Posted on December 21, 2008
Liverpool missed a chance to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League table following a tight 1-1 draw with ten-man Arsenal.
Reds manager Rafael Benitez did not travel to the Emirates Stadium following surgery to remove kidney stones and assistant Sammy Lee stepped in.
Arsenal took the lead after 24 minutes from Dutch striker Robin Van Persie – who fired a powerful shot past Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina with his weaker right foot.
Liverpool looked short of the clinical midfield passing that has seen them dramatically improve their domestic form.
And it took a speculative long ball from Alvaro Arbeloa to open up the Gunners’ defense. Big money signing Robbie Keane pounced on the loose ball and thundered a volley past Manuel Almunia.
Arsenal were reduced to ten-men with 30 minutes remaining in the second-half when referee Howard Webb gave striker Emmanuel Adebayor a second-yellow for a clumsy challenge on Arbeloa.
Liverpool were unable to make the most of the numerical advantage as the game ended all square.