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Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 18:41 GMT
Riise restores Reds' pride
Michael Owen is first to offer congratulations to John Arne Riise
Michael Owen is first to congratulate John Arne Riise
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
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John Arne Riise erased some of his midweek embarrassment with the goal that salvaged a morale-boosting point for Liverpool at Highbury.

Riise headed an own goal in Liverpool's defeat by Southampton but his 67th minute equaliser will have been celebrated at the other end of the East Lancs Road.

When we went 1-0 up we knew they were difficult to break down, that's why we were disappointed when they equalised
Freddie Ljungberg

Liverpool's battling performance ensured that Manchester United ended the day leaders of the Premiership on goal difference from Newcastle.

Riise's goal was the climax to a classic counter-attack as Liverpool extracted a measure of revenge for their defeat by Arsenal at Anfield three weeks ago.

Riise broke up an attack on the edge of his own penalty box and galloped forward into the space in front of him.

His run was spotted by Steven Gerrard who laid a brilliant first-time pass into his path with the outside of his right foot.

The Norwegian was clear of the Arsenal back line and took advantage of a positional error by goalkeeper Stuart Taylor to beat him on his near post and atone for his error at St Mary's.

Liverpool restored Michael Owen alongside Nicolas Anelka in a revamped Liverpool attack.

  Match facts
10mins: Arsenal penalty appeals turned down after Henchoz handles.
20mins: Ljungberg rounds Dudek and misses open goal.
61mins: Ljungberg atones for his miss, by firing Arsenal ahead, 1-0.
67mins: John Arne Riise equalises for Liverpool, 1-1

Predictably, Anelka was roundly booed by Arsenal supporters on his return to Highbury.

But in a first-half dominated by Arsenal, neither Anelka or Owen were given much to work with.

For all their superiority, Arsenal found it difficult to carve out clear-cut chances against a resolute Liverpool defence.

Arsenal's early fire saw Kanu head over from close range as Henry whipped in a vicious free-kick from the left.

The French striker then saw his intended cross decieve Jerzy Dudek in the Liverpool goal and strike the crossbar.

Freddie Ljungberg rounds Jerzy Dudek but pulled his shot wide
Freddie Ljungberg leaves Jerzy Dudek trailing in his wake

Liverpool were lucky to escape penalty appeals when Stephan Henchoz stuck an arm out to block Matthew Upson's header.

With 20 minutes gone, Freddie Ljungberg squandered a golden chance to fire Arsenal ahead.

His well-timed run beat Liverpool's offside trap and on to Kanu's perfectly weighted through ball

The Swede took the ball in his stride, and rounded Dudek, only to pull his shot across the face of the unguarded goal from a tight ankle.

Liverpool slowly began to emerge from their defensive shell, and on the hour, Riise added his weight to the attack for almost the first, whipping in a cross which Murphy headed just over the bar.

But a minute later, Arsenal were ahead, with substitute Dennis Bergkamp playing a pivotal role in the goal.

I scored a nice own goal last week, but I'm happy today
John Arne Riise

The Dutchman gave chase to a hopeful punt forward and got to the ball ahead of Jamie Carragher.

Bergkamp held the ball up before feeding it into the path of Robert Pires who in turn crossed for Freddie Ljungberg to knife in at the near post.

Liverpool took just six minutes to fashion their reply, hitting Arsenal with a stunning break.

Arsenal: Taylor, Luzhny (Dixon 85), Campbell, Keown, Upson, Pires (Wiltord 78), Vieira, Grimandi, Ljungberg, Henry, Kanu (Bergkamp 55).

Subs not used: Edu, Wright.

Booked: Vieira.

Goals: Ljungberg 62.

Liverpool: Dudek, Murphy (Heskey 66), Hyypia, Henchoz, Riise, Hamann, Gerrard, Berger, Carragher, Anelka (McAllister 85), Owen.

Subs not used: Kirkland, Wright, Litmanen.

Booked: Hamann.

Goals: Riise 68.

Attendance: 38,132

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol).

BBC football correspondent Mike Ingham
"The game that never took off"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We feel disappointed and should have won"
Liverpool assistant boss Phil Thompson
"We thoroughly deserved a point"
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