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Five positives from Liverpool’s six-goal thriller in draw with Arsenal

Liverpool scored a dramatic late equaliser at Anfield on Wednesday night to secure a 3-3 draw with Arsenal in a game full of twists and turns.

Roberto Firmino’s first half brace appeared to set the Reds on their way, but Olivier Giroud fired the Gunners into a second-half lead as they looked set to seal all three points.

However, Joe Allen dealt a blow to Arsene Wenger’s title chances as he volleyed home an equaliser in injury time.

Check out our friends at Empire of the Kop for all the reaction from last night and the latest Liverpool transfer news.

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There was more good than bad from last night’s entertaining draw with the Gunners, and we’ve picked out five particular highlights from a Liverpool perspective.

Roberto Firmino’s performance…

The big one, obviously. The Brazilian’s second was a thing of beauty, but his first actually impressed us just as much – that’s the kind of goal he needs to score more when playing as a false-9. Firmino also created a bundle of chances for his team-mates to cap off a Man of the Match performance. He also hit the bar in the first-half, so was inches away from a hat-trick as well. On this evidence, it’s no longer a question of whether we go with Christian Benteke or Firmino in Daniel Sturridge’s absence. Firmino starts when fit. We’re a far better side with him in at the top right now.

Joe Allen’s continued development under Klopp…

Allen was the best player on the park against Stoke in the League Cup, and he backed up that showing with a tidy cameo and injury time Premier League equaliser. He added calmness to the centre of the park upon arrival, and wasn’t fazed by the occasion – unlike Emre Can who was trying perhaps a little too hard before he departed. The goal was the last thing we’ve come to expect from the Welshman, but we hope it gives him more confidence. He deserves to start against Manchester United at the weekend. It’s not often we’ve said that.

Another late comeback in front of the Kop…

It would be nice if these last minute goals were earning us three points instead of one, but they show that Anfield is perhaps becoming slightly more of a difficult place to come for visiting teams. Divock Origi bagged a late, late equaliser against West Brom in front of the Kop before Christmas, and Allen got one last night. At home, we haven’t lost since the Crystal Palace defeat at the start of November, and the atmosphere was brilliant against Arsenal. It was obviously helped by the action on field, but if we can turn shooting towards the Kop in the second-half into a real advantage again – that’ll be of enormous benefit.

No players picked up injuries…

For the first time in a quite a while, no Liverpool player hobbled off during the game, and we’ve heard no news of niggling follow-up problems either. With four games still to play this month, that’s crucial. Jordan Henderson and Mamadou Sakho returned last night as well, meaning we’ve got a side that resembles a first-choice one, bar Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and a centre-half. We can only hope our nightmarish luck with injuries is now behind us. We’ve got three days before United at the weekend, where Dejan Lovren could return. We’d definitely like him back in the side.

The Emre Can/Jordan Henderson ‘double pivot’…

We’ve had problems in central midfield this season, but if these two stay fit, they should become an automatic choice. Both work incredibly hard, can pass and provide physicality and tenacity. They seem to have developed a strong relationship, and more often than not they outplayed Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini. Most Liverpool fans would agree that we could still do with injecting some quality into the middle via the transfer market – but until the end of the season – Henderson and Can can do a potentially very good job.

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