Arsenal and Liverpool played to a 1-1 draw in an exciting Saturday Night Football match. Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, was left perplexed by the decision not to award his team a penalty for a handball by Martin Odegaard. The draw ensured that Arsenal would be at the top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day. Despite an early goal from Gabriel for Arsenal, Mohamed Salah scored to bring Liverpool level. The game’s controversial moment occurred when Odegaard appeared to handle the ball inside the box while under pressure from Salah. VAR reviewed the incident and rejected Liverpool’s appeals for a penalty. Klopp expressed his frustration with the decision, questioning how the officials could not see it as a handball and calling for further examination by the referee.
In addition to the disappointing result, Liverpool also suffered an injury to left-back Kostas Tsimikas. He sustained a broken collarbone in a collision with Bukayo Saka, who was challenging for the ball close to the touchline. Klopp, who was also involved in the collision, was unharmed, but Tsimikas had to be replaced by Joe Gomez. Klopp confirmed that Tsimikas was taken to the hospital and would be out of action for a significant amount of time. The incident overshadowed the game and affected Klopp emotionally, as he expressed his desire for Tsimikas to recover quickly.
When asked about the incident, Saka apologized and explained that he did not intend to cause any harm to Tsimikas. He stated that they had gone shoulder to shoulder and the collision happened accidentally.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was pleased with the point his team earned at Anfield, which allowed them to finish the day at the top of the Premier League. He praised both teams for their intensity and described it as one of the most hectic games he has witnessed in his 20 years in the league. Arteta highlighted Liverpool’s ability to quickly transition from defense to attack and praised their skill at exploiting set-piece opportunities. He also praised his own team for matching Liverpool’s intensity and showing belief in their ability to compete against top-level teams. Arteta emphasized the importance of consistency and credited his team for maintaining a good position in the league for two years in a row.
Looking ahead, Liverpool will face relegation strugglers Burnley in their final match of the year on Boxing Day. They will then host Newcastle on New Year’s Day. Arsenal, on the other hand, will face two London derbies, first hosting West Ham and then visiting Fulham to end the year.