Klopp irked by Mane offside decision
ALEXANDRE Lacazette struck a late equaliser as Arsenal and Liverpool shared the spoils in an entertaining Premier League clash.
Liverpool looked to be going three points clear at the top of the table after James Milner’s 50th career Premier League goal. But Arsenal rallied and deservedly secured a 1-1 draw as Lacazette wriggled free inside the box before curling home with eight minutes remaining.
Both sides had first-half efforts ruled out for offside, Liverpool’s a more contentious call as Sadio Mane saw his celebrations cut short to the obvious f rustration of manager Jurgen Klopp, who felt the decision was a mistake by the officials.
“There’s only one person who can answer the question and that’s the linesman. Nobody else can say anything about that,” Klopp said. “For me, that’s football. You have one player in a slightly offside position and chip the ball and then the other one takes the ball, that’s football all over the world. If he [the linesman] sees it like that, good – it was not offside. And the second situation was not offside. If he thought the first situation was offside, I think that would have been the wrong decision.
“We made more mistakes than the refs but in this situation it would have been cool if this goal would count because it was obviously in a very good moment.”
Despite Mane’s disallowed strike and losing a lead, the German was satisfied to leave London with a draw.
“It’s not really possible to come here and dominate Arsenal like we want,” Klopp added. “It’s a point, that will always be a success at Arsenal.”
The Gunners, however, have a poor recent record against the league’s main clubs. They did compete here and their supporters inside the Emirates Stadium stuck with them. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was lively in the opening exchanges and saw two shots deflected behind as Arsenal started brighter than in recent weeks. Henrikh Mkhitaryan almost took advantage when Liverpool goalke e p e r Al i s s on Becker sprinted from his line and got nowhere near Aubameyang’s cross, with Mkhitaryan’s header flashing wide. Liverpoo l were also threatening and had the ball in the net moments later, only for Mane’s effort to be ruled out for offside.
Only a smart save from Bernd Leno kept out Virgil van Dijk, with Shkodran Mustafi alert enough to clear away the loose ball. Former Celtic defender Van Dijk then flicked a header against the foot of the post as Leno rushed out into no-man’s-land inside his own penalty area.
Liverpool took the lead on the hour as the Arsenal goalkeeper pushed Mane’s cross back in front of his own goal, with Milner on hand to drill in his third of the season.
Leno tipped a Van Dijk header behind as Liverpool looked to kill it off, with Emery introducing Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey. It was Iwobi who would play a part in Lacazette’s leveller, playing a precise ball into his path before the former Lyon man (inset) bent home a precision strike.