MaCinJay’s Musings

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Archive for April 2008

Champions League: Liverpool v Arsenal (second leg)

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Halftime and it’s one-all yet again. Arsenal started strongly with Diaby scoring early on. Regrettably I missed the goal as a result of the satellite feed breaking up, but Rena looked at fault from the replay. After that Arsenal continued to dominate but were undone after thirty minutes when they conceded yet another goal from a corner kick after Hyypia lost his marker – the hapless Senderos – and sent his header soaring into the top-right of Almunia’s net. Sad to say, Arsenal just aren’t as solid in defence (especially against set-pieces) as the team of old. Anyway, the second half is about to start…

We were robbed! All Arsenal needed was to draw and score more away goals than Liverpool. So all was not lost when Torres scored with about twenty minutes to go. After that Wenger threw on Walcott and Von Persie for Diaby and Eboue in a desperate bid to turn the tie around. For a wonderful moment it looked like it had worked after Walcott ran past the entire Liverpool defence to lay on a goal for Adebayor with full-time approaching. Within a minute of the restart though joy turned to despair after Liverpool were awarded a very dubious penalty, which Gerrard duly dispatched to the back of Almunia’s net. Markus Babel scored again in the closing seconds of the match to make it safe for Liverpool, almost every Arsenal player having been thrown forward in a frantic attempt to level matters yet again.

So 4-2 to Liverpool on the night, though it could so easily have gone the other way. Wenger will have to take stock now that Arsenal’s one realistic chance of winning a trophy has gone; it will take a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Arsenal to win the Premier League from their current position. I’m sure that he regrets not strengthening the side during the last transfer window. Tonight the team was let down by poor defending by Senderos, who in my judgement was responsible for Liverpool’s first two goals. So we desperately need a quality centre-back, as well as a decent holding player in midfield. As for the attack, Henry’s departure was almost a blessing because it encouraged the younger players to take more responsibility. But in big games like this you need players of his sort. Wenger will need to persuade the Arsenal board to put up the money for one.


Written by macinjay

April 8, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Posted in General

English Premier League: Arsenal 1 – Liverpool 1

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I missed most of the fast half of this game. When I finally managed to tune in Arsenal were 1-0 down to a well-taken goal by Peter Crouch.

Arsenal outplayed Liverpool in the second half but, sadly, goals have become scarce for them in recent weeks. They did manage to equalise though, Bendtner heading home from a corner kick set-piece after beating the towering Crouch to the ball. Thereafter the Gunners dominated most of the possession but had nothing to show for it.

So, yet another draw for Arsenal. Benetiz will be happier than Wenger with the point gained; even if Everton win their game in hand they will still be three points adrift of their local rivals in the race for the fourth spot. As for Wenger, his team desperately needs to put a string of wins together to have any chance of winning the tile.

Written by macinjay

April 6, 2008 at 8:22 am

Champions League: Arsenal 1 – Liverpool 1

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It seems that Arsenal fare better these days against European opposition than domestic rivals. The only victory they have managed since the win at the San Siro was against the hapless Bolton, who incredibly threw away a two-goal lead with a one-man advantage after Diaby was sent off following a challenge he made similar to the one that brought Eduardo’s season to a premature end. (Thankfully Steinsson, the Bolton player on the receiving end of Diaby’s challenge, was not seriously injured.)

The first leg of the Champions League 1/4 Final against Liverpool started brightly enough when Adebayor scored a headed goal from a corner early in the first half, only for Kuyt to equalise a few minutes after Gerrard penetrated Arsenal’s box with one of his trademark runs. There were no more goals scored in the match although there were opportunities for both sides. Arsenal also had a penalty appeal turned down in the second half after Hleb appeared to be manhandled by Kuyt. Then, bizarrely, Bendtner doubled as a Liverpool defender by blocking a Fabregas shot destined for the net. 

I fancy that Liverpool will be happy to go to Anfield with the away goal under their belt. It is not quite the fortress of old for them perhaps but it will still be an uphill battle for the Gunners in the second leg. Before that though they will have to face Liverpool again on Saturday at the Emirates stadium for a crucial Premier League game. Arsenal have to win to keep alive any challenge they might still have for the title. Similarly Liverpool need a victory to help secure the all-important fourth place to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Talk about make-or-break!

Written by macinjay

April 4, 2008 at 7:58 am