Arsenal midfielder blamed for Liverpool’s comeback amid surprise statistic

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A moment of madness inspired Anfield to turn the game around when they really needed it.

Gary Neville slammed Granit Xhaka for waking up the Liverpool crowd during the extremely entertaining 2-2 draw at Anfield, as a moment of madness completely turned the game around - and the statistics from that point onwards couldn’t have been more telling.

Two early goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus saw the league leaders cruise to a two-goal lead as they looked in complete control heading towards half-time.

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With the home crowd lamenting another dismal home performance, the game turned in an instant in the 41st minute due to a confrontation between Xhaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold as both men collided and then went head-to-head before players from each team came in to separate the pair.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game, Gary Neville slammed his actions by saying: “When this crowd is sleeping, don’t wake them up. Leave them be. Xhaka woke the crowd up.”

It was described as ‘absolutely idiotic’ by Jamie Carragher in the post-match breakdown and those two points dropped have opened the door for Manchester City in the title race.

Both men received a yellow card but the incident fired up the home crowd and the players and suddenly the mood had completely changed.

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Directly after the incident, Arsenal all of a sudden were backtracking and Liverpool were level a minute later thanks to Mohamed Salah’s 42nd minute goal.

Up to that point, Jurgen Klopp’s side had only mustered four shots in total with none on target, as well as just shading the possession statistics with 52% - they also went onto create eight big chances across the 90 minutes.

Following the Xhaka booking they went onto have the lions share of the possession with 63% from the 41st minute onwards, as well as totalling 17 shots and six on target in a complete turnaround.

Xhaka’s misery was compounded even further when Ibrahim Konate tackled the midfielder aggressively, sending him flying through the air.

Perhaps Arsenal fans will look back to that moment of madness from Xhaka if they don’t manage to win the Premier League title.

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