Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal: Freddie Ljungberg leads Europa League comeback


Arsenal produced an impressive comeback to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege on Thursday night.

After a terrible run of form that saw Unai Emery sacked and Freddie Ljungberg given a harsh introduction to management, it seems as though the Gunners have finally turned a corner.

However, you wouldn't have guessed before the closing stages of the game because, in spite of their form-changing win at West Ham on Monday, Liege started much the better team.

And they eventually bagged the opening goal of the game, moving into a 1-0 lead just after half-time when Samuel Bastien's ambitious shot took a deflection off Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Things got even worse in the 69th minute, though, when Selim Amallah found the bottom corner and gave the faintest of hopes that Liege could amass the five goals they needed.

Arsenal top their group

But just as Arsenal looked to have devolved back into their horrific form, they finally showed some fight and Alexandre Lacazette led the comeback with a header in the 78th minute.

Then, just a few moments later, it was the turn of 18-year-old Bukayo Saka to strike for the Gunners and he drew the game level with a fine finish from outside the penalty area.

Nevertheless, Arsenal's failure to secure a victory in Belgium didn't matter in the end.

Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a defeat at home to Vitoria to drop short of top spot, meaning that Arsenal enter the round of 32 with the chance of a favourable draw.

What next for the Gunners?

With the likes of Inter Milan and Ajax dropping down into the Europa League, the knockout stages will mark a considerable step up in quality and Arsenal will be thankful to avoid the big guns.

However, if the Gunners are to secure Champions League qualification through the back door, then it goes without saying that they'll need to up their game against the tougher sides.

Coming back from 2-0 down against Liege might have been enough tonight, but that sort of performance will see them crushed when it's crunch time.