Sunday, October 28, 2007
A disappointing performance at Anfield still has everyone drooling. Plus players ratings
By 1970’s Gooner
It was a disappointing game from Arsenal’s point of view and a disappointing result. Don’t get me wrong. To get an away point at Anfield and to have so much of the play must be considered a good performance and a great result.
And this performance would have convinced those doubting Thomases that this team can grind out results at “hostile” places such as Anfield.
Yet it was a disappointing game because Arsenal were not at their fluent best. They allowed Liverpool’s quick tempo and in your face tactics to crowd them out on many occasions.
Passes were uncharacteristically given away and the below par performance from three of the Arsenal players, Adebayor, Eboue and Rosicky meant that Arsenal’s movement off the ball and persistence could only in the end result in a draw.
It was also a disappointing game because defensive disorganization returned again giving away a goal from a badly managed wall in front of Gerrard’s free kick.
Yet it could have been an away win if on two separate occasions Fabregas and Bendtner had kept their heads in front of a gaping goal with Reina nowhere.
Could not be faulted for the goal. There is nothing that a goalkeeper can do when the wall disintegrates in front of him like that. Especially when the ball is hit with such pace. Also made two good saves; one from Gerrard from outside the box and another from Voronin from inside the box. Lehman is a goner. 8
Had an average game. Did not do anything wrong but on the other hand he was not that offensively minded. Wenger should have substituted Sagna instead of Clichy (unless he was injured) who was after all more adventurous going forward. 5
Played well albeit against an ineffective and lone man attack lined up by Benitez. Did well in the air against Crouch when he came on. Ventured forward by the closing stages of the game and added to the threat posed by the rest of the attacking players. 7
Made one very important sliding tackle to save an almost certain goal from Gerrard when he burst into the penalty area with Almunia already committed and exposed. However Gallas did not look that comfortable on the ball with a few of his passes going astray. Maybe he needs more games still. 6
Like Sagna had an average game. Good at the back defensively but not as effective as per usual when going forward. 6
Man of the match; but not at his top best. He was closely marked and with a very congested midfield found it hard to dictate the game as much as we have been used to so far this season.
He was at fault for conceding the free kick to Alonso on the edge of the area which led to the goal.
He was however the central focus for nearly all the Arsenal moves and he did score the equaliser with an audacious pass into the net which surprised and thus wrong footed Reina. 8 (he usually gets a 9 from me)
The usual high powered and full of running performance which is typical of him. Kept his position well and provided once again the cover for Fabregas to play his game. 7
Was not much into the game and found it difficult to make the penetrative runs and passes he is usually known for. Liverpool’s congestion of the midfield helping to put him off his game. Correctly substituted. 4
Shone throughout the game. His close control and deft touch was just what the doctor ordered for such a tight and congested middle of the pitch.
His close control between three Liverpool players and his vision to spot Fabregas’ s run for the goal was sublime. 8
Had a disappointing game although his performance was better than midweek against Slavia. He was too casual and frivolous in his play loosing possession too often and unnecessarily. He should be dropped for the next game. 3
Was not at the races. Looked out of touch without making his presence felt either in the air or on the ground. His runs were not timed well and often caught offside. Did not contribute at all in the come back. Needs to improve if he is to keep his place in the team. 3
Manchester United will provide the opportunity to put things right.
Arsenal’s movement, Liverpool’s long balls and Adebayor’s hunger