Liverpool bounced back from their mid-week disappointment as we almost took the full three points against Arsenal in the Premiership.
Stevie G’s strike in the 7th minute from a free kick stormed past the Arsenal keeper to give the reds the perfect start to this mouth-watering clash. (Click here to watch the goal)
Benitez, surprisingly, opted for a three man strike force with Torres, Kuyt and Voronin all lining up. However, early on it became apparent that Torres was not up to the level of match fitness required for an important game and it was Crouch who came on to replace the Spaniard at half time.
After taking a little bit of stick over his form, Stevie G was superb with his goal, another couple of strikes and constantly harrassing the Arsenal midfield.
The Arsenal midfield and front-men were combining brilliantly but Liverpool managed to negate their chances through sheer hard work and determination.
A Tomas Rosicky lob over Reina appeared to be heading for the goal until another much-maligned reds player cleared off the line. Well done Sami Hyypia.
Gerrard could have doubled our lead with a thunderous shot which Almunia parried on to the crossbar.
The second half was a battle of wills. Crouch had a chance stopped by a diving save, Riise had one of his long range efforts dip a little too late to hit the top netting of the goal – and Eboue found the post.
With ten minutes left Hleb and Fabregas combined – with the latter putting the ball beyond Reina.
Although the reds didn’t get the three points they put in a convincing display and could have taken all three points. Arsenal have been fantastic in their opening 10 games and Liverpool continued an unbeaten Premiership record which now stretches to 11 games home and away – from the end of last season.
Arsenal came in to the game on a superb run of form, and put some superb pieces of play together but for all this prettiness away from the penalty box only managed 2 shots on target compared with the reds 5.
Injury concerns about both Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, and worries over the fitness of Torres are the only things to take the gloss off today’s performance.
“It was going well but we had problems with Torres. We wanted to use his pace and he then had the injury, then Xabi Alonso and we had to change.
“We now have a good record away and need to improve at home.
“But a draw at the end, because Arsenal also had chances, was probably not the worst result.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
“It was a big test today but we have shown tremendous quality.
“Overall it was a great football game, a bit of an edgy start and we were a bit nervous and punished quickly.
“But from then on it was all us and it was a question of not conceding a second and coming back. We had enough chances to win the game.”
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Mascherano, Alonso (Arbeloa 68), Gerrard, Voronin (Benayoun 65), Kuyt, Torres (Crouch 46).
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Babel.
Booked: Voronin, Mascherano, Carragher.
Goals: Gerrard 7.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy (Silva 74), Eboue (Bendtner 74), Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Rosicky (Walcott 66), Adebayor.
Subs Not Used: Lehmann, Diarra.
Booked: Rosicky, Toure, Fabregas.
Goals: Fabregas 80.
Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).