Liverpool 1-0 Everton
So the Merseyside derby once again and the potential of another double over the blue half of the city. Yes we all know about derby day, our banter with the lads and the pride goes with the winner, everybody looks forward to Monday morning, yes, derby day really is something to savour. Both teams needing a win here with both about to enter a very tough run of games. For Liverpool it will be Arsenal away on Wednesday and then away to Manchester City.
For the team then and once again Krygiakos gets the central midfielder role after what must be said a few impressive performances, this one never turned out so great. Unfortunate to see Aquilani on the bench again, personally I thought it was a very precautious measure but as the game eventually turned out, a smart one as with his injury history he would have been a real injury concern.
In the first half Liverpool were attacking the Kop which a bad little omen for Kopites. Within the first minute the intensity of the game was shown when Carragher threw in a tough but fair challenge on Pienaar and essentially set the tone for the match. 34 minutes in and the first major development. Sotirios Krygiakos sent off for a challenge on Fellaini. This was questionable as although Krygiakos went in two footed that I would understand him getting a red for but one foot was on the ground when the contact was made and as it ended up Fellaini stamped on Krygiakos. Personally I think it was an encounter which both men should have seen red or neither man should have. Speaking of bad challenges what about the little South African Steven Pienaar who threw in a challenge worthy of a red card but alas he only saw yellow. So no goals in the first half but already a lot of controversy and the makings of a very typical Merseyside derby.
In the second half things picked up where they left off. A lot of challenges flying in and as usual in the derby, Liverpool dominating play. Obviously the biggest talking point in this half was the goal from Kuyt after a corner saw Howard push Kuyt into the path of the ball. Very ironic but still reds’ fans cheering. In the final minutes Pienaar received a second yellow card and the red he should have received an hour ago. However no real change to the game as there was only mere seconds left on the clock.
For the man of the match award our Argentine central midfielder Javier Mascherano had to receive it this week as he was there at the start of everything for Liverpool so for me, Masch gets man of the Match.
Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool
Liverpool still awaiting their first 3 points at the Emirates and no better time to face Arsenal there after consecutive and fairly embarrassing defeats to United and Chelsea. Unfortunately Aquilani not in the team for the reds after he came down with a stomach bug prior to kick off but another start for newest signing Maxi Rodriguez.
A fairly uneventful first half saw Liverpool and Arsenal go in at half time 0-0. But the lack of chances didn’t rule out the other events in the half. Samir Nasri’s night was cut short when all of a sudden he fell dizzy. Unusual also concerning for the Arsenal bench.
Into the second half and it seemed like the players were awakened during half time as in the first 10 minutes of the second half there had been two great chances for both sides. In the space of a minute the ball went from at the feet of Ngog in a one on one situation which unfortunately ended with Ngog striking the ball against the sliding body of William Gallas. Then the ball went straight back down the park to Arshavin who put Rosicky in for a one on one but he hit it too far and it went straight to Reina thankfully.
Liverpool’s jubilation wouldn’t last long though as after a cross by Rosicky and some lapse defending by Degan, Diaby was in to score for Arsenal. The last decent chance for Liverpool came when Ryan Babel cleverly evaded two defenders only to see his long range shot pushed onto the bar.
The final controversy in the game came from a last ditch free kick for Liverpool when Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas blatantly stopped the ball with his hand for what should have been a penalty but nothing was given.