Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby Rockin' Robin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:54 pm

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After only one game, we already have one of the images of the season. For Arsenal, at least.

The gloomy face of Pepe Reina would have brought a smile to every Arsenal fan's face, particularly since we'd just scored the flukiest goal you'll ever see to equalise in the last minute of normal time. Liverpool had gone down to 10 men just before half time, but after the break it was the home side who started the better, and indeed opened the scoring, through David NGog. On the 90 minute mark, substitute Tomas Rosicky swung in a cross, Marouane Chamakh got on the end of it ahead of Reina, but the Moroccan's touch saw the ball rebound off the post. No worries though, Pepe Reina found out the meaning of the word "karma", incredibly fumbling the ball into his own net.

It was a stunning moment. Just minutes before, Reina had produced a brilliant save to deny Rosicky a terrific equaliser, and then came up with an absolute moment of madness. Many Arsenal fans have despised Reina since the summer, when he proclaimed Cesc Fabregas as "The future of Barcelona", holding him tightly so he couldn't wriggle out of the Barcelona shirt that had been disrespectfully shoved over his head by Puyol and Pique.

We were pretty good first half. The biggest news was that Manuel Almunia started in goal, while Cesc Fabregas didn't even make the squad, with a chest infection. Jack Wilshere started his first league game for Arsenal in holding midfield alongside the ever-frustrating Abou Diaby, while Cesc's fellow World Cup finalist Robin van Persie, the club's new number 10, was only fit enough for the bench.

The back-line was the one you'd expect - Sagna, new boy Koscielny, Vermaelen and Clichy. Not like we had much choice anyway; Eboué, Sagna's competition at right back, was playing on the right of midfield, while the only other fit senior centre back was Havard Nordtveit, the inexperienced Norwegian. Some have called for Kieran Gibbs to replace Gael Clichy at left back, but the new England international started the game on the bench, and in my opinion, rightly so.

Alongside Eboué in an attacking trio behind the striker, Marouane Chamakh, were Samir Nasri in the centre, and Andrey Arshavin wide left. Chamakh started his first competitive game for Arsenal.

We began the new season wearing our new away kit, although not with the usual purple shorts; I guess some officials thought they would clash with Liverpool's red, so we lined up in an all yellow strip.

The first half-chance we had was a free kick some 35 yards away from the Liverpool goal. The distance didn't discourage Thomas Vermaelen, whose transition from unknown signing to fans favourite in just a single season is a heartwarming one for Arsenal fans, and the Belgian centre back drove the ball at the goal, past the wall, but not past Reina, who fisted the ball away.

Nasri took the next free kick, but disappointingly struck the wall, having curled in superbly from a similar position in pre-season. Vermaelen drilled the rebound wide, and it was another half-chance gone. Clichy, who lashed in an absolutely sensational goal at Members Day, then had a go from range, but his effort fizzed just over the bar.

Liverpool's new signing Milan Jovanovic fashioned a chance with the help of Joe Cole with about 10 minutes left of the first half. Cole was miles offside, so the Arsenal defence stopped, but Cole made sure he didn't interfere with play, walking away from the Arsenal goal, and Jovanovic was on the same wavelength, sprinting onto the ball, but luckily his shot from a tight angle veered way off target.

David NGog then came closest, having a header cleared off the line by Gael Clichy, who showed the importance of having a player on each post for set pieces. As Sky were showing the replay, the camera cut back to the game in time to see Laurent Koscielny writhing on the floor, with Arsenal fans outraged at whatever had just happened. It turned out that Joe Cole had lunged in to block the ball, missed it and locked Koscielny's standing leg between his two legs. It was clearly a red card offence, and Martin Atkinson saw sense, brandishing a straight red card without hesitation.

Koscielny was stretchered off just before half time, but remarkably made it back out for the second half, showing real determination and drive, which is something fans always appreciate. However, what we didn't appreciate was going a goal down just a minute into the second half, especially against ten men. Jack Wilshere gave the ball to Mascherano, who found NGog, who took a touch before lashing the ball past the help(/use)less Manuel Almunia.

Rosicky and Walcott then came on for Wilshere and Eboue. With Rosicky's introduction in particular, Arsenal were starting to carve out some half chances. Vermaelen headed over from a Rosicky cross, Walcott had a free kick turned around the post by Reina, and Nasri had a blasted 25 yard effort blocked almost as soon as it had left his foot.

Arsene Wenger used his last roll of the dice, bringing on Robin van Persie, hoping the Dutchman would make the difference. A deep cross into the Liverpool area looked to have gone off, but somehow RVP10 rescued what had seemed a lost cause, but, surrounded by three or four Liverpool players, Theo Walcott was unable to turn the ball into the net.

It seemed like all the Arsenal players were unable to do so, actually. Tomas Rosicky charged towards the Liverpool area, exchanged passes with Marouane Chamakh, danced past two players, but his curling shot was incredibly tipped over by Reina. It just looked as if nobody could get the ball into the Liverpool net.

In the end, there was one man who could. Tomas Rosicky sent a dangerous cross into the area, and with Reina unsure, Chamakh launched himself into the air. Whatever body part it was, the ball bounced off of Chamakh, and onto the post. With the Moroccan's momentum having taken him away from the Liverpool goal, he was unable to turn it back in, and all seemed lost. Until Pepe Reina fumbled the ball into his own net. 1-1. Brilliant.

We still had to keep Liverpool out for the 5 added minutes. Luckily we did, surviving some nervy corners and attacks from Roy Hodgson's side. Somehow, we came away from Anfield with a point. With no Song, Fabregas, Bendtner, Ramsey, and Van Persie for the majority of the game, it wasn't a bad result at all.
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby Reverend Gooner » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:00 pm

Good report mate and I agree that Clichy's performance validated his place ahead of Gibbs.
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby Gould » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:21 pm

good report sam. i really enjoyed that. but only thing that i didnt like was the sly dig at almunia. he was helpless for the goal wasnt his fault. past the help(/use)less Manuel Almunia other than that and missing out his freekick save. good report:D
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby Fabrestuta » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:47 pm

Nice job RR. Well written mate.
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby mg86 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:04 am

These pictures are real nice looking. Good right up TMG :sneaky:
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby Bristol_Gunner » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:34 am

Reverend Gooner wrote:Good report mate and I agree that Clichy's performance validated his place ahead of Gibbs.


I do agree but I felt that Clichy was a beaten a little too easily sometimes.
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby mg86 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:34 am

Bristol_Gunner wrote:
Reverend Gooner wrote:Good report mate and I agree that Clichy's performance validated his place ahead of Gibbs.


I do agree but I felt that Clichy was a beaten a little too easily sometimes.

No matter, he almost ripped one top bar. At least he always seems willing to have a go.
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Re: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Postby J-Mack » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:16 am

Gould wrote:good report sam. i really enjoyed that. but only thing that i didnt like was the sly dig at almunia. he was helpless for the goal wasnt his fault. past the help(/use)less Manuel Almunia other than that and missing out his freekick save. good report:D


He got beaten at his near post. Yeah he wasn't at fault for the goal but it was still pissy poor.
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