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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 21 January, 2019

'That is the type of game for people who love football - let's give credit to the creative force'

Arsene Wenger admitted his Arsenal side were ‘frozen with fear’ in the first-half but praised their spirit after a superb comeback.

Image: John Walton

ARSENE WENGER HAILED Arsenal’s breath-taking 3-3 draw against Liverpool as a dream come true for football purists.

Wenger’s side staged a thrilling second half fightback that combined with Liverpool’s array of attacking talents to serve up a festive feast for millions of fans around the world.

Having trailed to goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah, Arsenal scored three times in five second half minutes through Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil.

One of the Premier League’s games of the season was capped when Roberto Firmino’s equaliser rescued a point for Liverpool.

But rather than rue the alarmingly creaky defensive play from both teams, Gunners boss Wenger insisted he was pleased to have been part of such a memorable occasion.

“It was a thrilling game. I am frustrated at not winning but that is the type of game you want in the Premier League,” Wenger said.

More for people who love football, let’s give credit to the creative force. If you have no shots on goal the defences look good but that is not what people want to see.”

Wenger admitted Arsenal had been out-classed in the first half at the Emirates Stadium, but he was impressed with the way they fought back with such verve.

“We played frozen with fear and not at our level in the first half. Maybe when you prepare for a game you want players to be ready but you make the opponent too big in their heads,” Wenger said.

“In the second half we played at our level. The good thing is that overall we did not give up. The spirit is fantastic. On that front I am proud of the players. It shows a strong mentality. We have the capacity to respond. What you want is for the team to realise that we have to start from the first minute.”

© AFP 2017

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A pulsating Christmas cracker as Arsenal stage comeback to hold Liverpool in dramatic draw

As it happened: Arsenal v Liverpool, Premier League

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