Liverpool drama no consolation for dropped points

Liverpool have produced a season's worth of drama in a week that saw them score eight goals.

But after conceding eight goals in the same two matches, the team's prospects of ending the season with a trophy have slipped further away.



A 4-4 draw at Chelsea last Tuesday still led to Champions League elimination after a first leg collapse, and last night's mesmerizing 4-4 repeat with Arsenal has made their Premier League title push a lot tougher.



Liverpool may be top of the Premier League - but only on goal difference and defending champion Manchester United have two games in hand, the first against Portsmouth tonight.



That's why the draw with Arsenal felt like a defeat to manager Rafa Benitez and the Liverpool fans who stayed until Yossi Benayoun's stoppage time equalizer.



"We had so many chances in the first half it was unbelievable to go in at half time losing 1-0," Benitez said. "We deserved something more."



For all the team's fighting spirit, though, the damage was inflicted by Andrei Arshavin becoming the first player in more than 60 years to score four goals at Anfield.



"It was a very good game for the fans, but very bad for the managers," Benitez said. "To score four goals is very good but we made massive mistakes conceding goals.



"Clearly if we would have won we would have put United under pressure, but now we will have to wait."



That Arshavin was in a position to put an under-strength Arsenal side ahead in the 36th minute owed as much to Liverpool's Javier Mascherano losing the ball on the edge of the penalty area as goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski blocking three shots from Fernando Torres before then.



Fabianski's transformation from the man blamed for Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea on Saturday to the strong hands at Anfield even amazed Gunners' officials at the match.



But the lead only lasted until the third minute of the second half. This time Arsenal's defense was at fault. After Bacary Sagna's poor clearance the ball ended up at Torres' head to level.



When Benayoun nodded the Reds ahead in the 56th at a congested back post when connecting with Dirk Kuyt's cross, it seemed they were finally in a position to take control as the early danger had suggested.



Arshavin had other ideas. The Russia playmaker added two more goals to make it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go, seizing on mistakes from Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Aurelio.



"We made massive mistakes," Benitez said. "It is difficult to explain because it was different players in different stages of the game."



Torres did haul Liverpool back to 3-3 in the 72nd, turning Mikael Silvestre and fired past Fabianski, but then saw a header cleared off the line by Gibbs.



Arsenal went back in front through Arshavin in stoppage time before Benayoun had the last say to make it 4-4.



The Premier League may be out of the reach for the Gunners, being nine points adrift of the leaders, but they are having a huge say on the trophy's destination. They play Champions League semi-final opponent Man United in the penultimate domestic match next month.



"It is still very open. It depends on what kind of form Manchester United find because they had a bit of a problem before the interruption of the Champions League so we will see how they come back against Portsmouth," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "I never doubted the character of my players.



"The fact they came into the dressing room very, very disappointed says a lot about their character. It shows they wanted to win and that we go for it every time."



Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album