MaCinJay’s Musings

another case of inverse vandalism

Posts Tagged ‘English Premier League

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!

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Written by macinjay

April 4, 2008 at 7:58 am

Five points clear: Arsenal 2 – Blackburn Rovers 0

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Up to now the current English Premier League season has been a real nail-biter. But after both Manchester Utd and Chelsea dropped points over the weekend Arsenal had a chance to go five points clear by beating Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates Stadium on Monday evening. (United’s home defeat against local rivals City was certainly an unexpected boost; they had not lost to City at Old Trafford since 1974!)

Arsenal had the perfect start, going 1-0 up from a corner kick after Phillippe Senderos cut loose from his marker (the hapless Benni McCarthy, who looks a shadow of the player from last season) and scored with a rocket of a header. For a while after that it looked like Arsenal might go on to repeat the demolition of Rovers from last season, when they won 6-2. But while some of Arsenal’s passing movements were a joy to behold the final ball often let them down and too much possession was conceded, allowing Rovers to get a toehold in the game. Even so the deficit would have been a lot higher if it wasn’t for Brad Friedel, who made a series of crucial saves. Alexander Hleb – easily the best player on the night – also hit Friedel’s right post with a low shot in the second half. He had the last laugh though after setting up Adebayor in the dying seconds of the match for yet another goal in his incredible scoring streak that now stretches to nine games.

While the season is far from over the five-point cushion will provide a nice psychological boost for Arsenal before the FA Cup tie against Utd, who will surely be harbouring a few self-doubts now after the defeat against City.