Thursday, April 3, 2008

Liverpool earn a draw at the Emirates

It was the first of the 3 clashes between Liverpool and Arsenal in the coming week. And the venue was The Emirates Stadium, London. All the pre-match talk was about Arsenal saying Liverpool fear us and Liverpool hitting back saying they don't fear anyone and Gerrard Torres combination can destroy any defence in the world. Arsenal were not the opponent Rafa would have preferred in the quarters cos he has just won once against Arsenal in their home and both the teams knew each other very well.

After all the lengthy talking from both sides it time for action on the pitch. Benitez played the same team that had started in the Mersyside derby but Mascherano was back in place of Lucas. Arsenal brought back Adebayor into the eleven and the striker had not scored since his goal at the San Siro against Milan. Arsenal started the match well and were quite dominant and they showed shades of the vintage football they played at the start of this season. Van Persie had a chance to open the score from Flamini's ball but he clipped it over the bar. The gunners started to dominate and it looked they may score any time. It happened just that. Arsenal took a sharp and a short corner, Van Persie crossed the ball beautifully into the box and Adebayor rose to head the opener for Arsenal after 23min. Liverpool were caught napping and they left the tallest man on the pitch unmarked, something Rafa wouldn't be happy about.

And just when one thought Arsenal would take control of the match by moving the ball, Flamini's poor clearance fell to Gerrard and he smartly went passed the defence and crossed the ball into the 6 yard box and Dirk Kuyt was there to tap that in. Liverpool had equalised and the Gunners lead had lasted only for 3 minutes. It was again poor defending that resulted in the goal. Arsenal then lost their focus and they were not that menacing in their attack and Liverpool were comfortable.

Walcott can on for Van Persie at half time and Arsenal had lots of the ball and were threatening. Walcott whizzed a shot which nearly went in. Liverpool were not ambitious in the second half and were happy to defend and looked to attack on the break when chances came. And Liverpool had a scare when Eboue's shot was blocked by Skrtel no penalty was given but the Real moment of controversy was when Kuyt pulled back Hleb at the left side, in what looked like a certain penalty but it was turned down by the referee. Everyone at the Emirates was convinced that was a foul but not the man who mattered most.

Bendtner came in and he managed to stop a shot by Fabregas going into the net, though was flagged for offside it would have been interesting had that ball gone in without Bendtner's intervention. Arsenal tried hard till the end but couldn't find another goal that could have given them advantage going into the second leg but Liverpool held on for a draw, a result Benitez would gladly take.

With both these teams slated to meet again this weekend at the same avenue fireworks can be expected but one might just get the feeling both the team might be tired of playing each other when they meet again on Tuesday at Anfield for the second leg. Notwithstanding all the talk being about both the teams know each other well and match lacking Champions League atmosphere Benitez got a good result can holds the advantage going into Anfield. Has Rafa done it again in the Champions League?????????

Click here for the goals

1-0 Adebayor

1-1 Kuyt

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Anonymous said...

hey man u seem 2 b an idiotic football crazy lover.wher do u get al dis info frm??
or don u hv any other wrk other than ritin these stupid blogs??u seem to be a jobless guy ritin these stupid blogs.

Raghu said...

hey... U cannot discount the gunners at any point of time.. remember the beating they gave liverpool with a B team last season.... but ofcourse the advantage is at liverpool's end.. but it'll be tight...