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Alisson’s mistakes prove costly for Liverpool in 1-3 loss to Arsenal

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Alisson Becker made a brace of costly errors as Gunners cut lead to two points at the top

LONDON,Feb 5: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker made two costly errors in a 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Sunday as the gap between the two Premier League title rivals was trimmed to two points.
Arsenal had gifted an equalizer to the Liverpool in first-half stoppage time as Gabriel Magalhaes’ own-goal canceled out Bukayo Saka’s 14th-minute opener.
A mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson allowed Gabriel Martinelli to round off a fine individual performance by reestablishing the lead for Arsenal in the 67th, before substitute Leandro Trossard fired through Alisson’s legs — via a slight deflection off Van Dijk — in second-half stoppage time.
It was just a second league defeat of the season for Liverpool, which struggled to get into the game for the majority of the first half at Emirates Stadium and ended with 10 men as Ibrahima Konate was sent off for a second yellow card in the 88th. Martinelli once again shone against Liverpool, hitting his fifth goal against Jurgen Klopp’s team. Klopp, who is leaving at the end of the season, is no doubt looking forward to seeing the back of a player he once described as “a talent of the century.”
Arsenal was without Gabriel Jesus, injured once more, and took the lead against Liverpool for the fourth Premier League meeting in a row.
A great pass from Martin Odegaard found Kai Havertz in space, the Germany international breaking through on goal only to shoot straight at Alisson. Saka was on hand to turn home the rebound.
Despite struggling with Arsenal’s high press and failing to register a shot on target in the first half, Liverpool went in level at the break as the unwitting Gabriel turned the ball into his own goal off his arm after Luis Diaz outmuscled William Saliba and poked the ball across the face of the six-yard box.
The fortuitous equalizer shifted the momentum as Liverpool came out for the second half with more of a cutting edge, with both Luis Diaz and Curtis Jones getting shots away.
Jakub Kiwior replaced left back Oleksandr Zinchenko at the break for the home side, which reacted well as Odegaard saw a shot deflected just wide of Alisson’s right-hand post.
The hosts wanted a penalty when Havertz tangled with Alexis Mac Allister but referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved as VAR sided with the on-field official.
Arsenal retook the lead soon after, with the Liverpool defense this time left red-faced as Alisson and Van Dijk left a clearance to one another, allowing Martinelli to collect and finish into an empty net.
Mac Allister flashed a shot wide as Liverpool looked to respond a second time having already rescued 19 points from losing positions this season.
The early exertion from Arsenal’s forwards saw them tire as both Martinelli and Saka were replaced by Trossard and Reiss Nelson, respectively, for the closing stages.
But it was another substitute, Poland defender Kiwior, who missed a fine chance to make sure of the points when he headed straight at Alisson.
Konate was then dismissed, booked a second time for blocking Trossard. The Belgian scored the third with a low near-post shot that flashed between the legs of Alisson.
Arsenal moved above Manchester City, which is in third place and five points behind Liverpool with two games in hand.
LISANDRO MARTINEZ INJURED AGAIN
Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez appears to have sustained a serious injury to his right knee in only his fourth game back after a long-term absence following foot surgery.
The Argentina international was forced off in the 70th minute of United’s 3-0 win over West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday after appearing to twist his knee when challenging for the ball with West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal. Martinez attempted to continue after treatment but fell to the ground again and was helped off the field.
Martinez has just returned from being out for four months. He was making the third straight start of his comeback. (AP)

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