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In an enthralling but ultimately disappointing game for the home supporters, Liverpool managed to lose their league game against rivals Arsenal, 1-2.

This despite the fact that the Reds were given a first-half penalty, hit the woodwork twice and missed a number of clear-cut opportunities. Worse still, given the fact that these two are fighting for that last Champions League position, this could prove to be a crucial three points for Wenger and his boys.

For the home side, it was, as ever, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez who led the line, particularly in the absence of club talisman Steven Gerrard, who was injured in the recent international friendly between England and Holland. Arsenal's Robin van Persie, who was also involved in that game, passed a late fitness test to start this game.

The home side went on the attack early on, and both Szczesny and Bacaray Sagna had to be alert for the Gunners, especially after poor defending on Koscielny's part.

Liverpool were finally rewarded for their aggression, in the 18th minute, when Suarez was brought down by Szczesny. Unfortunately, Kuyt could not put the ball into the back of the net and Liverpool would rue the missed chance soon.

For the moment, though, the visitors were being exposed, in large part to defensive deficiencies on Koscielny's part. In the end, when Liverpool did score, it was because the Frenchman failed to recognise he was heading into his own goal!

Liverpool deserved to be in the lead and should have maybe settled the match then and there, with Suarez hitting the post soon after.

Suddenly then, against the run of play, van Persie made the most of a mistake from Carragher and the Gunners were back! Redknapp must have had that old familiar feeling right about then!

Liverpool continued to press... Suarez continued to dance circles around the Arsenal back line and Wenger should really not be celebrating three points right now.

However, as it happens so often, when one side fails to make the most of their chances, the other steals the win. Arsenal did just that, in injury time to boot!

An aerial ball from Alex Song split Liverpool wide open and van Persie, as his wont, finished with class, composure and style.

The result means Arsenal have eked out a two-point lead over Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League position. They have 49 points from 27 games; Chelsea play West Brom later in the day. Arsenal will play Newcastle at home, on 12 March, in the league. Before that though, there is the matter of overturning a 0-4 deficit in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie against AC Milan, on 6 March.

Liverpool, meanwhile, not only remain in seventh place, with 39 points from 26 games, but are also running out time to claim Champions League football next season and could even be overtaken by the likes of Norwich City and local rivals Everton, if things do no improve. Liverpool next play Sunderland, away, on 10 March.

Final Score:

Liverpool 1 (Koscielny OG 23') lost to Arsenal 2 (van Persie 31', 90')