Of all the great Premier League rivalries, few have provided more in the way of sheer spectacle and pure entertainment over the years than clashes between Liverpool and Arsenal.
Two of the great entertainers among English football’s biggest clubs, both sides are typically prided on their philosophies for winning and playing exciting, attacking football.
The ethos has not always been matched between the two through identical interpretations in terms of style and approach, but meetings between the pair have almost always produced goal fests and classic encounters which live long in the memory.
Ahead of Saturday’s huge Premier League encounter at Anfield, here is a selection of six classic clashes between Liverpool and Arsenal.
1. Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal (April 2009)
With the history of this fixture full of high scoring encounters, arguably the most memorable was the eight-goal thriller in April 2009, in which the points were shared and Andrey Arshavin cemented his status as a cult hero for Arsenal.
The Russian scored all four of the Gunners’ goals at Anfield on that occasion and looked to have won the game for the visitors late on until a last gasp Yossi Benayoun strike hauled Liverpool level at the death.
In what was a seesaw encounter throughout, a Fernando Torres brace and an additional Benayoun goal cancelled out Arshavin’s infamous attacking masterclass on Merseyside.
2. Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal (April 2008)
Another topsy-turvy encounter at Anfield saw another classic between the two sides just a year earlier in a Champions League quarter final. After the first leg ended 1-1 at the Emirates, the tie was left finely poised heading into the second leg on Merseyside.
Arsene Wenger’s side surged into an early lead through an Abou Diaby strike after just 13 minutes, before goals from Sami Hyypia and Fernando Torres hauled the home side back into the ascendancy.
A late strike from Emmanuel Adebayor looked to have snatched victory for Arsenal on the away goals ruling, but a Steven Gerrard penalty reversed proceedings once more before a Ryan Babel strike applied the final touch as Liverpool advanced to the semi finals.
3. Liverpool 3-6 Arsenal (January 2007)
Encouragingly ahead of Saturday’s clash at Anfield, there is a clear pattern of high scoring encounters between the two sides being contested at Anfield.
Another thriller on Merseyside fell in Arsenal’s favour as a young Gunners side hit Liverpool for six in a League Cup fifth round clash in 2007. Julio Baptista stole the show as the Brazilian preceded Andrey Arshavin by scoring four for the visitors to lead Arsenal to victory at Anfield.
Jeremie Aliadiere and Alex Song added further strikes as the Gunners blew Liverpool away, with goals from club greats Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia not enough to rescue the vastly more experienced home side.
4. Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (1971)
Further back in football memory, the great double-winning Arsenal side of 1971 crowned one of their finest moments as the Gunners produced a stunning comeback in extra time to beat Bill Shankley’s Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
The match had gone into extra time after the scores were level at 0-0 after 90 minutes. Liverpool took advantage as Steve Heighway handed the Merseyside outfit the lead early in the added period and seemed on course to spoil the Gunners’ hopes of a domestic double.
However, Bertie Mee’s side were not to be denied. Eddie Kelly provided the response before Charlie George etched his name into Arsenal folklore as the forward struck a stunning winner, matched by an iconic celebration to seal cup glory for the Gunners.
5. Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (August 2016)
Though last season’s 3-3 draw between the two sides at the Emirates was yet another classic, Liverpool’s 4-3 victory in north London at the start of the previous season in August 2016 was the standout fixture between the two sides in recent years.
Theo Walcott handed the home side a dream start as the English forward fired Arsenal ahead just after the half an hour mark, before strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana for the visitors either side of half time turned the game on its head.
Further strikes from Coutinho and Sadio Mane sent Liverpool flying into a two-goal lead, with replies from future Liverpool star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers not enough to bring Arsenal level late on as Liverpool edged a thrilling game.
6. Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal (May 1989)
Long before Sergio Aguero struck a famous late winner to seal Manchester City’s title win on the final day of the season in the 2011/12 season, Arsenal preceded City’s last gasp drama with an iconic win at Anfield in 1989.
The Gunners arrived at Anfield on the final day of the 1988/89 season requiring a win by two or more clear goals to pip the opposition to the Division One title. The odds were stacked against the visitors, but Arsenal were in the mood for an iconic upset.
The visitors were given hope of completing the unlikely dream as Alan Smith gave Arsenal the lead on the 52nd minute. A second goal did not seem likely to come for the Gunners, until Michael Thomas struck a stoppage time decider to seal the victory and a first league title for the Gunners since 1971, straight out of the hands of their opposition on the final day.