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Arsene at Anfield: Good and bad memories for Gunners boss

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 August 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (second left) looks on from the Anfield dugout last season (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (second left) looks on from the Anfield dugout last season (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal produced one of the greatest moments in their illustrious history at Anfield, when Michael Thomas netted in the last minute of the 1988/89 season to complete a 2-0 win against all-conquering Liverpool and clinch the title for George Graham’s Gunners.

Arsenal's Ian Wright steps up to slot home from the penalty spot at Anfield in 1996, Arsene Wenger's first trip to the ground (pic Dave Kendall/PA) Arsenal's Ian Wright steps up to slot home from the penalty spot at Anfield in 1996, Arsene Wenger's first trip to the ground (pic Dave Kendall/PA)

And speaking ahead of the club’s trip to the red half of Merseyside this weekend, current boss Arsene Wenger admitted he had some good – and bad – memories of his own at the famous ground during his 20-plus years at the helm.

As it turns out, from his 24 previous visits to Anfield in all competitions, Wenger has enjoyed seven wins and seven draws, but suffered 10 defeats, with Arsenal being outscored 54-40 by their hosts.

That’s an average of almost four goals per game and in fact only one previous Anfield fixture between Wenger’s Gunners and Liverpool has ended in a stalemate.

In Premier League meetings, it is five wins, seven draws and eight defeats and a Liverpool advantage of 42-27 in goals scored. That’s still 3.45 goals per game.

Arsenal are given a guard of honour at Anfield after winning the Premier League title in 1998 (pic Dave Kendall/PA) Arsenal are given a guard of honour at Anfield after winning the Premier League title in 1998 (pic Dave Kendall/PA)

And as history and research has shown, there is usually some very late drama when it comes to this particular fixture on the calendar.

It’s up for grabs now……….

November 1996: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 2 (Coca Cola Cup R4)

Arsenal's Emmanuel Petit battles with Liverpool's Paul Ince during their goalless draw at Anfield in 1998 (pic Peter Wilcock/PA) Arsenal's Emmanuel Petit battles with Liverpool's Paul Ince during their goalless draw at Anfield in 1998 (pic Peter Wilcock/PA)

Dennis Bergkamp (thigh) was injured in warm-up, but Ian Wright put the Gunners ahead from the penalty spot after David James brought down John Hartson.

Steve McManaman’s looping header levelled and his shot then hit Lee Dixon’s arm in the box, with Robbie Fowler converting from the spot.

Fowler converted Jason McAteer’s low cross early in the second half and Steve Bould was sent off for a second booking before Wright converted his second spot-kick.

But Arsenal’s hopes of an unlikely point were dashed minutes later as Patrick Berger fired in from 25 yards.

Liverpool's Robbie Fowler fires home against Arsenal at Anfield in 1999 (pic PA) Liverpool's Robbie Fowler fires home against Arsenal at Anfield in 1999 (pic PA)

Arsenal: Lukic, Dixon, Keown, Bould, Adams, Winterburn (Morrow 73), Platt, Vieira, Merson (Parlour 73), Wright, Hartson. Unused sub: Bartram.

May 1998: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0

Wenger made eight changes to side that had clinched Premier League title three days earlier, with one eye on the FA Cup final against Newcastle.

Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp challenges Liverpool's Steven Gerrard during their clash at Anfield in 2000 (pic Phil Noble/PA) Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp challenges Liverpool's Steven Gerrard during their clash at Anfield in 2000 (pic Phil Noble/PA)

The Gunners began well, but Paul Ince scored twice in three minutes for the home side around the half-hour mark.

Michael Owen volleyed a third before the break, but saw a penalty saved by Alex Manninger on the stroke of half time.

And Wright went off on a stretcher after a foul by Ince, before Oyvind Leonhardsen netted late on. Arsenal completed the double at Wembley, however.

Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Grimandi, Bould, Upson, Platt, Hughes, Parlour (Vieira 65), Boa Morte, Wreh (Mendez 70), Wright (Anelka 65). Unused: Marshall, Lukic.

Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg celebrates scoring Arsenal's winner at Anfield in 2001 (pic Martin Rickett/PA) Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg celebrates scoring Arsenal's winner at Anfield in 2001 (pic Martin Rickett/PA)

August 1998: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

The defending champions earned Wenger’s first point at Anfield after generally having the better of Gerard Houllier’s men in a rare stalemate.

Nicolas Anelka was lively in attack, curling one effort just wide, while Ray Parlour wasted a great chance in the first half, firing over a gaping goal.

Liverpool's Emile Heskey leaps above Arsenal's Lauren to head an injury-time equaliser at Anfield in 2003 (pic Phil Noble/PA) Liverpool's Emile Heskey leaps above Arsenal's Lauren to head an injury-time equaliser at Anfield in 2003 (pic Phil Noble/PA)

Marc Overmars went close after the break while there was also “a promising first sight of Vivas”.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Keown, Winterburn, Overmars, Parlour, Petit, Vieira, Anelka (Vivas 84), Bergkamp. Unused: Manninger, Hughes, Grimandi, Boa Morte.

August 1999: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 0

Arsenal's Robert Pires is congratulated by team-mate Thierry Henry after scoring their winner at Anfield in 2003 (pic Jon Super/PA) Arsenal's Robert Pires is congratulated by team-mate Thierry Henry after scoring their winner at Anfield in 2003 (pic Jon Super/PA)

A disappointing display led to an almost inevitable defeat.

Fowler fired home from long range after eight minutes, while Berger hit a post before the break.

And after Fowler also hit the woodwork in the second half, Berger’s deflected free-kick sealed the points 14 minutes from time.

Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Winterburn, Parlour (Silvinho 75), Vieira, Ljungberg, Overmars (Suker 64), Bergkamp, Henry. Unused: Upson, Vivas, Lukic.

Neil Mellor celebrates his injury-time winner for Liverpool against Arsenal at Anfield in 2004 (pic Phil Noble/PA) Neil Mellor celebrates his injury-time winner for Liverpool against Arsenal at Anfield in 2004 (pic Phil Noble/PA)

December 2000: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0

Steven Gerrard put the Reds ahead after 11 minutes of an 11.30am game on December 23 with a fierce 20-yard shot.

Owen doubled the lead just past the hour mark, scrambling home when Manninger spilled Emile Heskey’s shot, and Nick Barmby made it 3-0 from Vladimir Smicer’s through ball on 71 minutes.

Liverpool's Luis Garcia celebrates his winning goal against Arsenal at Anfield in 2006 (pic Martin Rickett/PA) Liverpool's Luis Garcia celebrates his winning goal against Arsenal at Anfield in 2006 (pic Martin Rickett/PA)

Fowler ensured an unhappy Christmas for Gunners with a fourth goal in stoppage time.

Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Keown, Luzhny, Silvinho, Parlour, Vieira, Grimandi, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry. Subs: Stepanovs, Pires, Wiltord, Lukic, Kanu.

December 2001: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky (centre) celebrates scoring in his side's FA Cup win over Liverpool at Anfield in 2007 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky (centre) celebrates scoring in his side's FA Cup win over Liverpool at Anfield in 2007 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Wenger’s first win at Anfield and Arsenal’s first for nine years, despite seeing his side controversially reduced to 10 men by Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s red card.

The Dutchman’s second booking on 35 minutes was, according to referee Paul Durkin, for a dive and led to 40th sending-off of Wenger’s five and a half season reign.

Thierry Henry’s penalty in first-half stoppage time broke the deadlock and Freddie Ljungberg doubled the lead from a low Robert Pires cross, before Jari Litmanen’s reply.

Parlour upstaged Gerrard with industrious midfield display as the Gunners moved back to second in the table on their way to Wenger’s second double.

Arsenal's Julio Baptista scored four times against Liverpool at Anfield in the league cup in 2007 (pic Nick Potts/PA) Arsenal's Julio Baptista scored four times against Liverpool at Anfield in the league cup in 2007 (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal: Taylor, Lauren, Cole, Campbell, Keown, Ljungberg, Parlour, Pires (Upson 85), Van Bronckhorst, Henry (Wiltord 89), Kanu (Luzhny 89).

January 2003: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2

Heskey’s injury-time goal denied impressive Gunners victory, as Wenger’s men moved six points clear at top.

Liverpool's Peter Crouch scored a hat-trick against Arsenal in his side's win at Anfield in 2007 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Liverpool's Peter Crouch scored a hat-trick against Arsenal in his side's win at Anfield in 2007 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Pires netted on eight minutes, after Jerzy Dudek had saved the inspirational Henry’s shot, but the visitors wasted other chances before John-Arne Riise levelled with a thunderous drive after the restart.

Bergkamp’s deflected effort looked like being decisive, as Dudek denied Henry and Gilberto, but Heskey headed in Salif Diao’s cross late on.

Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Parlour, Vieira, Silva, Pires, Bergkamp (Luzhny 86), Henry. Unused: Taylor, Jeffers, Wiltord, van Bronckhorst.

Liverpool's Xabi Alonso (right) and Javier Mascherano battle for the ball with Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas during their meeting at Anfield inn 2007 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Liverpool's Xabi Alonso (right) and Javier Mascherano battle for the ball with Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas during their meeting at Anfield inn 2007 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

October 2003: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

The Gunners came from behind for this win to cement their Premier League supremacy.

Harry Kewell volleyed home on 13 minutes, but Owen missed two good chances before Pires saw a free-kick deflect in off Sami Hyypia.

And Pires curled a glorious winner midway through the second half, before Owen limped off late on, days before a crucial Euro qualifier for England.

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard scores from the penalty spot to beat Arsenal in the Champions League at Anfield in 2008 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Liverpool's Steven Gerrard scores from the penalty spot to beat Arsenal in the Champions League at Anfield in 2008 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Parlour, Edu, Silva, Pires, Henry, Aliadiere (Wiltord 73). Unused: Stack, Keown, Cygan, Kanu.

November 2004: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1

Neil Mellor’s injury-time strike left the Gunners empty-handed and with only one win in nine matches in all competitions.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger joins in the celebrations after one of Andrey Arshavin's four goals against Liverpool at Anfield in 2009 (pic Dave Thompson/PA) Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger joins in the celebrations after one of Andrey Arshavin's four goals against Liverpool at Anfield in 2009 (pic Dave Thompson/PA)

Xabi Alonso fired home Gerrard pass to open scoring, but Patrick Vieira equalised against run of play, lobbing Chris Kirkland after flowing move involving Henry and Pires.

But below-par Arsenal were stunned by 25-yard winner with almost last kick of the match.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Pires, Reyes (Van Persie 67), Henry. Unused: Flamini, Senderos, Almunia, Hoyte.

Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin applauds the fans as he leaves the Anfield pitch in 2009, where his goal proved decisive against Liverpool (pic Martin Rickett/PA) Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin applauds the fans as he leaves the Anfield pitch in 2009, where his goal proved decisive against Liverpool (pic Martin Rickett/PA)

February 2006: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 0

A late Luis Garcia goal gave Reds the points once again, despite Jens Lehmann’s heroics.

The German keeper saved a Gerrard penalty and denied the home side several other times as the Gunners suffered their seventh away loss of season.

Philippe Senderos had a 21st birthday to forget as defeat left Wenger’s men 10 points behind Liverpool and four adrift of Tottenham in fourth place.

Arsenal's Robin van Persie (centre) celebrates with team-mates Theo Walcott (right) and Thomas Vermaelen after scoring twice in their win at Anfield in 2012 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Arsenal's Robin van Persie (centre) celebrates with team-mates Theo Walcott (right) and Thomas Vermaelen after scoring twice in their win at Anfield in 2012 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Arsenal: Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Senderos, Flamini, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Silva, Pires (Hleb 79), Adebayor, Henry. Unused: Almunia, Diaby, Larsson, Djourou.

January 6, 2007: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 3 (FAC3)

The holders were dumped out at the first hurdle as Gunners scored three stylish goals.

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski both scored in their win at Anfield in 2012 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Arsenal's Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski both scored in their win at Anfield in 2012 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Tomas Rosicky curled in the opener, after swapping passes with Alex Hleb on the right, then squeezed in a shot from the edge of the box on the stroke of half time.

Dirk Kuyt hit back with a close-range header on 71 minutes but Henry robbed Jamie Carragher and slotted home late on.

Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue (Hoyte 66), Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb, Silva, Flamini, Rosicky, Henry (Walcott 88), Van Persie (Baptista 72). Unused: Poom, Djourou

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny picked the ball out of his net five times at Anfield in 2014 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny picked the ball out of his net five times at Anfield in 2014 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

January 9, 2007: Liverpoool 3 Arsenal 6 (Carling Cup QF)

Who will ever forget The Beast?

Brazilian Julio Baptista scored four as Arsenal secured a second Anfield win in a matter of days to book a semi-final spot in the Carling Cup.

Jeremie Aliadiere ran clear to open the scoring, before Fowler levelled, and Baptista netted either side of Alex Song’s smart finish for a 4-1 half-time lead.

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (second from left) scores his side's injury-time equaliser against Arsenal at Anfield in 2014 (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (second from left) scores his side's injury-time equaliser against Arsenal at Anfield in 2014 (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

Baptista struck twice more, after missing a penalty, before Gerrard and Hyypia grabbed consolations for the hosts, who conceded six at home for the first time in nearly 77 years.

Arsenal: Almunia, Hoyte, Toure, Djourou, Traore (Connolly 88), Walcott (Diaby 74), Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Baptista, Aliadiere. Unused: Poom, Lansbury, Randall.

March 2007: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 1

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game at Anfield in 2016 (pic Richard Sellers/PA) Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game at Anfield in 2016 (pic Richard Sellers/PA)

A hat-trick from Peter Crouch saw Liverpool leapfrog Wenger’s men to move into third place.

The tall England striker converted crosses from Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Aurelio, before Daniel Agger added a third on the hour.

William Gallas poked in a reply for the visitors, but Crouch completed his treble 10 minutes from time.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Eboue (Hoyte 82), Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Hleb, Fabregas, Diaby (Rosicky 65), Denilson, Baptista (Ljungberg 65), Adebayor. Unused: Almunia, Senderos.

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin (left) and Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (right) battle for the ball during last season's Premier League match at Anfield (pic Peter Byrne/PA) Arsenal's Hector Bellerin (left) and Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (right) battle for the ball during last season's Premier League match at Anfield (pic Peter Byrne/PA)

October 2007: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

A late goal from Cesc Fabregas saw the Gunners go back to the top of the table after an absorbing contest.

Gerrard put the Reds ahead after only seven minutes, while Pepe Reina denied Emmanuel Adebayor and Rosicky saw a lob cleared off the line.

Emmanuel Eboue hit a post in the second half, but Fabregas levelled with 10 minutes left and hit the upright himself as Wenger’s men moved above Manchester United.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy (Silva 74), Eboue (Bendtner 74), Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Rosicky (Walcott 66), Adebayor. Unused: Lehmann, Diarra.

April 2008: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 2 (Champions League QF2L)

Two goals in the last four minutes sent the Gunners out of the Champions League last eight.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Abou Diaby put Wenger’s men ahead, before Hyypia headed an equaliser.

Fernando Torres then gave the Reds the advantage, but Theo Walcott’s run set up Adebayor to make it 2-2 and leave Arsenal on the brink of the last four.

Kolo Toure’s foul on Ryan Babel allowed Gerrard to score an 86th-minute penalty, though, and Babel broke for a late fourth to set up a meeting with Chelsea.

Arsenal: Almunia, Toure, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Eboue (Walcott 72), Flamini (Silva 42), Fabregas, Diaby (Van Persie 72), Hleb, Adebayor. Unused: Lehmann, Song, Bendtner, Hoyte.

April 2009: Liverpool 4 Arsenal 4

The Arshavin Show.

Liverpool went back to the top of the table on goal difference, but Andrei Arshavin stole the headlines with all four Arsenal goals.

The Russian’s first-half opener was cancelled out by Torres and Yossi Benayoun early in the second half, after some heroics from Lukasz Fabianski.

And after Walcott replaced Denilson, Arshavin scores twice in three minutes with a stunning 20-yard drive and hard finish to complete his treble.

Torres levelled two minutes later, then had a header scrambled off the line by Kieran Gibbs before Walcott countered and Arshavin hammered his fourth to seemingly win it, only for Benayoun to scramble home in stoppage time.

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Arshavin, Song, Fabregas, Denilson (Walcott 65), Nasri, Bendtner (Diaby 90). Unused: Mannone, Eduardo, Vela, Ramsey, Eboue.

December 2009: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

More Arshavin magic gave Wenger his fifth win in 17 attempts at Anfield to close gap on Chelsea and Manchester United.

Kuyt put Reds ahead after strong first half show, but the Gunners level when Samir Nasri’s cross is bundled into his own net by Glen Johnson.

And Arshavin fired a stunning shot past the motionless Reina just before the hour to clinch the points, as the visitors held on with relative comfort.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Traore (Silvestre 87), Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott (Diaby 70), Denilson, Song, Arshavin (Ramsey 90). Unused: Fabianski, Wilshere, Eduardo, Vela.

August 2010: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

A last-minute own goal by Reds keeper Reina gifted the Gunners a point as both sides finished with 10 men.

Joe Cole was shown a straight red card for a foul on Laurent Koscielny on the stroke of half time, but David Ngog beat Manuel Almunia at his near post to put the hosts in front.

It looked like being the winner until Marouane Chamakh diverted Rosicky’s cross against a post and Reina spilled the rebound into his own net.

Koscielny picked up a second yellow card in stoppage time.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Clichy, Eboue (Walcott 59), Diaby (Van Persie 76), Nasri, Wilshere (Rosicky 60), Arshavin, Chamakh. Unused: Fabianski, Gibbs, Song, Vela.

March 2012: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

Robin van Persie’s stoppage-time winner sealed a dramatic victory and spoilt Kenny Dalglish’s 450th game as a top-flight manager.

Koscielny sliced Jordan Henderson’s cross into his own net after Kuyt’s penalty had been saved by Wojciech Szczesny and the Dutchman and Luis Suarez also hit the post for the Carling Cup winners.

But Van Persie headed an equaliser and volleyed home Song’s pass deep into nine minutes of stoppage time to take his tally for the season to 30.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta (Diaby 52) (Oxlade-Chamberlin 81), Song, Walcott, Rosicky, Benayoun (Gervinho 74), Van Persie. Unused: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Chamakh, Miquel.

September 2012: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2

New signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla netted either side of the break to earn the Gunners their first win of the new campaign.

Raheem Sterling hit a post for the hosts in the first half, before Podolski swapped passes with Cazorla and drilled home on 31 minutes.

The pair combined again before the hour, with Cazorla beating Reina from an acute angle, while Vito Mannone twice denied Jonjo Shelvey a reply at the other end.

Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen (Koscielny 90), Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 72), Cazorla, Podolski (Santos 82), Giroud, Unused: Martinez, Walcott, Coquelin, Gervinho.

February 2014: Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1

The Premier League leaders conceded four goals in 20 minutes in an Anfield ambush to raise doubts over their title credentials.

Martin Skrtel netted from two set-pieces, before Sterling and Daniel Sturridge also beat a shellshocked Szczesny.

Sterling added a fifth early in the second half and the gap could have been wider before Mikel Arteta’s penalty on a day to forget for Wenger, who called his side ‘passive’.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Monreal (Gibbs 61), Wilshere, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Giroud (Podolski 60), Ozil (Rosicky 61), Cazorla. Unused: Fabianski, Bendtner, Jenkinson, Gnabry.

December 2014: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2

Skrtel’s header in the seventh minute of injury time earned 10-man Liverpool a deserved share of the points.

The match really came to life at the end of each half as Philippe Coutinho’s 45th-minute opener was cancelled out by a Mathieu Debuchy header in stoppage time.

Olivier Giroud swept Cazorla’s cross home on 64 minutes and Fabio Borini saw red for a second booking in the last minute.

But nine minutes of stoppage time were added after Skrtel had clashed heads with Giroud and he nodded home a late equaliser.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Campbell 90), Flamini, Cazorla, Sanchez (Monreal 90), Giroud (Coquelin 82), Welbeck. Unused: Podolski, Walcott, Martinez, Maitland-Niles.

January 2016: Liverpool 3 Arsenal 3

Joe Allen’s last-minute goal denies table-topping Arsenal victory after another Anfield thriller.

Roberto Firmino opened the scoring, then restored Liverpool’s lead with a spectacular 20-yard drive after Aaron Ramsey had levelled.

Giroud made it 2-2 and also missed an open goal, while Firmino struck the crossbar in a breathless first half.

But Frenchman Giroud’s 18th goal of the season looked to have given Wenger’s men the points, only for substitute Allen to net with a low finish.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Flamini, Campbell (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75), Ozil (Arteta 87), Walcott (Gibbs 76), Giroud. Unused: Gabriel, Chambers, Iwobi, Macey.

March 2017: Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1

Another injury-time goal helped Liverpool claim a vital victory in the race for a Champions League spot.

Wenger left Alexis Sanchez on the bench, but Firmino put the hosts ahead after nine minutes and Sadio Mane made it 2-0 early in the second half.

Substitute Sanchez set up Danny Welbeck for a reply before the hour, but Georgino Wijnaldum broke for a late third to leave the Gunners two points adrift of the top four.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin (Sanchez 46), Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlainn, Iwobi, Welbeck (Walcott 74), Giroud (Perez 74). Unused: Gibbs, Gabriel, Ramsey, Ospina.

Arsenal goalscorers at Anfield under Arsene Wenger (total 40): Andrey Arshavin 5, Julio Baptista 4, Olivier Giroud 3, own goals 3, Ian Wright 2 (2 pens), Thierry Henry 2 (1 pen), Robert Pires 2, Tomas Rosicky 2, Robin van Persie 2, Freddie Ljungberg 1, Dennis Bergkamp 1, Patrick Vieira 1, Jeremie Aliadiere 1, Alex Song 1, William Gallas 1, Cesc Fabregas 1, Alou Diaby 1, Emmanuel Adebayor 1, Lukas Podolski 1, Santi Cazorla 1, Mikel Arteta 1 (pen), Mathieu Debuchy 1, Aaron Ramsey 1, Danny Welbeck 1.

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