Liverpool 4 – 4 Arsenal Arshavin 36, 67, 70, 90 Wow, that was a seriously crazy football game yesterday. In a decent reaction from Arsene, he named the strongest line up he could, which saw Arshavin and Song restored to the starting line-up and with Sagna recovering from flu, we had some more strength at the back. A 4-5-1 was deployed with Nasri on the right replacing Walcott the only real change. A little surprising as we know what Walcott in capable of, but at the moment, Arsene is trying to keep everyone fresh, whilst getting results, as he attempts to win the Champions League. The line up was:
Sagna – Toure – Silvestre – Gibbs
Denilson – Song
Nasri – Cesc – Arshavin
It was a tough game and Liverpool, no doubt, were up for it. They came out of the blocks firing and were biting at our heals all game. Torres was very dangerous and with Benayoun having a free role, the tenacity of the Liverpool team did pose a problem. We rarely had a chance to venture forward but, our only shot on goal was a goal, when Nasri and Cesc combined well to steal the ball on the edge of the area and set up Arshavin for an emphatic tap in.
We went into the half 1-0 up and it was all Liverpool after the break – they went 2-1 up quickly with goals through Torres and then Benayoun. At that point, the result or any result looked dubious as Liverpool were really on fire, but then a great peice of pressure by Arshavin on the Liverpool defence saw him nick the ball and shoot an incredible shot past Reina to make it 2 – 2. 3 minutes later, some great work by Nasri and Arshavin saw the ball swing over to Bendtner and the Liverpool clearance fell to Arshavin who shot low and hard to make it 3-2 to the Arsenal.
But within 2 minutes, Torres swivelled and shot pasted Silvestre and Fabianski and it was level again. But on the stroke of full time, Walcott broke and found Arshavin, one on one with the keeper and the Russian finished with aplomb with his left past the Liverpool keeper. There was still time for Liverpool to equalise through Benayoun against a very shaky back line.
All in all, a crazy game – am I happy? Am I sad? I just don’t know. The only question I have is why didn’t Arshavin play against Chelsea? I’m surprise no-one has asked Arsene that!
Okay, here’s what Arsene said:
“I believe it was a game of a frenetic pace, and of top quality. Both teams created many chances and you can see when you play on a good pitch you can play football in the Premier League. Apart from that we are half-happy because we scored four goals but we are half-unhappy because we conceded four. As well, to be 4-3 up with two minutes to go, the team is disappointed. It was another great performance tonight and Liverpool maybe thought a draw was a fair result.
“The big regret we have is that 10 minutes into the second half we a 2-1 down, but not from something created by Liverpool; from balls we didn’t clear properly from the back.”
“Arshavin can play everywhere, like all great players. He scored four goals but it was at the end of good combination play. He has tricks and a short back-lift and that makes him very dangerous.
“It shows he has a good left foot, but in full confidence he can be relaxed enough to take the goal anyway. I have been in this job a long time and not many players get four goals in a top game like that. I didn’t expect him to do that – he has scored seven in seven games.”
“It is still very open. It depends on what kind of form Manchester United find because they had a bit of a problem before the interruption of the Champions League so we will see how they come back against Portsmouth.”
“I never doubted the character of my players. The fact they came into the dressing room very, very disappointed says a lot about their character. It shows they wanted to win and that we go for it every time. It takes quality to respond like we did today, only three days after the [FA Cup].”
“He was fantastic in the first half but struggled a bit more in the second because I believe we were less dominant from crosses. But overall, Fabianski had a god performance.”
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun, Kuyt (El Zhar 86), Riera (Babel 74), Torres. Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Lucas, Ngog, Skrtel. Goals: Torres 49, Benayoun 56, Torres 72, Benayoun 90. Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Arshavin, Song, Fabregas, Denilson (Walcott 65), Nasri, Bendtner (Diaby 90). Subs Not Used: Mannone, Eduardo, Vela, Ramsey, Eboue. Booked: Sagna. Goals: Arshavin 36, 67, 70, 90. Att: 44,424 Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).]]>