With the visitor’s looking a spent force the game entered its final minute and an embarrassing mistake by Reds keeper Pepe Reina handed the Gunners an unexpected share of the spoils.
Liverpool had been reduced to ten men on the stroke of a fairly tepid first half when Joe Cole, playing his first Premier League game for his new club, was dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson for a rash challenge on Arsenal debutant Laurent Koscielny.
Within two minutes of the restart the hosts took the lead as David Ngog fired home after being set up by Javier Mascherano.
With Arsenal struggling to make their extra man count Reina seemed to be dazzled by the sun and fumbled the ball over the line as it came back off a post.
Steven Gerrard almost restored the lead with a free kick in an eventful last couple of minutes and there was still time for Koscielny to receive a harsh second yellow for an early bath.
02 G Johnson
08 Gerrard (yellow card)
10 J Cole (red card)
20 Mascherano (Lucas 78)
14 Jovanovic (Maxi 65)
24 Ngog (Torres 74)
06 Laurent Koscielny (yellow card, red card)
27 Eboue (Walcott 59)
02 Diaby (Van Persie 76)
19 Wilshereyellow card (Rosicky 60 yellow card)
17 A Song,
10 Van Persie,
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistant referees: Peter Kirkup & Stephen Child
Fourth official: Phil Dowd