Blog Archives

Liverpool 5-5 Arsenal: Gunners Implode Against Make Shift Merseyside Outfit

Image result for martinelli liverpool

Match Report Match Highlights Post-Match Press Conference (via Arsenal.com)

If you were a neutral fan, you might have enjoyed the great football on display from two fearless sides that had nothing to lose really. Jurgen Klopp made his intentions known with the lineup he fielded – loads of unknowns with only Divock Origi, James Milner, Naby Keita and ex-Gunner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being the only reputable names. In all fairness, the Gunners had a better squad on paper and these are lads that have played together in the previous rounds of the Carabao Cup as well as the Europa League group stages.

However, the Gunners started the game on the back foot when Neco Williams cross was deflected into his own goal by Skhodran Mustafi. The German has been a much maligned figure and was shown the door this summer but he has somewhat revamped himself playing alongside Rob Holding this season, so conceding an own goal brought the ghosts back and fans were having a field day on it. The Gunners didn’t allow that setback deter them as they waltzed forward with some good attacking play. The away side got their reward when Mesut Ozil showed some great composure to tee up Bukayo Saka but the winger’s shot was very tame.

Luckily Caoimhin Kelleher had a bit of the Flappyhandski Syndrome which allowed the ball to get into Lucas Torreira’s path and the diminutive Uruguayan tucked the ball home. Replays showed that Torreira was offside but with no VAR, Arsenal got away scot free. Just five minutes after the restart, the Gunners went 2-1 up following some good work from Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the right hand side with the Brazilian predator, Gabriel Martinelli, smashing the ball in from point blank range. That was his sixth goal in seven starts for the Gunners and I must say, he has been a gem of a player. Martinelli doubled his money when Ozil and Saka latched onto a defensive error from Williams before Saka provided a cut back that was blasted home by Martinelli.

As if we hasn’t seen anything from such a topsy-turvy game, a little bit of karma was on show when the youngest player on the pitch, Harvey Elliot, conned the ref with a nice dive when Martinelli stuck out a foot in the penalty box. Milner wasn’t going to miss and he sent Emi Martinez the wrong way to make it 3-2 just before the break. Milner then had a moment to forget early in the second half when his back pass to his goalie was anticipated by Maitland-Niles but the ball was about to leave the pitch when Ozil showed great presence of mind to tuck it back into play which allowed AMN blast the ball home.

4-2 and everything was looking good but with Arsenal, you just can’t tell. With the ball at the edge of the Arsenal box, Maitland-Niles showed his lack of concentration that allowed the Ox to nick the ball off him and smash in a piledriver that offered a glimmer of hope to the home side. 4-3 became 4-4 minutes later when Origi received the ball from Jones, who was gifted by Torreira, shimmied past his marker and fired a shot that Martinez palmed into the net. I expected the goalie to catch that but hey, that’s football. Emery decided to take off Ozil for Matteo Guendouzi much to the surprise of the Arsenal faithful but he confirmed after the game that it was agreed between both parties that Ozil would play for a specific amount of time.

As if we hadn’t seen enough madness for one night, Joe Willock, that had been somewhat peripheral all game burst into life and blasted a rocket of a shot that breezed past Kelleher to make it 5-4. It was clear that both sides weren’t ready to defend, so Emery obliged us by taking out Torreira for Dani Ceballos, which was another tactical move that got me confused. The fact that we had no more protection in front of the defense wasn’t bad enough, but Ceballos went on to have a stinker and lost the decisive penalty that saw his team eliminated. It wouldn’t have gotten to that if the Gunners just did their jobs and defended, which makes me loathe the final moments of the game that saw Liverpool get yet another equalizer. Saka for the life of me saw Williams on the byline and watched him as he floated a cross into the area. Guendouzi misjudged the flight of the ball and it crept above him before reaching Origi’s foot. Mustafi just stood still and also blocked his goalkeeper and with Martinez blindsided, the only outcome was a goal.

Sadly, it seems that Arsenal doesn’t do any goalkeeping training on penalties, as Martinez offered nothing from the spot kicks and the Gunners lost the contest via the lotteries of penalties. There are some positives we can latch onto like Ozil’s quality that was always glaring from the start, which makes the decision not to play him really stupid. Then there were the Gabriel Martinelli goals (seven goals in eight starts) that are hugely encouraging. I really wanted the Gunners to go all the way in this competition because it offered a good breeding ground for Martinelli and the other youngsters, so with the team eliminated, they will need to stick to just the Europa League for consistent game time, or maybe the FA Cup from January. However, we can’t shy away from the negatives – defending has been such a problem for the team this season and it was on show yet again against a weakened Liverpool side. Emery needs to sort this mess out as we are going to play more games in the course of the season and the defense will be under scrutiny.

All plans will move to the game against Wolves and that’s one we need to win as we are drifting away from the Champions League places.

Sayonara

Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily.

Visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page.

Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List

 

Liverpool Salvage a Draw from the Jaws of Defeat

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen (second left) hauls his side level in the final minute of the game to earn his team a point against Arsenal

Liverpool 3 (Firmino 10′, 19′, Allen 90′) – Arsenal 3 (Ramsey 14′, Giroud 25′, 55′)

Match Report Match HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

It was going to be one of those nights when the atmosphere was going to dictate the proceedings on the pitch. Anfield is a difficult ground to come to and despite Arsenal’s impressive record against Liverpool in recent times, this game was going to be another test of the team’s title credentials. Much was made about Liverpool’s fitness issues but Arsenal had their own injury problems they have been contending with, so in my opinion, it wasn’t enough and I braced myself for a good game of football.

The home side opened the scoring after some poor defending and I must say, questionable goalkeeping from the legendary Petr Cech. The Czech goalkeeper parried a shot straight at Roberto Firmino’s path. The Brazilian’s shot left the goalie flat-footed and put the home side ahead. Arsenal weren’t downcast after conceding so early and they equalized when Aaron Ramsey reacted quickly to a cushioned Joel Campbell pass to blast the ball past Simon Mignolet.

Both teams continued to attack each other and Liverpool went ahead again when Firmino curled the ball from the edge of the area giving Cech no chance. The Gunners leveled the contest again when Olivier Giroud attacked the ball on the near post and it went between Mignolet’s legs to make it 2-2. Just before halftime, Arsenal hit Liverpool on the break with Campell feeding Theo Walcott in behind the defense. Walcott sent an inch-perfect pass to Giroud and all he had to do was tap the ball in but this happened…

Giroud  missed an excellent opportunity to give Arsenal the lead for the first time in the first half, failing to convert from inside six yards

One of the most shocking misses you’d ever see. It probably up there with Gervinho’s miss against Bradford, Robin van Persie’s miss against Sevilla, Tomas Rosicky’s miss against CSKA and Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s miss against South Korea.

Going into the break at 2-2, Arsenal fans kept half an eye on the proceedings at the Etihad Stadium and White Hart Lane. Eventually, Manchester City had a goalless stalemate with Everton while Leicester surprisingly grabbed all three points against Tottenham.

Going into the second half, Arsenal attacked with incisiveness and got the goal their play diserved when Giroud latched onto a loose ball before volleying on the turn. For all the criticism he has received from his own fans and media alike, Giroud has been shutting people up with some virtuoso performances. That was also his 18 goal of the season, just four below his personal best of 22 for the club. At this rate, you can bet your smart money that he could hit the 30-goal mark if he stays fit.

Players got tired with the constant collective defending so change was inevitable. Kieran Gibbs replaced the ineffectual Walcott while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced the hardworking Campbell. These players were tasked with protecting their fullbacks and while Gibbs did his bit to offer some help to Nacho Monreal that was getting torn apart by Jordon Ibe and Nathaniel Clyne. The Ox didn’t offer much aid to Hector Bellerin.

With Liverpool pressing for the equalizer, they were bound to leave spaces at the back and Arsenal had the opportunity to instigate a counter attack that fell to the Ox’s path. All he had to do was to send a cross field ball to the left hand side of the pitch and Arsenal might have just been home and dry to make it 4-2, but no, the dullard chose to dally some more on the ball and as expected, he lost possession to the opposition. Moments like that define games and with more torrid performances, Chamberlain is showing that he cannot be trusted to stake a claim for a starting berth.

With barely seconds to go, the sucker punch happened. Christian Benteke hurled the ball into the danger area and the Welsh Pirlo, Joe Allen, fired a shot that Cech couldn’t parry to salvage a draw for the hosts. 3-3. Sadness, despair, anguish, rage… all sorts of negative emotions filled me up and I’m sure every other Arsenal fan felt the same way.

The manager was frustrated from his post-match conference but while a draw feels so bad, it was a fair reflection of the game but Arsenal would have made a very huge statement if they had won at Anfield. But here we are, level on points with that Leicester that is becoming a thorn.

We play Stoke in the weekend.

Till then, let’s wait for some good news on Elneny. The manager is hopeful that he could be in the matchday squad that would travel to the Britannia.

Sayonara.

Download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page.

Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List

Nacho Monreal Signs New Deal + Liverpool Preview

Yesterday’s pulsating encounter between Newcastle and Manchester United was a spectacle that makes the Premier League one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting club football competition in the world. With Manchester United grabbing a comfortable two goal lead, Newcastle fought back to equalize and many teams would have been deflated when the visitors scored a third late on but they salvaged a draw from the jaws of defeat when Paul Dummett of all people, blasted a shot that ricocheted off Chris Smalling before breezing past David de Gea.

Elsewhere, Dimitri Payet marked his return to the West Ham starting XI with a brilliant free kick that leveled the contest against Bournemouth. If you thought Payet’s free kick was good, you need to take a look at this beauty from Enner Valencia. There was also a long overdue win for Aston Villa, as Joleon Lescott’s strike was enough to grant Remi Garde his first win as Villa boss.

Tonight, there will be seven more matches to be played and my focus will obviously be on the Liverpool vs Arsenal game. When both sides met at the Emirates, it ended as a goalless stalemate but it was end to end football from start to finish. This will be Liverpool’s fourth fixture in just 12 days and the team would have to adjust to the rigors of playing in several competitions. The corresponding fixture at Anfield saw Liverpool leave it late to get an equalizer from Martin Skrtel.

Arsenal Team News

Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that availability of Tomas Rosicky but he still has doubts about the fitness of David Ospina and Alexis Sanchez.

It has been reported that Nacho Monreal has signed a new deal that will keep him at the club till 2019.  His contract was due to expire at the end of next season but he has grown in importance to become an indispensable member of the squad, usurping Kieran Gibbs in making the left back position his own. Arsene Wenger also had some nice words for the Spaniard that has notches up 111 appearances for the club,

“He is not necessarily my first-choice left-back. At the moment he plays more than Kieran Gibbs but I think I’m a bit spoilt there because Gibbs has come back and has shown again on Saturday [that he plays] at a very, very strong level.

“That makes my decisions at that level very difficult but overall Nacho Monreal has been absolutely outstanding.”

Wenger…you diplomat!

Arsenal Injury / Suspension News

Jack Wilshere (ankle), Danny Welbeck (knee), Francis Coquelin (knee), Alexis Sanchez (hamstring), Santi Cazorla (knee), David Ospina (groin)

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-2-3-1 football formation

Liverpool Team News

Jurgen Kloop has seen that the Premier League is not easy ride with the manager having his good bad and ugly moments as Liverpool’s boss. However, his team has been hit with an injury crisis  and he went as far as recalling some players out on loan to feature in the FA Cup draw with Exeter last week Saturday. I wonder why his players have been having so many hamstring injuries though.., his training routines maybe?

The club recently signed Stephen Caulker on loan from QPR and he’s odds on to start tonight thanks to the paucity of options for Klopp.

Liverpool Injury / Suspension News

Martin Skrtel (hamstring), Dejan Lovren (hamstring), Mamadou Sakho (knee), Joseph Gomez (knee), Phillippe Coutinho (hamstring), Jordon Henderson (heel), Jordan Rossiter (hamstring), Danny Ings (knee), Daniel Sturridge (hamstring), Divock Origi (knee), Kolo Toure (doubtful – knock), Jon Flanagan (lacking match fitness)

Liverpool Predicted Lineup

Liverpool 4-2-3-1 football formation

Team Form

Arsenal

  • Last Five Games: W L W W W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 3 (Campbell 26′, Ramsey 72′, Giroud 76′) – Sunderland 1 (Lens 17′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (16)

Liverpool

  • Last Five Games: L W W L D
  • Last Result: Exeter 2 (Nichols 9′, Holmes 45′)– Liverpool 2 (Sinclair 12′, Smith 73′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Christian Benteke (7)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 1 win.

Sayonara.

Download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page.

Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List