We must have all been horrible people in a previous life. There is no other way to explain the sequence of events in the last few weeks!
The Gods have well and truly abandoned the newly build footballing Mecca and for some reason decided to go out of their way to punish every little mistake anyone wearing the Arsenal shirt makes!
I can’t bring myself to congratulate Liverpool even though I should as they scored 5 times against our 3 and at the end of the day football is not about aesthetics but about the end product.
We started the game fantastically well and in the words of the Liverpool captain we “passed Liverpool off the park”, scored an early goal and dominated the game.
We should have scored a couple more but as usually the final ball and poor finishing let us down.
I was extremely disappointed with the first goal but not only at Senderos who lost Hyypia.
Due to miscommunication between Gallas and Almunia Liverpool was gifted a throw-in. From which they ended up winning a corner and scoring their first goal.
Fantastic header by Hyypia but I am sure if he tried that again the ball would end up hopelessly over the bar.
Although Liverpool were non existent before the goal they grew in confidence and started to get back into the game. They looked the more dangerous of the two going into half time.
We lost Flamini after a bad tackle by Mascherano – how on earth did he not get him self booked last night? I counted at least 7 free kicks he gave away in the first 25 minutes.
In the second half Wenger did something really strange, he retreated. He pushed his wingers narrow and tried to catch Liverpool on the break.
This worked to an extend as the game became more cautious. Liverpool were not creating much, up until the long punt forward, which found Crouch, who found Torres, who scored a fantastic goal.
An exceptional player who has improved Liverpool no end; if only we got him instead of Reyes!!!!
I am not criticising the long ball by the way. It’s been well documented this year that we can’t handle it and they did well to exploit it.
The game opened up again after this goal, Alex Hleb created a glorious opening for Ade who had all the time and space in the world but rushed his shot and missed hopelessly wide.
We looked jaded and starting to run out of ideas when Wenger got Theo and RVP in the game, the latter looking seriously unfit with heavy strapping on both thighs.
The subs proved pivotal when Walcott picked the ball up on the edge of our box run through the entire Pool team and squared the ball Ade who simply could not miss!
Anfield was stunned; their silence was deafening. The only thing we had to do is not concede in the next 2 minutes, then they would panic and we’d go through!
That is exactly what we did not do! Conceded within less than 120 seconds, hopeful punt up the field found Babel, Toure breathed, Babel collapsed, the Kop asked for a pen and the referee was only too glad to oblige.
Game over! There was no coming back from that.
It was a really soft pen (you can watch it on the video above)and what makes it worse is the irony of the whole situation. Some of my friends were e mailing me all day saying they hoped that the game didn’t go to a shoot out as we wouldn’t be allowed to take any spot kicks!!!
I have in the past been over critical of Eboue and his diving histrionics. I promise my self on record I will never do that again!
As of today diving is no longer condemnable but just part of the game! Enough people do it against us, by being too honest we are only cheating ourselves.
Benitez the tactical genius!
People were again this morning saying that Benitez was a Champions League master which is utter rubbish. He made several mistakes last night!
Firstly he gave Arsenal a man advantage in the middle in the first half by playing Crouch.
Result? Liverpool were hardly in the game!
He got his tactics wrong! He just got lucky when Flamini got injured and also when Senderos gave Hyypia a free header to get them back into the game.
Secondly in the second half when they were in control of the game and winning 2-1 he pulled Crouch off the pitch and put Babel on!
An unnecessary substitution given that they had Arsenal under control. The idea was to strengthen the midfield by pushing Gerrard in the middle.
The result was to make his team disjointed , leave Torres isolated at the top and release the Arsenal fullbacks. T
This almost cost him the game as there was no outlet for them to hold the ball.
Mascherano and Alonso reverted to what they did at the Emirates; any clearance is a good clearance, constantly giving Arsenal the ball. This eventually led to the goal!
Babel did win the penalty but that was not by design.
Martin Samuel of the "Times"
An utterly ridiculous article by the man who loves to have a dig at Arsenal, but half the stuff he says make no sense.
Read the following and try and understand!
"When the noise had subsided, the victors and vanquished departed, when Anfield was at last silent, empty and still, the question remained: why?
What was it that possessed a defender as experienced as Kolo Touré to take fright, to be so terrified at the prospect of lasting just six minutes at this remarkable arena that he should give away the penalty that cost his team the game and the dream of a first Champions League crown?
And the answer will come back: it was Liverpool. It was this club, this particular team, and what they have come to represent in Europe. Touré was disturbed by the legend of a Liverpool who will not lie down, who return from the dead like The Shape in John Carpenter’s Halloween films.
Remember that scene in the pitch-black bedroom when the monster rises again, his white mask all that is visible in the darkness? On nights such as this, Liverpool are like that: unstoppable, remorseless, their power inexplicable".
We certainly did not fold last night; if anything they did! When they had to hold on they went missing, all of them; and they let us back in the game!
Our luck has to change at some point and lets hope it does on Sunday!