Arsenal vs Liverpool
Champions League First Leg, The Emirates
It amazing how much excitement a build up to a game can be. This is it. The big one.
Both sides started very cagey, and Eboue starting badly (again), lacking ideas, lacking any bother to want to play. I won’t gone on about Eboue, but let’s just say we’ll all be happy to see the back of him.
The first 15 minutes was all about midfield play, we had possession but seemed nervous and cagey.
On the 20th minute, an amazing floated ball with pace (and a bit of back spin) saw Van Persie through, we all saw it happen, but Van Persie’s volley went high. Moments later, a good move from Eboue saw Cescy through who squared to Van Persie and a skidding effort saw Reina save and we won a corner. A short corner saw Van Persie whip it in. Ade jumped, pretty much unmarked and we were 1-0 up.
Arsenal 1 – 0 Liverpool
But the question is, when are you most vulnerable? The answer is when you score. Literally two minutes after the goal, silly play from Toure, Eboue and Flamini combined to let Gerrard in, who squared it for Kuyt, suddenly the clean sheet had gone.
Arsenal 1 - 1 Liverpool
The Emirates couldn’t believe it, the away goal had been conceded. We lost our cocentration. For the next ten minutes we looked a shadow of the team that just went 1-0 up. Eboue looked uninterested and Flamini started giving away fouls.
Liverpool seemed in control and when Flamini fouled Torres just outside the box, a big gulp – Gerrard crossed, Torres was free, Hypia was free… what on earth has happened. We need to sort this out.
But maybe if we weren’t going to sort it out, it would be Liverpool’s turn to start messing around. A few missed placed passes saw Hleb and Ade interchange and Ade (onside, even though he didn’t think he was) react late but the team started to gain it’s confidence back.
But before we knew it, the half time whistle blew. So cagey
Half time, Arsenal 1 – 1 Liverpool
Hold on wait a minute, half time news, Robin Van Persie’s injury nightmare continues. A l?eft thigh injury. He is subbed, Theo Walcott his replacement and playing on the left. Hleb is tucked behind Ade, 4-1-4-1.
First chance of the half fell to Liverpool. A foul on Torres by Senderos saw Gerrard whip in a free kick and Kuyt strike, with Almunia saving well and keeping hold of the ball.
We had a bit of interplay but weren’t passing well.
Commentators curse, but as soon as I said that we went onto a 10 minute spell of domination… quickly ended by a free kick on Walcott. Benayoun warming up.
A good break saw Walcott with an awesome shot… we were ready to score the second. It’s like we woke up. Good play on the right by Toure, good play on the left by Walcott. But Liverpool defended like dogs.
On the 65th, Walcott sent through by Ade, squared to Eboue, but no end result.
Then a mazy run by Hleb, past five players saw him through on goal. Pull downed in the area.
Blatant penalty. Not given. Definite penalty – Kuyt pulled him down.
Eboue off for Bendtner, thank God. 4-1-3-2.
Crazy football next, Bendtner to Ade, Ade to Bendtner, Cesc shoots, it’s going in – but Bendtner clears it off the line – you’ve got watch it… and then Bendtner got a flag for offside, with a player on the line. Damn these officials.
Come on Arsenal! Liverpool have done nothing but defend this half – but we need to score.
Possession, play, but we can’t find the second. Free kick after free kick. So dominant, but just can’t find the breakthrough.
We have really pressed this second half, with Cesc threading the balls through and Walcott showing promise.
Ten minutes to go… still 1-1.
Five minutes to go… still 1- 1…
Come on. Find that chance.
90 minutes… still 1 – 1… 3 minutes stoppage time.
A chance. Ade, in the air, Cesc header… save by Reina.
Can we squeeze out a winner – we look so tired.
Full time 1 -1.