The Arsenal Trilogy.
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool.
Well, not the best European matches ever played by the reds. In all fairness to Arsenal their goal was coming. They had the upper hand and came out swinging straight from the kick off. The Emirates Stadium is a tough place to be at 0-0. So the reds did exceptionally well to get a goal back just 3 minutes after conceding. And who was it with the set up. Captain Fantastico. Stevie G as always our inspirational skipper stepped up, took on three Gunners and managed to square the ball across Almunia giving Dirk Kuyt the golden opportunity which he put away with ease.
Sadly, the second Half proved less optimistic. We were on the back foot for most of the game and even looked as though we could leak a goal. I hate to say it but I feel it was a penalty to Arsenal when Kuyt pulled back Hleb.
I did notice how everything Arsenal do goes through one man, Cesc Fabregas. If in the second leg we can shut him out of the game then we will be in a great position to go through.
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool.
Well well well, a very popular score line between us and Arsenal this season. Not surprising to see that Rafa changed the team before the match, but very surprising to see Damien Plessis in the starting line. I had previously never heard of him but he did so well for his Premiership debut.
Surprisingly, the under strength side started the game better than the side on Wednesday night. After 40 minutes of a hotly contested evenly matched first half, the 6’7 Peter Crouch steps up with a great goal for the reds.
The second half started with a goal for Arsenal, yet again from a set piece, Nicklas Bendtner headed Arsenal level. It makes me wonder why Liverpool still employ the zonal marking system. Arsenal have shown in both parts so far that they can open it up with ease. By the time the game had finished both sides had their starting elevens on the pitch and it was a fast flowing game of football.
In my opinion Crouch needs to play against Arsenal in mid week. He worries defences and is good both in the air and on the ground. Man of the Match all the way for me today. I predict a 2-1 win for the reds in midweek.
Liverpool (1) 4-2 (1) Arsenal.
WOW! Could you ask for a better game? Glad to see Crouch starting, but have to disagree with changing the system that has worked so well for us over the last few months.
We never started to well. First 25 minutes we struggled to even find a red shirt with a pass. They controlled possession and their goal was, just like in the first leg. It was coming. Eventually we found our feet and suddenly we were playing like the Liverpool that we all know and love. Big Sami Hyypia with a great header to level the match at 1-1, 2-2 on aggregate.
. . . He gets the ball and scores again, Fernando Torres Liverpool’s number 9. Well, once again El Nino produces the goods when the heat is really on. What a goal though. Great control, turn and finish, overall a great goal. Credit must also go to Peter Crouch who’s run distracted Ebouè amongst other, creating more room for Torres to slot his strike into the top corner. After that it was all Liverpool. Arsenal were on the back foot and thankfully Adebayor wasted his first real chance in the game. Until . . . Theo Walcott, the young English winger emerged on a great run, I’ll admit that a superb run by the youngster which saw him leave Alonso, Mascherano and Hyypia in his wake before squaring it to Adebayor who slotted it into the goal, to leave the score at 2-2 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate. A scoreline which would see Liverpool be knocked out.
Arise Ryan Babel. The Dutch winger went on run which saw him pass 2 Arsenal defenders who would eventually foul Ryan for a ‘questionable’ penalty. So, picture the scene. A penalty to Liverpool. 45,000 Kopites screaming for a goal. A goal and their almost through, A miss and their almost out. And Steven Gerrard over the ball. Was it ever in doubt? Gerrard buried the penalty and effectively fired Liverpool into the Semi Finals. So 3-2 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate. But we weren’t finished. After a hard fought match which swung one way to the other Ryan Babel once again steps up for Liverpool and buries his chance and not only puts Liverpool’s name in the Semi Finals, but puts an exclamation point on it.
So finally. After all that. Liverpool are through. And now, the time has come for the third Instalment in the Chelsea, Liverpool saga. So what do you think? Who won the trilogy? In my opinion, the reds all the way. What about you.