Skrtel rescues point for Liverpool in draw with Arsenal

Liverpool, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin Skrtel's late stoppage-time goal saved a point for 10-man Liverpool on Sunday as the Reds earned a 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Anfield.

Both clubs entered Sunday's clash coming off impressive wins with Arsenal knocking off Newcastle United, 4-1, last weekend, while Liverpool advanced to the semifinals of the League Cup with a 3-1 defeat of Bournemouth away from home.

Liverpool had the better of the play for the duration of the first half, keeping around 60 percent of possession and pinging the ball around nicely.

The Reds finally got their reward on the stroke of halftime.

Jordan Henderson got the play started by collecting the ball on the right side of the pitch and sliding it across to Philippe Coutinho, who smashed it low off the left post and in.

But the Gunners responded almost immediately, hitting the Reds where they are most vulnerable -- a set piece. Arsenal lined up for a free kick on the right side of the box and the Reds failed to clear their lines as the second ball was headed to the back post, where Mathieu Debuchy nodded it home.

The Gunners then took the lead with 25 minutes to play when Santi Cazorla chased down a loose ball on the end line and played it into the box for Olivier Giroud, who calmly fired it between the legs of Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones.

Things then became more difficult for the Reds when substitute Fabio Borini was booked twice in 16 minutes, reducing the home side to 10 men.

The fourth official indicated nine minutes of added time resulting from an injury to Skrtel earlier in the half, and it was the Slovakian defender who played hero in the seventh minute of stoppage time when he nodded home an Adam Lallana cross to earn a point for the Reds.

The result takes Liverpool into 10th place on 22 points heading into the busy holiday period, while Arsenal remain in sixth place on 27 points.

Sunday's other Premier League fixture saw Sunderland edge Newcastle United, 1-0, in the latest edition of the heated Tyne-Wear derby at St. James Park.

Both sides have had up-and-down campaigns thus far. Sunderland entered the match riding a six-match winless run in Premier League play, while Newcastle United had lost two straight entering Sunday.

But the form books go out the window when these two sides meet, and as many derby matches go, it was a tight affair from the outset.

The match featured four yellow cards in the first 25 minutes, but the deciding goal didn't come until the 90th minute with an excellent counter-attack by the Black Cats.

Following a Newcastle corner kick, the visiting side set sail down the pitch on the break and William Buckley collected a long cross-field pass on the right side of the penalty area.

He took a quick touch to settle and laid it off to Adam Johnson, who blasted it past rookie Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick for the winning strike.

The result lifts Sunderland to 14th place in the Premier League on 19 points, while Newcastle stays in ninth place with 23 points.