Liverpool were at the Emirates today to take on an Arsenal side that were not at their strongest in more than one sense. Rumours of yet another transfer of one of their star players, coupled with a few injuries, would indicate that Liverpool may have a bit of an advantage. And Liverpool took that advantage.
The game kicked off and it was the home side that were dominating possession. For the opening ten minutes, Liverpool just couldn’t get their foot on the ball. Although Arsenal were dominating the play, the home side were not really posing a big threat to Liverpool. It was 20 minutes into the game and Liverpool started to grow into the play.
Enrique had a blistering run down the flank and left three Arsenal players wanting. Downing switched to the right and started to cut inside. Suddenly there was a little bit more urgency to Liverpool’s play and the Liverpool team started to impose their play on the game. In the 28th minute Henderson saw a header saved from a drifted ball from Kuyt. Henderson could have had more conviction to his header but it was on target. Shortly after, Adam tried a shot from the half way line which just drifted over the bar, but it had the Arsenal keeper struggling. Pepe Reina made a brilliant save in the 30th minute which saw an Arsenal shot from outside the box go just wide of the post. But Liverpool were just edging the play now and keeping Arsenal out.
The second half kicked off and kept the same flow as it did from the first half. Liverpool weren’t really going forward with much urgency or precision, but at the same time, Arsenal couldn’t really dominate possession like they like to do at the Emirates. Kelly started off a great move down the right flank which saw Adam set up Carroll in the box, but the ball came out to Kelly who had a great shot saved against the post. This was probably the best chance of the match so far for Liverpool.
The game went on and Liverpool looked like they were running out of ideas. You felt that a change was needed. In the 68th minute, Pepe Reina was called into action once again and made a great point blank stop with his feet from Van Persie. Kelly was fouled by Arshavin but the referee turned a blind eye and Arshavin passed the ball to his team mate. Luckily, Pepe Reina was equal to it.
In the 69th minute, Frimpong saw red for a second bookable offence. It easily could have been a straight red for the foul he committed on Lucas, though. The ball came up for a fifty-fifty challenge but Frimpong went in with his foot raised which clattered Lucas’s shin. Following the dismissal, Kuyt and Carroll were subbed for Suarez and Meireles. This was to have a devastating effect on Arsenal’s chances of any points from the game.
In the 74th minute, both Downing and Suarez tested the Arsenal keepers resolve. But it was in the 77th minute when Liverpool got the goal they wanted and it was from the help of Ramsey. Meireles and Suarez combined in the box but as Arsenal tried to clear the ball, it rebounded off Ramsey’s head and went in. From this moment on Liverpool were bossing the game and you could sense another goal could easily come.
It was on the 89th minute when substitutes Meireles and Suarez combined once more with the help of Lucas, to get Liverpool their second goal. Lucas brought the ball to the edge of the box and passed it out wide to Meireles, who slotted a nicely weighted ball across the box to the waiting Suarez and he didn’t waste no time in finishing Arsenal off. Liverpool two goals up with only injury time remaining. Game over.
If Liverpool can work on their fitness and with the improvement of their passing, there is no reason why the reds can’t go on a very good run of form. At the moment though, it seems as though a few players need to get their fitness back. Still, top of the league following the game. That’s a good sign.