LIVERPOOL 2-2 ARSENAL
January 29, 2003
Today's FreezeFrame takes us back to the 2002/03 title race - and one that got away as far as Arsenal were concerned.
Having won the Double the previous season, Arsène Wenger's side were growing into the side that would be remembered as the Invincibles but they were pipped to the post by Manchester United on this occasion.
Arsenal were in good shape going into 2003 but they slipped up at Anfield in January despite dominating Liverpool for long periods of a thrilling encounter.
Dennis Bergkamp's sublime pass set up the first goal after nine minutes. The Dutch master - who had recently completed a century of goals for Arsenal - curved a ball into Thierry Henry's path. Jerzy Dudek saved the Frenchman's effort but Robert Pires was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
It could and should have been more before the break with Henry in particular in fine form - at one point he gave Jamie Carragher a five-yard head start before beating him for pace by the touchline - but Liverpool survived a number of near misses.
And they made Arsenal pay for their profligacy when John Arne Riise hammered home Emile Heskey's pass from the edge of the box.
Bergkamp restored the visitors' lead with a shot that deflected off Stephane Henchoz's boot but once again Arsenal did not put the game to bed and once again Liverpool hit back.
This time Salif Diao was the creator with a perfect cross for Heskey to nod firmly past David Seaman as the match entered stoppage time.
It set the tone for the rest of the title race as Arsenal dropped points on the road at Newcastle, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Bolton to hand the crown to Manchester United.
They would come back rather strongly the following year, of course.
Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Gilberto, Vieira, Parlour, Pires, Bergkamp (Luzhny, 86), Henry. Subs not used: Taylor, Van Bronckhorst, Jeffers, Wiltord.
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