Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

Premier League
Sunday 13 December 2009 - 4:00 pm
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Glen Johnson can only look on as he scores an own goal

Glen Johnson can only look on as he scores an own goal

Despite an impressive first half which saw Liverpool take the lead, a Glen Johnson own goal and Andrey Arshavin goal ensured Arsenal left Anfield with all 3 points.

Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres both started for the reds for the first time in 12 matches, and the increase in performance was notable.

Torres should have scored when a counter attack from Liverpool set him free, but he fired straight at the Arsenal keeper.  Moments later Steven Gerrard was brought down in the box by Gallas. The referee decided against the penalty.

Liverpool continued to dominate the first half, Johnson working a couple of opportunites.  Eventually Dirk Kuyt, who spent the game as an anonymous figure, was on hand to mop up a poorly cleared free kick and fire the reds in to a deserved half time lead.

Within 5 minutes of the re-start Liverpool were stung when a cross was deflected in to the path of Glen Johnson who couldn’t remove his foot in time. The ball came off his leg, wrong footing Reina and Arsenal had got themselves a fortunate equaliser.

8 minutes later, Arshavin, the scourge of Liverpool who netted 4 times in last years 4-4 draw, fired home from close range to put Arsenal in to the lead.

Liverpool failed to match their first half performance with some sloppy play in the second half.  Mascherano and Kuyt were removed, with Aquilani and Ngog replacing them – but the reds more attacking line up were even less effective at controlling the game.

The first half promised so much but the own goal changed the game. Liverpool were as toothless in the second half as they were impressive in the first half.

A real chance to close the gap on the leaders has gone this weekend. The reds face Wigan at Anfield on Wednesday looking for a significant improvement in fortune and performance.


Dirk Kuyt’s goal

Post Match Comments

Rafa Benitez

“It is difficult to explain when you play so well in first half. We were on top of them. We had the chance for Torres, the goal and the penalty that was not given.

“Then we started the second half with an own goal and then a second goal went in and everything changed. You could see that the confidence went down. We gave the ball away in the second half which was the opposite to the first when we were controlling things.

“We’ve had too many problems this year and when you have another one, like the own goal, sometimes it is hard to keep the confidence high. We have to be ready and start training tomorrow. We need to show character and play at the same level we played at in the first half, against Wigan.

“The fans and the players are disappointed. We have to start working with the players and do things in the right way. Some players are coming back and they need to improve their match fitness. The positive is the first-half, the negative is the lack of confidence we showed in the second half.”


Liverpool: Reina, Johnson (Degen 82), Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano (Aquilani 65), Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun (Ngog 79), Torres.

Subs: Cavalieri, Insua, Skrtel, Dossena.

Yellow: Aurelio, Leiva, Mascherano

Goals: Kuyt 41′

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore (Silvestre 87), Fabregas, Song Billong, Denilson, Walcott (Diaby 70), Arshavin (Ramsey 92), Nasri.

Subs: Fabianski, Eduardo, Vela, Wilshere.

Yellow: Fabregas, Denilson, Arshavin

Goals: Johnson og 50′, Arshavin 58′

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Att: 43,853

Our man of the match

Despite some decent first half performances, most heads went down second half. Javier Mascherano

14 comments on
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

  1. First half performance was good but the second terrible.Players playing out of position together with a clear lack of quality on the bench was there for all to see.Other then Torres and Gerrard none of our boys would get into the Arsenal,Man Utd or Chelsea sides where as Villa,Man City and Spurs are also better then us now.

  2. It just irritates me that rafa had the cheek to drop crouch after he scored that hat-trick (i think against arsenal, please correct me if im wrong) and did the same with Keane when he got two against bolton but the likes of Johnson who has had indifferent form and Kuyt who has got progressively worse over the last 6+ games will definitely be playing the next game?! What ever happened to rewarding good form and punishing bad ?

  3. i totally agree that we need more quality wingers,riera babel dossena kuyt degen should be sold,kuyt doesnt create enough on the wing,lennon would be a great buy for lfc,he got speed,skill&can open defences,why is benayoun playing on the left?he plays better in the centre of midfield,next to gerrard,with mascherano as the only holding midfield,instead of 2holding mids.for the left wing either we buy silva or juan mata,rafa should hav jus paid villa £20mil for barry,or even downing would have been a good buy,as for the strikers,voronin should definitely go,i think ngog wil become a good striker in a few years,he’s shown he has skill&an eye for goal,but we still need backup to nando& a good buy would be bojan krkic from barca,he hardly plays coz of the competition for places there,he is young,got pace,skill&good with his head also,obviously for all of this to happen the owners nned to give rafa more funds&not pocket all the profits,if they cant promise that we should get new investors whose primary concern would be the success of lfc as a team&as a profitable business!

  4. Johnson was to blame for both goals he was playin for the gunners!
    He showed his defensive weakness, so he must be partly responsible for our goals against at a usual rate of 2 per game.
    Anyway red men lets have another go on wed. against wigan. If we dont win this one then things will really get serious?

  5. I am just totally fed up. I was in the Kop last night and at full time we were all just shocked and in silence !

    How this one got away from us after all the control in the first half , have they not learnt anything from the entire season so far that you have to work hard and stay composed for the full 90 mins !

    Yes we need improvements on the wings(as well as other areas) and have done for five years but the lack of effort and focus from the second half last night was simply not good enough .

    Errors like the ones last night can be explained away for one game but this is continual of several matches this season; poor composure, lack of strength , lazy/ sloppy passing and movement, lack of pressing and effort are synonymous with everything that has gone wrong this season.
    You can argue that arsenal were extremely lucky, something that the referee helped with and one effort on target ( i can remember other than the goals) would seem to suggest that but what concerns me is that teams seem to be getting loads of luck and scoring wonder goals at anfield ? That has to be down to something we are not doing as a team rather than just bad luck , because of the shear magnitude of goals and others going against us in nearly every game this season.

    But what and how to fix it seem a mystery ….

  6. Sack the Manager!! and who would be get? Jurgen bl**dy Klinsman??? what’s he done? Granted the team is not playing well enough but that is a collective problem which Rafa is acutely aware of. I agree that we need to sell the players that are not or cannot perform at the level we require but we also have to appreciate that Liverpool FC cannot affort 11 £20m plus rated players and wages; whether we like it or not we do not have the backing the other clubs have and in my mind never will. Kuyt and Yossi do a great job and Lucas has come on leaps and bounds this season. We have an excellent defence with good options from solid defence to attacking.

    Its a blip and I have every confidence that we will go on our 10 game winning streak over the Xmas break!!

  7. Have been on here for a while syaing that we need a change of manager. I wish i was wrong but at this stage all fight is gone from the team and we look like a ship with no rudder.
    I feel the players do not believe or trust Rafa and a new direction is needed. We can blame the owners all we like but after £258 million the book should stop with the manager and his scouts. Time and time again he has got it wrong in the transfer market. He has signed players for every position that have not made the grade and then had no resale value.
    His pride always gets in his way, selling Keane after 6 months, not resigning Owen, selling Alonso and courting Barry time and time again.
    Poor man management and decision making (Lucas, Vorinin etc) are the problems. 5 year plans are all ok in business but in sport decision making and vision are needed.

  8. of course we r really weak on both wings.. no quality wingers… but we cannot think of bringing a couple in this situation..
    try findin talents from within.. thats wot we gotta do.. or sell someone.. and bring a quality left winger..

  9. a game of two halves we let it slip away from us because of lack of effort. shake up the team a bit bring in kelly,pacheo. i hope we can beat the lower half teams because if we dont rafa hasnt got any more excuses.where is all this bad karma coming from

  10. What Liverpool are crying out for is a pair of quality wingers. The distribution from both flanks is so poor it’s frightening. Kuyt is not good enough to be in the first 11 and Benayoun plays much better on the right wing or behind Torres but still he’s not top quality but a useful player to bring off the bench.
    Drop Kuyt and give Degen a chance, he looked sharp today when he came on, him and Johnson would be great together.
    As for the left wing, Reira, Babel & Dossena all need selling and replacing with a top quality natural left winger who can give us some width and provide better distribution.

    • You’re spot on in my view.

      Benny is far better on the right or behind Nando.

      We need a couple of proper wingers and decent back up for Torres. If we got that we would be okay and be able to power on.

      But with two heavily indebted owners what chance do we have.

      First half today I thought we were much better than most of the season. But the players didn’t put the effort in second half. You can’t do that against any of the top teams in the Premier League and expect to get a result.

      Roll on Wednesday.

      • we were not unlucky we were terrible. there is such a simple answer to all of this SACK THE MANAGER, if he had any spine on him he would walk and save us all the trouble of having to watch the CRAP players he seems to think might win a game

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