Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: Dalglish turns on Wenger as late goal sparks touchline row
Arsenal 1 Van Persie 90+8 pen Liverpool 1 Kuyt 90 + 11 pen Referee: A Marriner Attendance: 60,029
AN ANGRY touchline bust-up between Kenny Dalglish and Arsene Wenger saw the Liverpool manager tell his Arsenal counterpart to "p*** off" just moments after the Anfield side scored a 101st-minute penalty to earn a 1-1 draw against the title chasers.
Robin van Persie's 98th-minute spot-kick had looked to have kept Arsenal on the tail of leaders Manchester United, but there was still time, owing to a lengthy stoppage after Jamie Carragher was knocked out on the field, for Emmanuel Eboue to foul Lucas Leiva and allow Dirk Kuyt to net at the other end.
Wenger remonstrated with Dalglish over the penalty award, and the Scot's temper flared as he told the Frenchman first to "p*** off" then what appeared to another insult.
Wenger said after the match: "I said to Dalglish it was not a penalty. That is all.
"We conceded a penalty after 11 minutes when the referee said there were eight minutes of injury time. I don't see where those three minutes came from and it was no penalty."
When questioned by reporters about the bust-up, which was caught by television cameras, Dalglish said: "I'd rather not repeat what was said. I don't know why a conversation between two managers on the bench is relevant after a game like that. It's not worth the time of day."
He added: "I think what we did at the end epitomised the performance. We lost two players (Carragher and Andy Carroll), we had two teenagers at right and left-back, playing against a side looking to win the league.
"We remained committed to getting something out of the game and we had to play on."
The Gunners - now six point points behind leaders Manchester United having played the same number of games - had plenty of possession and hit the bar in the first half through Laurent Koscielny, but were unable to make their dominance count.
Arsenal - unbeaten in 14 matches and yet to lose in 2011 - started well, with Abou Diaby glancing a header wide from Samir Nasri's curling free-kick.
Arsenal were careless in possession far too often, with Liverpool quick to capitalise on the break.
The hosts sparked into life, though, after 12 minutes when Theo Walcott stung Pepe Reina with a fierce 25-yard drive which the Reds keeper spilled and van Persie hooked the loose ball back across an open goal, which was headed behind.
From van Persie's right wing corner, Laurent Koscielny got up above the Liverpool defence and in front of Reina to crash a header against the bar.
Liverpool were forced into a change on 21 minutes when full-back Fabio Aurelio limped off with a recurrence of his hamstring problem, replaced by 17-year-old Jack Robinson for a second senior appearance.
Luis Suarez's slip allowed van Persie and Cesc Fabregas to open up the Liverpool defence, but the Arsenal skipper drilled his 20-yard shot wide.
It continued to be one-way traffic with Liverpool defending deep, but Arsenal could not find a telling pass in the final third.
It was again a bright opening by Liverpool after the restart. Suarez created space for himself at the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, but dragged his shot wide.
There was a scare for the visitors when Andy Carroll went down after twisting his knee and ankle when challenging for a loose ball in the box. Reds skipper Carragher then appeared to have been knocked unconscious after a clash of heads with John Flanagan.
The former England defender was carried off on a stretcher, his neck in a brace and given oxygen. Former Rangers defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos came on as a substitute.
Because of the injury to Carragher, there were some eight minutes of stoppage time, and just when that seemed to be running out, Fabregas went tumbling over Jay Spearing's leg and this time, the referee pointed to the spot.
Van Persie stepped up to send Reina the wrong way and seemingly keep Arsenal in the title hunt.
However, there was more late drama after Alex Song tripped Lucas right on the edge of the area. Suarez's free-kick went into the wall, but Eboue then pushed over Lucas to conceded another stoppage-time spot-kick which Kuyt dispatched.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Diaby (Song 81), Wilshere (Bendtner 72), Walcott (Arshavin 72), Fabregas, Nasri, van Persie. Subs not used: Lehmann, Squillaci, Gibbs, Chamakh.
Liverpool: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher (Kyrgiakos 62), Skrtel, Aurelio (Robinson 21), Kuyt, Spearing, Lucas, Meireles, Suarez, Carroll (Shelvey 70). Subs not used: Gulacsi, Cole, Maxi, Ngog.
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