Arsenal 2 - 2 Liverpool

Match info: Premier League at Emirates Stadium

Date: 30/01/2013 KO: 19:45 Ref: K Friend Att: 60,089

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Arsenal

Olivier Giroud 64
Theo Walcott 67

2
vs
2

Liverpool

Luis Suarez 5
Jordan Henderson 60

FT (ht: 0-1)

  • Last Updated: January 30 2013, 23:11 GMT

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased with the response of his players as they drew 2-2 at Arsenal just three days after their FA Cup exit at the hands of League One Oldham at the weekend.

Rodgers pleased with response

Rodgers' side led 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson, but were pegged back by Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott and had to settle for a point.

"It was a wonderful game," Rodgers said. "Normally you would be bitterly disappointed not to have won but I can only be proud of the players, I thought they were absolutely magnificent.

"We never kept the lead long enough and once they get the goal that gives them the momentum.

"We could have very easily won the game but I thought the players were outstanding and really looked a threat tonight.

"I thought Jordan Henderson was brilliant, he scored a magnificent goal that was about his sheer desire. He will be a terrific player for Liverpool, he is learning the game tactically all the time and the last few months he has been brilliant.

"We were bitterly disappointed at the weekend but I knew I would get the reaction tonight."

Henderson had mixed feelings.

"It was a good game of football," Henderson told Sky Sports 2. "I thought we played well at times but had a spell where they scored two.

"Overall it's a good point, I think we have to be happy, but going 2-0 up you are a little disappointed to concede two so quick."

As for his own form - he also scored against Norwich earlier this month - Henderson added: "It's nice to be getting chances and scoring as well and the team is helping us get into great positions with the movement on Suarez and (Daniel) Sturridge.

"We have to keep going and pushing up the league and hopefully getting a good finish.

Arsene Wenger acknowledged his Arsenal side have defensive problems to face, but urged the club's fans to have faith in his players as they pursue a Champions League spot.

Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey were all culpable for the Suarez goal, while Andre Santos was muscled off the ball by Henderson as he scored.

Fortunately for Arsenal, they did not lose too much ground on their fellow Champions League hopefuls as Chelsea and Tottenham drew at Reading and Norwich respectively, and Wenger thinks they have a lot to look forward to if they can remove their defensive nervousness.

"It was a great football game where both teams went for it," Wenger said. "It was entertainment. We could honestly have lost the game but could have won it by three or four goals difference.

"It shows we created many chances going forward but were nervous defensively. The goals we have conceded show we were nervous from the start. Overall we showed great quality in the offensive period."

It is not the first time Arsenal's defenders have had fingers pointed at them this season and Wenger added: "I believe recent history has an impact on the way we started the game.

"I believe we have to get that out of our minds and focus on playing football and what we want to do to the opposition.

"I believe the quality is there and we have to trust it and forget what happened in the past. What happened in the past, you could see it played in our heads at the start of the game."

Wenger's hopes of tightening his back line up have taken a blow, however, with England full-back Kieran Gibbs picking up a thigh injury that will rule him out for three weeks.

"Of course it is a big blow because Gibbs was an important player for us going forward and the game we want to play. It's a shame he's out for the next three weeks," Wenger said.

Wenger also confirmed that any bid for Barcelona striker David Villa was dead, but will not be too concerned if there are no new signings tomorrow.

"I believe the squad is top, top level," he said. "We have to learn to trust these players and keep faith with them."


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