Liverpool a four-goal lead at half-time.

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Sterling scored his second after the break, with Mikel Arteta’s penalty proving little consolation for an Arsenal side well beaten. Rodgers later described his team’s display as the best of his Liverpool tenure, a win that sparked an 11-game winning run as the Reds ultimately finished as runners-up.

Read – Remembering when a peak Dennis Bergkamp ripped it up in 1997/98

Read Also – Midfield Magicians: Xabi Alonso, the grand master of 4D chess

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