Vice-captain Per Mertesacker feels his side are disappointed with dropping two valuable points against Liverpool on Wednesday night, however the draw is still a well earned point nevertheless (via Arsenal.com).
Arsenal fell behind twice to two glorious strikes from Reds striker Firmino, however Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud responded for the Gunners to twice bring the match level. The France international added a further tidy finish to hand Arsenal the lead and set up a grandstand finish. However Joe Allen popped up as the unlikely hero for Liverpool, finishing an uncleared cross just outside the 6 yard box.
The Gunners were left to rue some of their chances which included a horrific open goal miss from Giroud, who could’ve walked away with the match ball. Defensively Arsenal struggled with some of Liverpool’s movement and pressure, but a draw seemed a fair result at the end of the day.
“They put pressure on us until the last second,” Mertesacker told reporters (via Arsenal.com). “We suffered a bit in the second half but we will take the point.
“We are obviously disappointed with how it went at the end but we couldn’t keep the ball as much as we wanted – especially in the second half. They put a lot of pressure on us in the last 10 minutes. Benteke came on and they were more dangerous.
“We will continue with that point and it is still a good point for us and we are still at the top.”
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Mertesacker felt their ability to bounce back twice handed them greater confidence to finish the job in the second half, and squashed the idea the draw felt like a loss: “Not at all. I feel we gave absolutely everything until the end.
“When you give your best until the end that is always a success. We will take the point and we will continue and we are in a situation where we can drop points and it was not what we wanted.”
The retired Germany international hailed the team spirit and effort they have put in over what has been a tiring but rewarding winter period so far.
“We showed great team effort – especially over the Christmas period,” Mertesacker added. “That is why we are at the top and we need to continue to take the points especially away from home and we have another chance on Sunday and the team is doing brilliantly and putting everything in.”
Coming away from Anfield with a draw is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. We’ve endured some difficult times over the years visiting Merseyside and this match was yet another cracker between the two sides. The 3-3 draw was reminiscent of our 2-2 encounter last season with the Kop handing Liverpool that much needed drive and perseverance to find that all-important last gasp equalizer.
The Gunners must regroup now after a decent but draining performance on Wednesday night, Sunday promises to be a very difficult challenge given Stoke City’s recent run of form and resilience at home.