Monday, 18 April 2011

Reds frustrate Gunners to an injury time draw

Sports - Football - Premier League - Arsenal 1:1 Liverpool

What a turnaround of a turnaround with all the twists and turns happening after the 90 minutes of regular play.

Throughout the regular time of play, Arsenal dominated possession, creating chances with most being wasted but some pulling out great saves and stops by Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher and Marting Skrtel.

Youngster John Flanagan and Lucas Leiva also impressed with their dedication and impact on the team and play, denying and seeing Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Robin van Persie getting more and more frustrated and innocuous.

Injuries didn't help Liverpool, all in the back line, first Fabio Aurelio (replaced by Reds youngest league debutant Jack Robinson) and then the more worrying Carragher who was knocked out cold by his own player Flanagan and had to be replaced by Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Knowing it could not stay goalless from past experience, I was proven right on 97 when Jay Spearing was harshly penalised for seemingly bringing down Fabregas in the box. Van Persie netted the resulting penalty and celebrated three points he looked to have netted for his side.

But that was not all - because of the long delays and hold-up through Carragher's injury, the Arsenal penalty and goal celebrations, the game still had five minutes in it, five minutes for Emmanuel Eboue to foul Lucas in the box and Dirk Kuyt to net the resulting spot kick and grab an equaliser and a point for the Reds (102).

All the drama made up for the relatively even, flat, eventless game, so, I don't know what Arsene Wenger was moaning about! :-P

My thoughts: With everything that happened = injuries, substitutions, penalties, celebrations, hold-ups, etc., 12 minutes added on time was about right + if Arsenal's was a penalty, Liverpool's was double that! I rest my case, the results, stats and facts say it all!

Arsenal: Szczesny; Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Eboue (booked 100); Diaby (Song 81), Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott (Arshavin 72); Wilshere (Bendtner 72), van Persie (booked 98).
Subs not used: Lehamnn, Squillaci, Gibbs, Chamakh.

Liverpool: Reina; Aurelio (Robinson 21), Carragher (Kyrgiakos 62), Skrtel (booked 34), Flanagan (booked 30); Meireles, Lucas (booked 100), Spearing, Suarez; Carroll (Shelvey 70, booked 76), Kuyt.
Subs not used: Gulacsi, Cole, Maxi, Ngog.

BBC Stats:
Attempts: 12-9
On target: 6-5
Corners: 10-3
Free kicks: 13-13
Possession: 57%-43%

Sky Sports stats:
Attempts: 11-9
On target: 5-5
Offsides: 1-2
Corners: 10-3
Free kicks: 12-12
Possession: 62.4%-37.6%
Passing Success: 83.1%-71.8%
Tackles/Success: 15/73.3%-22/45.5%
Territorial Advantage: 58.9%-41.1%

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Lucas Leiva