Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool

League Cup 4th Round
Wednesday 28 October 2009 - 7:45 pm
Emirates Stadium
Show Match Events
26'Insua ⚽️
Hide Match Events

A stubborn Liverpool side were beaten by London opposition in the League Cup once again, in a match where Alberto Aquilani made his first-team debut.

Arsenal started off the game with some quick, fluid passing – but the match was relatively even until Fran Merida opened the scoring  for Arsenal with a shot that went in off the post.

Liverpool responded almost immediately through Emiliani Insua, who lashed a dipping screamer past Fabianski from 25-yards out. Some would argue that it’s one of the best strikes they’ve ever seen, and it certainly wouldn’t be a exaggeration.

It was a very open game, which Rafa wouldn’t have been particularly pleased about. Both defences looked shaky and vulnerable, and at the same time the attacking play looked sharp and accurate.

Arsenal continued with their incisive play, and soon hit the Reds on the counter-attack, with Ramsey playing Gibbs through – only for Skrtel to head the danger away at the last minute. It was definitely a good piece of defending by the Slovakian centre-back.

As half-time edged nearer, Arsenal started to gain momentum – and set about trying to convert their possession into goals as Cavalieri missed a cross. The Gunners and the Reds got mixed up in a huge goal-mouth struggle, and eventually it fell to Bendtner, who shot straight at the Brazilian shot-stopper.

Liverpool began the second-half in the ascendancy, dominating possession for the first few minutes – until they were dealt a sucker punch by Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs played a through-ball for Nicklas Bendtner, who gratefully fired it into the roof of the net.

Liverpool pressed for an equaliser, and eventually won a free-kick 25-yards out. Up step Ryan Babel, who fired a low drive which headed for the bottom-left hand corner – but Fabianski made a crucial save, and held on to it. If there was one good thing that the Dutchman managed to do all game, then that was it.

Just minutes later Dirk Kuyt squared another ball to Babel, who, 3-yards out, missed a complete sitter and a golden opportunity to put Liverpool right back in the game. It just wasn’t Babel’s day.

On the 75-minute mark, Aquilani was introduced to the Emirates and almost immeditely made an impact. The Italian played a raking 60-yard diagonal pass through to Degen who was charging down the right flank. The Swiss latched on to it and squared the ball for Babel, only for the Dutchman to turn the wrong way and loss possession deep in the Arsenal box.

The Reds pressed for an equaliser towards the end, booting the ball upfield in search of a black shirt. After several attacks there was a scramble on the edge of the Arsenal area. Aquilani found the loose ball and tried an ambitious overhead kick – which hit Senderos straight on the arm.

Penalty? It wasn’t given, but it so easily could have been.

In the end though, the Gunners held out for the win. Liverpool meanwhile, go out earlier than they should again.

Post Match Comments

Rafael Benitez:

“I haven’t seen it but Aquilani told me it was a penalty.

“Anyway, you can’t change it now.

“It’s disappointing to have lost but we saw some quality and it was a good game with chances for both teams.

“Aquilani showed quality – his match fitness is something he can only improve by playing games.

“Hopefully he can have a big impact on our season.”


Liverpool: Cavalieri, Insua, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos, Degen, Babel, Plessis, Spearing, Kuyt (c), Voronin, Ngog.

Subs: Reina, Aquilani, Benayoun, Darby, Dossena, Eccleston, Ayala

Arsenal: Fabianski, Gibbs, Senderos, Silvestre (c), Gilbert, Merida, Ramsey, Eastmond, Nasri, Bendtner, Eduardo.

Subs: Bartley, Coquelin, Frimpong, Randall, Sunu, Szczesny, Watt

Attendance: 60,004

Ref: Alan Wiley

Our Man of the Match

Philipp Degen looked pretty good bombing down the right-hand side. Both his attacking and defending play were superb. Hope to see more of him in the future.

15 comments on
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool

  1. It is crap and looks to be a bit bias however we shouldn’t moan should we ? The team should just learn to be more resilient at these places and just get on with things rather than always moan at our favor. To the outside this would just look like sour grapes anyway although i do see your point and especially with the tough away starts to every season.

    • Totally agree, but I think it needs to be remembered that winning any cup competition largely depends on the luck of the draw, a real cliche I know, but it’s the europe thing intrigues me becuase the on;y certainty in that competition is that we’ll get Chelsea. It’s no secret Platini hates us after what happened at Heysel and then after the final in Athens in 2007 he called our fans the worst in europe. Would it be any surprise if he had it in for us? You’re right in what you say, it does sound like sour grapes and yes the best way to deal with rubbish fixtures is to just win them. I don’t genuinely think the fixtures are ‘fixed’but in this day and age nothing would surprise me. You can argue that Chelsea have had rotten draws in the CL cos they’ve had to face us every year, but then again Chelsea are another club Platini has villified becuase of their wealth. Just a thought.

  2. This may mean absolutely nothing, but has anyone ever wondered why we’ve been away from home on the opening day of the season for the last 6 consecutive years? Why we’ve been drawn against Chelsea in the CL for the last 5 consecutive years, amassing a total of 11 games against English opposition in europe over the past 5 seasons, including 2 games against Arsenal? More than any other English club. Why is it that for the last 3 straight seasons we’ve been drawn away from home in the lge cup against London opposition, a city we never seem to do that well in? Arsenal this year, Spurs last year, Chelsea the year before. I think we’re long overdue a lucky draw in something!

    • Are you suggesting that the fixtures are fixed or something!!.If so then i suggest you learn the difference between Footie and WWE!!!

  3. We should have got something out of this one having dominated much of the match but they also made us chase shadow’s at times.Aquilani looked the business with some sexy footwork so i’m really hopeful that we’re on a winner here despite Arsene speaking out of his ar$e when having a go at him most probably because his approach was rejected.

    Said it before and will do so again that we need a quality forward to partner or replace Torres because i’ve totally given up on Babel now who should have equalised but missed yet another sitter.We should count our losses and get this fella’s of our books now,for sure he’s had his chances but failed every time…

    For F sake the media going on about Wenger’s youngsters as if they crushed us when on chances created we should have won the match,the biased media never give us any credit but we should be used to it by now still an objective analysis equals good journalism.Insua looked good but i was especially impressed by Degen who in my opinion looks really threatening when going forward so deserves a chance.

  4. As expected we lost but considering the team we had out we didnt do too bad.We could have have won it with a bit more quality in attack.
    Sorry Jay Spearing is too light weight and no strength in his out of area shots also off target by a mile.
    Aquilani looked ok lets see what hes like in the first team.
    Lets forget this one and win at Fulham.

  5. I thought for long periods of this game we were the better side. It’s an awful feeling to lose but I came away from the game feeling really positive. If we’d have had a little bit more incision up front we could have well won by a handsome score, and we were unlucky not to have a penalty at the end. I don’t want to get carried away but I think Aquilani looks quality. You can tell from the few touches he had last night that he ould be a really promising player. On a more sour note, I cannot believe the negativity in the media following this game. The focus has been on Arsenal’s wonderful youngsters and their sublime football (that has won them nothing in 5 years) and how much more pressure the result heaps on us! I used to think the mere suggestion of media conspiracies was nonsense. Then I hear this morning that Geoff Powell from the Mail has named Ferguson and Busby as number 1 and 2 respectively in the list of all time British managers? Someone tell me why Utd have had so many of their former players / managers knighted and we haven’t had anyone receive a royal tap on the shoulder, drespite still being Britains most successful club. Everyone’s a Manc these days it would seem.

    • Ye i was angry to read the stupid comments of the media and if im being honest i can only remember four short periods of the game that the ‘wizzkids’ put us under real pressure with their passing ability !

      The media on this occasion were attempting to drum up a perpetual storm of fear from us, judgement from the outside and in short were trying to find something to use to stoke up the pressure and sell papers which is sad.

      Dose anyone know Busby’s record of honors ?, i don’t know what it is but im confident it dose not compare to Paisley’s record ? and what about shanks ? very typical of some sports pundits but it’s only his opinion and who is he to judge ?????????

  6. Honestly, I thought Degen was poor. Slack in possesion and always making the wrong decisions. His positional play was also pretty bad. He is quick but not very good in possesion and takes too long to cross a ball. In fact I can’t remember when he put the ball in the box. I thought N’ Gog played very well

  7. Good job our “Young Guns” you all played well and in the end we were undone by some ‘lazy’ and ‘typical’ defending from Skirtle !

    That may sound harsh but the lad has never filled me with confidence and i some times wonder wether Carraghers own form this season has been influenced by not being as assured of the Slovak’s ability as he should ! ( just look at how assured he and Agger were on Sunday ) Like Ferdinand on sunday, he should have put allot more pressure on his opponent! Unlike sunday he was’nt playing against a world class striker and one who in the words of Paul Merson was “having a bad game” !

    Other than that and the lackluster displays of Babel and Kuyt (who can be forgiven because of sunday) I thought the team played well and at times more than matched these so called “wizzkids” !

    The likes of Degen , Insua , Plassi, Spearing and Ngog all had really good games and gave our bench a more ‘rose tinted’ look than the one portrayed in the media !

    Aquilani looked good and his quality was there for all to see. I see no reason why he cannot get with the pace of this league and become a crucial player for us ( barring injury jinxes depart)

    When you consider Arsenal had 5 first team players in that side last night ( give or take from varied times of the season) and we had 3 ( with Vorro Babel and Ngog all subs normally) the fact that we probably should have won or at least drawn level (Babel chance and deffo penalty) means there’s alot we can take from this game !!!

    I think it’s the next two games that are most important and that is were our immediate future will be decided however i am very positive after last nights performance…………………………………NOW ON TO SATURDAY AND ANOTHER THREE POINTS HOPEFULLY Y.N.W.A.

  8. Well played lads, good performance except defensively, looked lost all the time failed to put in good tackles especially Skrtel who has never looked the same player since being destroyed at middlesborough last season. Degen though looked awesome down that right hand side. Also like to say how good and confident Ngog is at the moment and I hope he plays at the weekend, and I was very disappointed to see him subsitued to be honest and the unpacey, technicaly horrendous Vorinin left on. Not to bothered as it was the Carling Cup and that also is the only thing Arsenal can win so lets give them there few months of praise before February when the final is get that out the way and then see how they cope in the important stuff where they usually fall away…


  9. In the 15 minutes that Aquilani had he showed the class that we need. For all the hard work of Masch and Lucas we desperately miss Alonso. Hopefully Aquilani is the missing link – more ammo for Torres. A win at Fulham is a must to start putting pressure on manure and chelski.

  10. Some good positives from a very good game and Liverpool were very unlucky to lose. Babel is getting worse and lacks confidence. Degen looked good but l was impressed in Aquilani the most for someone who has been out a long time he looks like he has great vision and a nice touch and was unlucky his overhead kick was caught by Sendoros as it was going into the bottom corner.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.