Neither Liverpool nor Arsenal deserve to win with dire defences: Neil Humphreys
(Philippe Coutinho 45, Martin Skrtel 90+7)
(Mathieu Debuchy 45+2, Olivier Giroud 64)
1 ARSENAL STIFFER THAN DUMMIES
Pundit Gary Neville compared the static Gunners to mannequins. That was a slur on mannequins. Even mannequins move occasionally in a drafty breeze.
Arsenal were insipid, timid in the tackle and terrified to really try anything.
They played within themselves, seemingly struggling with the psychological hangover from that humiliating 5-1 defeat in February.
But, if that's the reality, it barely qualifies as an excuse.
Arsenal sleepwalk through too many matches against credible opposition. Put simply, the Gunners are gutless against the big boys.
How Arsene Wenger must crave the fortitude of Arsenal's famous back four or a smidgeon of the Invincibles' perspiration.
The current crop are heavy on talent, but light on temperament, scared of their own shadows.
In the past, Wenger relied on Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry to rally a flagging dressing room.
But he has filled the squad with mercurial, diminutive midfielders who cower in the most cavernous stadiums. At Anfield, they went into hiding.
2 REDS WIN DIRE DEFENCE BATTLE
In the battle of dire defences, both sides deservedly failed to prevail.
No matter how hard they tried, neither Liverpool nor Arsenal could throw away all three points, such was the defensive ineptitude of the opposition.
But Liverpool were the greater sinners.
Despite being spectacularly mediocre, the Gunners were presented an equaliser from an innocuous free-kick and then found a second with their only coherent attack of the game.
Martin Skrtel jumped with all the conviction of a newborn kitten for the first and lost Olivier Giroud for the second.
If his 97th-minute equaliser belonged in a comic book, his defending belonged in a farcical sitcom.
And Brad Jones might wonder how Mathieu Debuchy was allowed to reach a cross that took an eternity to reach him, just six metres from goal.
Brendan Rodgers certainly will. The transfer window cannot come soon enough.
He needs a goalkeeper and a centre back to improve his defensive spine.
Wenger just needs a centre back and some backbone.
3 ARSENAL'S MIDFIELD WENT AWOL
Watching Arsenal's midfield was like watching Sonny Corleone infamously getting shot on the causeway in The Godfather. They were both full of holes.
Wenger vowed to plug the central gaps that the Reds drilled through in February, but Mathieu Flamini was a weak gamekeeper.
He frequently went AWOL when the lively Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic came poaching.
Only Liverpool's powder-puff attack stopped the home side from putting the game to bed.
Flamini is no longer the imposing force he once was. He was simply sidestepped, offering less bang than a lame Christmas cracker.
Alexis Sanchez was isolated, but deserves some slack after carrying the Gunners in recent weeks.
But Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was alarmingly anonymous, barely touching the ball in the opening hour.
Giroud may be the more reliable finisher, but Danny Welbeck looked lost on the left.
His most significant contribution was to clumsily lose possession before the opening goal.
Ironically, Wenger has stuffed his squad with midfielders. Most of them went missing at Liverpool. They can captivate, but they seldom command games.
4 REDS STING LIKE BUTTERFLIES
Last week, David de Gea covered for a multitude of Liverpool sins that were painfully exposed again yesterday morning (Singapore time).
For a dominant period in the first half, the Reds managed almost 90 per cent possession against Arsenal, a remarkable statistic.
During the same period, the Reds failed to muster a decent shot on goal, an even more remarkable statistic.
Against Man United, Liverpool's panicky forward line made a great goalkeeper look imperious.
They gave the Spaniard a chance to make saves in a way that the ruthless Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge never did. But at least de Gea made saves.
Wojciech Szczesny endured a more strenuous workout in his pre-match stretching. The front three of Philippe Coutinho, Lallana and Raheem Sterling offered all the collective menace of nervous pre-teens on prom night.
They're clean-cut, cute and attractive, but the night usually ends in anti-climax.
Coutinho's goal was intricate, aesthetic and all too rare at Anfield. They are pretty without being penetrative.
Liverpool are not short on balletic, graceful performers. What they lack are bludgeoning brutes, a bit like that pony-tailed prancer currently bulldozing defences at Upton Park.
5 NO HEAD FOR HEIGHTS
Skrtel should not have lost Debuchy in the air. Skrtel should not have scored a dramatic equaliser in the 97th minute.
Neither side defend crosses with the kind of consistency required for legitimate top-four contenders.
Skrtel's bravery and Per Mertesacker's experience failed to compensate for their defence's aerial incompetence.
Unchallenged headers inside the penalty box are the essential ingredients of the pub team football that Gary Neville is so fond of mocking.
Dramatic comebacks cannot mask the cartoonish defending.
The inept marking, chasing and harrying made for less top-flight football and more Tom and Jerry.
But Wenger and Rodgers should shed no tears for the clowns.
Come next month, they must replace them.
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of shots Liverpool had against Arsenal - the most the Gunners have faced in any Premier League game since August 2003.
36.5 per cent
Arsenal's ball possession percentage against Liverpool. The figure is another Premier League low for the Gunners (2003 to present) as they simply couldn't retrieve the ball from a busy but frequently inaccurate Liverpool team.