A Night To Remember Not Four-get At Anfield

Liverpool 4 – 4 Arsenal

0 – 1 Arshavin(36)
1 – 1 Torres (49)
2 – 1 Benayoun (56)
2 – 2 Arshavin (67)
2 – 3 Arshavin (70)
3 – 3 Torres (72)
3 – 4 Arshavin (90)
4 – 4 Benayoun (90)

Arsene said after the match that he was ‘half happy’. Little doubt that the other half of him was relieved, for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that a ‘1’ could quite easily have been inserted before the ‘4’ in the Liverpool score were it not for an outstanding display under the circumstances by Lukasz Fabianski. Strange as it seems, the Pole had a blinding first half where he wiped away any doubts he had about his abilities with a string of excellent saves that allowed Arsenal to enter the interval with a goal advantage. Arshavin is garnering the headlines but it would a close call for Man of the Match.

Four goals away from home is no mean feat yet it is tinged with disappointment. To have held the lead three times – the last with barely two minutes remaining on the clock – and to walk away with one point is something that Wenger and the squad will regret. That Arsenal were battered for an hour and deserved to be trailing will temper that somewhat.

Liverpool started brightly and were able to dominate possession. Fabianski was called into action early on with a ‘routine’ save from Torres. Shortly afterwards, he had rolled back the years, diving at Benayoun’s feet in a manner that Bob Wilson would have been proud of. It was to set the mark for the game. Where Fabianski scores highly is his ability to ‘forget’ mistakes quickly. Make a hash of a cross? No problem – the next one is connected with.

When Fabianski was beaten, Nasri and Gibbs both popped up with timely interventions. I felt sorry for Gibbs all evening. He was exposed on the left, Liverpool regularly doubling up on him to get around the back and deliver a threat from the wings. To his credit, he did not let it ‘get’ to him and continued to fight until the last minute. Fortunately for Arshavin, he scored four goals for his all round contribution to the game was lacking. The flipside of that coin though is that the Russian did exactly what he was purchased for; scoring.

Unfortunately for him, his part in the fiasco that led to Liverpool’s second was punished. Silvestre, under pressure, played a poor backpass to Fabianski. He then was pressurised and played a poor pass to Gibbs, the stands a better option, surely? Gibbs then was pressurised and Kuyt repeated his cross for the equaliser when he capitalised on a poor Sagna clearance. Both goals avoidable from that perspective.

Liverpool will no doubt feel the same about the Arsenal goals. The first was a good team goal. Fabregas and Nasri both tackled Mascherano hard to dispossess him before working a neat passing move to free the Spaniard on the right for an excellent cross for Arshavin to score. He followed that by capitalising on a mistake by Arbeloa to drill home a fierce drive across Reina.

By this time the match became increasingly manic. Liverpool once more dominated possession and created some dangerous situations although tending to rely upon set pieces. Yet it was Arsenal who took the lead, Arshavin punishing sloppy defensive work in the hosts penalty area.

It was not the end of matters though. Walcott broke from a Liverpool corner and found the ideal pass to Arshavin who proved that he has technique his English counterparts can only dream of, by leathering the ball home with his left foot.

At that point, the game should have been closed out, even with a makeshift defence. Yet, as in last season’s Champions League, we failed to do so. On that occasion, the defence was considerably stronger in make-up than last night so the usual criticisms are being fielded. There is an element of truth in that. The current squad lack that crucial aspect of the game on occasion and that is the key. There are momentary lapses but to lay the blame entirely at the door of Silvestre is not correct. Collectively, there were mistakes but this quartet has probably not taken the field together before; that takes time together to adjust to.

One man who set an example to them all was Toure. Whatever ailed him on his return from last year’s African Cup of Nations has worked through his system and his performance last night was reminiscent of those that made him one of the best defenders in the world. He was everywhere, blocking, tackling at times like a whirling dervish.

A good point, tempered by the knowledge it could have been more. Even so, a confidence building result given the exit from the FA Cup at the weekend. More importantly, players are returning to fitness at the right time ahead of the Champions League clashes with United. Anyone worried by them should not. There is enough quality in this squad for progression to the final.

For those interested in a Liverpool perspective on last night, cross over to Have You Ever Been To Liverpool. ’til Tomorrow.

536 thoughts on “A Night To Remember Not Four-get At Anfield

  1. Alex says:

    Good one Muppet. If the Chelsea supporting hack’s website had a comment section, it would be the single most expletive ridden one in blighty.

    He is a leech. Writes about our club and manager is an agenda suiting himself and whoever it is who can pay him to maintain his lifestyle.

  2. OneOfUs says:

    Feliç Sant Jordi!

    Cervantes and Shakespeare died today.

    So boys and girls swap presents here. It used to be that boys got books and the girls red roses, but now both sexes receive books – and the girls still get to have a rose as well.

  3. Frank says:

    …I agree with Alex and ConsolsBob…

  4. Frank says:

    Thanks for the link, Muppet….at least some Arsenal supporters recognise a parasitic leech when they see one…sadly the hack dwarf is not the only blogsite which has been consistently running down the squad and players season upon season…the constant drip drip drip is bound to have an effect on the psyche of match day supporters…many of them think more of their right to write bile about the club than they do the manager and squad….strangely none of them seem to be able to deal with their own tactics being turned back upon them…f*cking arseholes is what I say….regardless of what boiled sprats mum may think…

  5. Danny says:

    It amuses me that so-called fans consider being entirely unsupportive as them being supportive.

    Here we are mostly fans of the current regime, certainly the current manager, but do we feel neither make mistakes? Do we never shake our head at a team selection or public statement?

    Course we bloody do, but then we dust ourselves off and move on, because that is how we choose to truly lend our support.

    We do not vigourously attack, boo and insult our own players, least of all our own young “making their way” players. Some call this a right to voice their opinions, that they are entitled by the fact they “support” the club (what a farcical argument!)

    Often these same so-called fans, declare they still “support” ths boss and are not requesting him be removed, yet they heckle every decision, abuse him and our players, because they have a right to voice their opinions of the club they “support”.

    If these people think they are creating an environment where a club can be a success, they are seriously deluded.

    That is my role as a supporter.

  6. Danny says:

    Out of interest how much credit does Wenger get for signing Arshavin?

    When the arm-chair twats had us signing half a dozen other battlers, defenders and defensive midfielders alike, when the pundits declared we do not need him, we have ten a penny of the lad already. When the rest of Europe decided not to persue an interest.

    None, he’s now everyone’s favourite player and how unforgivable that he does not start a game.

    Breaking News : We have found a new stick to beat the gaffer with.

    I mean rightfully voice our opinion for the club and manager we “support”.

  7. Frank says:

    …to illustrate the point…if the game on Tuesday had been played at the Arsenal stadium…half the Arsenal supporters would have left when it was 3-3….only 10,000 would have been left to applaud the players off the pitch….and because the Scousers scored last…wouldn’t mind betting that one or two would have booed…

    ….more or less happened in the home game….the atmosphere was great to start with….it reached a crescendo with the booing of Liverpool…we do booing rather well….and then petered out becuase lots of people started thinking about catching their trains and having their tea….

  8. Danny says:

    I started my 10:45 rant/post with –

    “It amuses me that so-called fans……”

    What I meant to say is – “It royally f%cks me off that so-called fans…..”

    That’s better.

  9. Frank says:

    …oh AW only bought AA because of the blogs, Danny….didn’t you know?…and even then he didn’t buy him when they told him….half of them are still after what they call a f*cking DM as well…

  10. Frank says:

    …well corrected, Danny…it reads better now…

  11. Danny says:

    Frank,

    More breaking news: Arshavin dedicates his four goal salvo, to the blogs that brought him to the club and have made his integration into the Arsenal squad so seamless.

  12. Frank says:

    …it is interesting and very revealing that so many bloggers have already converted AA into a rod for AWs and the rest of squad’s backs….

  13. Aman says:

    Spoiled Brat,
    Pls take the time to DIGEST FULLY the words of Alex & Consolsbob earlier,

    make an HONEST assessment of your views as a gooner,

    tune in to your club’s economic operating philosophy that places developing the young over SELLING OUT one’s soul to the bankers of the New World Order

    while playing the kind of football people all over the world deserve to be watching in the 21st century (in their quest to remain sane & hopeful that this new reality isn’t just bullsh*t).

    And if you still do not get why Frank & ACLF’s other RASERS here have little patience for the selfish, tabloid-soaked, sellout D&Gers….?

    then just f**k off Spoiled Brat!!! U & SWP’s sellout dad!

  14. Luke says:

    On looking back the AA transfer might broken down by the brinkmanship played by both Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg

  15. Danny says:

    In reality, it does go something like –

    Thank God and well done for Gazidis, Kroenke and whoever really, for bringing the little Russian genius to the club.

    And pass me that stick so I can give that French F%cker another going over.

  16. Aman says:

    Frank & Danny…..RASER star gents!!!!

    wholeheartedly agree

  17. Frank says:

    Pope Gelasius said that George is one of the saints “whose names are rightly reverenced among us, but whose actions are known only to God.”….

    …..I suspect what he actually said, when asked what this George fellow had done, was…’God knows…George who?…I don’t know any Georges…’….the press and media were just as good at deliberately misinterpreting in the middle ages as they are now…

    ….with todays press and media….we should probably change the name of Englands patron saint to St Mandy….patron saint …or matron saint I should say…of teenage pregnancies..

  18. Frank says:

    …it is good to celebrate England though….England is a very good country…it must be because it has London in it….and London has got Arsenal in it…

  19. shotta-gunna says:

    Good morning ACLFers – from the sunny Caribbean.
    Frank – you are right
    Dannny – f*cking royally right
    Consol – damn right
    Luke – on the ball
    Muppet – funny right
    OleGunner – analytically right
    Frogman – brand new right

    Just thought I’d stick this to Spoiled Brat – another spoiled Arsenal fan who can’t stand the truth.

  20. Matt says:

    You have to be pretty stupid really to think that Arsene wasn’t behind the AA signing.

    Apart from the fact that he loves Arsenal, and wants to finish what he has started at our club, one of the major reasons why he will probably never go to manage a Real Madrid is the lack of control over player signings.

    There is no way AW didnt want Arshavin, and no way he would of had a player imposed on him by the board.

  21. Matt says:

    Mind you – he probably only signed him because certain blogs told him too, because they know 100% that AW reads them…. 😉

  22. frogman says:

    I am some what new here but it really bothers me when I read on other blogs and hear former players (Wright) complaining that AFC have won northing and it is unacceptable for a club of Arsenals stature to go this long without a trophy. I am the first to admit that Wenger has made his share of mistakes but if it was not for this man coming to our club in the first place then these spoilt brats that make these comments would have no substance to base there arguments on. I can recall some extremely long spells (up to 12 years) where we went without winning a trophy. These people and in particular Ian Wright need to shut their big mouths and respect and appreciate just what Wenger has bought to this club!!

  23. Alex says:

    Matt,

    My friend who who is AW’s housekeeper reliably informs me that AW would’nt dream of starting a day without a cup of piping hot columbian coffee enjoyed while reading and meditating over his daily LG post.

    On some days Mr. Wenger, the 3 time EPL winner and 4 time FA cup winner, takes a print out of the post and spends an hour underlining some salient parts of it with a flouroscent permanent marker.

  24. Aman says:

    AW clearly loves him some AA.
    If not before the Euros, definitely during.

    Once i read he said he didn’t think AA was strong enough to handle the EPL, I knew he wanted him bad!

    AA clearly loves the club too.
    A match made in heaven will always be disbelieved by the cynical loveless.

  25. shotta-gunna says:

    Alex @ 11:50 am – Brilliant!

    Thanks Ateeb, but I am not always right. For example – I wrote that our Big-4 game with Pool would be low-scoring. Just in case the Spoiled Brat goes back to Monday’s posts. LOL!

  26. Alex says:

    Well I sure hope you believe it Matt. Your avatar looks quite incredulous to me.

  27. team spirit says:

    hello people, it has been quite a while…

  28. team spirit says:

    Am also really marveled t the idea that AW had a player he didn’t want imposed on him

    And this coming from some people that believe AW has brown bigger than the club and has only desires imposed.

    Seriously baffling.

  29. Alex says:

    team spirit,

    Gazidis and Fiszman run the transfer policy at our club. Dont you read ANR?

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