LONDON: Old Trafford has become a theatre of bad dreams for Liverpool.

Three weeks ago their dream of an FA Cup-winning farewell for Jurgen Klopp was dashed in a chaotic 4-3 defeat. Now it has seen their Premier League lead vanish. A 2-2 draw with an inferior but spirited Manchester United allowed Arsenal to draw level on points and overtake on goal difference. Champions Manchester City sit one point behind.

The clash was everything this duel deserved but Klopp will be furious that his team allowed United to escape for a draw which could prove crucial when the final points are tallied up in May. They had only themselves to blame.

Mo Salah: Put Liverpool ahead

Klopp said: “We cost ourselves some problems. In the first half they had no shots on target so 1:0 was the lowest of all possible results. We made a mistake – well executed by Bruno Fernandes – and then the stadium’s come alive. We needed a few minutes to settle and they scored another wonderful goal but then we found a way back.

“I know people on the outside will see it as two points lost but I see that we have a point more than we had this morning against a team who always put in an extra shift against us. We have to build on that and we will deal with that in the right way. I’m not over the mooon but it’s OK.”

United made the expected lively start before Liverpool took control and went ahead through Luis Diaz after a right-wing corner. Mo Salah and Conor Bradley wasted opportunities for what would have been a deserved second goal. Instead, a moment of madness four minutes into the second half presented United with an equaliser.

A terrible square pass from Jarell Quansah in midfield presented Bruno Fernandes with the chance to shoot beyond the advanced Caoimhín Kelleher from 40 metres. United’s captain could not have chosen a better moment for his 50th Premier goal.

Klopp sought new vigour by replacing Bradley and Dominik Szoboslai with Joe Gomez and Curtis Jones. Instead United struck again. England youngster Kobbie Mainoo swivelled on the edge of the penalty box to shoot beyond Keller’s left hand. A furious Klopp’s arms flew in all directions in the technical area.

Liverpool fought admirably to regain their composure and equalised with a Salah penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka tripped Harvey Elliott. Salah’s 14th goal against Liverpool’s greatest modern rivals was deserved but not enough to spark a winning finish.

City were back to their attacking best in the 4-2 victory away to Oliver Glasner’s Crystal Palace. Kevin de Bruyne was magnificent, scoring twice and laying on Erling Haaland’s first goal in four appearances. De Bruyne marked his 250th league appearance with his 99th and 100th goal for the club in all competitions.

Manager Pep Guardiola said: “The numbers, presence, consistency have been amazing. He is one of the best players in the history of Man City. The goals, assists, the lot.”

However Guardiola warned again about the problems posed by a busy schedule in trying to match last season’s treble and secure a historic fourth successive league title. He said: “We want to fight and we are going to try but you need everyone fresh and complete. At the same time, there’s an incredible mindset among the players.”

City will need that mindset not only for the title race but also against Real in Madrid tomorrow.

Arsenal extended the superiority of their goal difference to +51 with a 3:0 win against Brighton on the south coast. Kai Havertz proved decisive again at centre-forward after Bukayo Saka had converted a penalty for the opening goal in the 33rd minute. He scored the second goal and provided the assist for a third from substitute Leandro Trossard.

Havertz thus took his statistics to 10 goals and five assists in all competitions this season. Arteta said: “A lot of times the players decide where they have to play. You can have certain ideas but then you see certain relationship flows. That’s what is happening with Kai. He feels really comfortable at No9.

“His overall performances have been really good and his understanding with the attacking players was superb.”