Daily Archives: March 4, 2012
Arsenal visited Anfield in a crunch encounter that was of utmost importance to both clubs. The Gunners needed a win to continue their resurgence for the final Champions League berth while Liverpool needed a win to give themselves any hope to stay within touching distance.
Liverpool almost got off to a flyer when that Uruguayan racist executed a neat one-two with Dirk Kuyt only to dive blatantly after a duel with Wojciech Szczesny. Replays clearly showed that Szczesny withdrew his legs and there was no contact whatsoever.
Kuyt was given the responsibility to dispatch the spot kick from 12-yards but Szczesny guessed right. Kuyt went for the follow-up but Szczesny covered some distance to parry the ball to safety.
In somewhat unfortunate circumstances, Laurent Koscielny conceded an own goal from a Jordan Henderson cross. Charlie Adam skipped past Mikel Arteta easily before teeing up Kuyt; the Dutchman’s low drive was parried by Szczesny to the path of Suarez whose effort clipped the post.
Arsenal got their equalizer when Bacary Sagna floated a cross that was headed home by Robin van Persie. The Lord of the Ring’s Smeagol or Jay Spearing as he’s better known, tackled Tomas Rosicky in front of the ref but the inconsistent bloke waved for play to continue.
Late on, Suarez jinked past a few defenders but Szczesny was on hand to make another brilliant stop. Suarez began the second half with a bang as he smashed his effort to the side netting.
There was a dark cloud in the sunny Anfield sky when Arteta was stretched off after an off-the-ball collision with Henderson. Abou Diaby was summoned to replace the Spaniard and he added some stability to the midfield.
After a cameo appearance, Diaby was withdrawn for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Within minutes of his substitution, I saw this tweet:
“@Arsenal_RTs: Good match for Diaby to make his annual appearance! See you in 2013”
In a game of this magnitude, the next goal was going to be absolutely vital and Arsenal almost created it when Alex Song found Kieran Gibbs in behind the defense. The full back cut the ball in but Theo Walcott’s shot was saved by Pepe Reina.
When it seemed like a draw was going to be the likeliest outcome, Songinho attempted a delicate chip that was finished in astonishing fashion by a truly magnificent player, Robin van Persie.
It was the sucker punch every Gooner craved for. Arsenal almost made it three when the Ox blasted his effort wide. It’s also worth noting that Liverpool had 13 corners while Arsenal had none but the Gunners scored all “three” goals, if you know what I mean.
Szczesny (9.0) made one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt and was unfortunate to watch Koscielny’s own goal go in.
Sagna (8.0) supplied a peach of a cross for Arsenal’s first goal.
Gibbs (8.0) balanced his attacking and defensive play superbly.
Vermaelen (8.0) made vital interceptions in the course of the game.
Koscielny (8.5) made one own goal, 6 tackles, 5 interceptions, 9 clearances, 3 offsides won. Even on an off day, he is Bosscielny. Cc @Eboue_Eboue
Song (7.0) supplied the gunpowder for the cannon that downed Liverpool.
Arteta (6.5) was overrun in midfield and was stretched off after picking up an injury.
Rosicky (6.5) didn’t really dominate his midfield.
Walcott (6.0) was a peripheral figure all game long. Back to his inconsistent best.
Benayoun (6.0) was very toothless on the left wing and inflicted no damage on his former team.
Van Persie (9.0) proved again why his everything Arsenal stands for this season.
The substitutes didn’t play long enough to get ratings.
Many Gooners have their own reasons for loving Robin van Persie but I’ll like to share a few with my readers.
For starters, van Persie is a perpetual goal scoring machine of the first kind. He also scores the type of goals that you can only imagine in your wildest fantasy. He’s slick, he’s quick, he scores goalkeeping pricks and he’s definitely better than Modric.
Like Davey Jones of Pirates of the Caribbean…he’s a goal scoring ship called the FLYING DUTCHMAN, and he’s not your everyday VAMPIRE…he’s just a goal hungry demon.
The quote of the day goes to @eromzy:
“@eromzy: “Alex SONG, may your days BILLONG”
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