ARSENAL 3-4 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool start the new season with a Premier League victory against Arsenal and it was a reminder of how entertaining Premier League football can be and has been since it started.
Back in the 1990s, Liverpool had 4-3 results against Newcastle. Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember these fixtures. Needless to say, they were glorious and exciting games with 7 goals in them. It was always hard to tell who could win them and left fans on the edge of their seats, praying for a win. Then the prayers were answered by the end of the game. For one of the teams fans, at least.
People talk of the miracle of Istanbul and rightly so. It was a comeback to be remembered. So too, were these 4-3 results. Liverpool have gotten other comebacks outside of Istanbul and more than once, Newcastle were our opponents. Today, Arsenal were our opponents for the miracle comeback. Liverpool’s stadium (Anfield) is still under construction to one of the main stands and so, we’d play this fixture down in London. Liverpool are likely to be playing fixtures and seating our own fans in the new stand at Anfield by October, though.
Klopp started players out as mostly expected, though perhaps some people thought they’d see Matip start instead of Lovren in central defence. Matip wouldn’t play at all today. I still value him very highly and know his great potential. He’s got all season to fulfill that potential though.
The first half an hour of football was rather shaky. Both teams looked confident, but had problems defending the attacks that came at them and goals looked likely to be scored, even if it wasn’t possible to say who’d get the goal first. You couldn’t accurately say that either one of them was going to turn out to tbe the winner based on the these 30 minutes of gameplay. It was anyones game up until this point.
Arsenal scored first!
Around the 31st minute, Theo Walcott recieved the ball and started making his way into Liverpool’s penalty area. The closest defender to Walcott was Alberto Moreno and Moreno would come crashing in with a rather clumsy tackle, which the referee decided was a foul and I don’t think any Liverpool fans disagreed with the decision. It was rather plain to see that Arsenal deserved to be awarded the penalty kick.
Shockingly, it would not be the penalty that gave Arsenal their lead.
Simon Mignolet reacted very quickly and dived to his right hand side to stop Walcott from scoring the penalty. The Liverpool fans were all busy with showing their love for the goalkeeper that may have been replaced as first choice goalkeeper if Karius wasn’t injured at at the moment. Clearly, he still has something to contribute to the first team even if he is now in competition with another goalkeeper for a regular place in the starting 11.
Even more shocking than that would be while Liverpool fans were all still praising Simon Mignolet, an entirely new Arsenal attack had begun. Not a rebounded shot from the saved penalty, that had been dealt with but the game was continuing without delay. Arsenal still seemed determined to score, even after their penalty kick miss.
Iwobi would run down the right hand side of the pitch, provide an accruate pass to Walcott and then Walcott placed the ball as far into the left hand corner of Liverpool’s goal as it could have gone. Any further and it would have hit the far post, rebounded and not been scored. But it was just where it needed to be so that Mignolet couldn’t save it and that it would end up in the net. Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool.
Liverpool didn’t have to despair and give up now, there was at least 15 minutes left to play. We shook off the shock from the goal and just kept on playing as we had been already.
The last quarter of an hour of the 1st half went quickly. We were very determined not to be losing by half time. A foul was committed by Holding around the 45th minute. Liverpool had a free kick from about 25 yards. Coutinho would take it and curled it perfectly into the top left corner of the net. Amazing goal, perfectly executed.
Arsenal didn’t have time to counter attack after it had gone in, it was the last kick of the first half. Liverpool went in drawing 1-1 at half time.
The second half was eagerly awaited as fans yearned to see more as we all wondered who could possibly come out as the winner of this exciting fixture.
It wasn’t long before there was another goal and this time, it was Liverpool taking a lead.
Around the 49th minute, Liverpool pushed forward and ran towards Arsenal’s penalty area with the ball. New signing Georginio Wijnaldum would assist Adam Lallana from inside the box and Lallana accurately placed a shot under the goalkeeper and into the net as he was closed down by Peter Cech. Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool wouldn’t stop scoring here, either. About 7 minutes later, Nathaniel Clyne was on the right wing with the ball. He looked up to see Coutinho in a dangerous position not far from the penalty spot, crossed over the ball to him and our magic Brazilian tapped the ball past Cech and into the net for his 2nd goal and Liverpool’s 3rd goal of the game, giving us a two goal lead. Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool
With about half an hour to go, Arsenal made a couple of susbstitutions, which had a large impact on the game for them. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey was replaced by Santiago Cazorla.
Adam Lallana wasn’t done impressing our travelling fans just yet however and would provide an assist for Sadio Mané, who perfectly placed a left footed shot into the top left corner of the net. Arsenal 1-4 Liverpool.
Liverpool’s fans were still busy celebrating Mané’s goal when all of a sudden, the three goal lead became a two goal lead again. Arsenal went right down the other end of the pitch and scored so quickly, some fans didn’t even notice it had happened. Both substitutes that hadn’t long been brought on were involved in this goal as Santiago Cazorla assisted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who would place a right footed shot from the left side of the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the net. Arsenal 2-4 Liverpool
Liverpool just dealt with it the only way they could… try not to let it happen again, but we would concede once more.
Around the 75th minute, that substitute Santiago Cazorla would assist another goal as Calum Chambers headed home Cazorla’s cross and put the ball in the bottom right corner of Liverpool’s net. Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool.
There was at least 15 minutes of regular time to go and eventually, another 5 minutes of extra time to be played so Liverpool continued to hold on without conceding for another 20 minutes before the full time whistle finally blew. I was proud that we didn’t throw our lead away and gift Arsenal a draw or even a win in this time, we did just enough to keep them from stealing our 3 points away. Well done, Liverpool.
Man of The Match?
Coutinho worked hard and provided Liverpool with two goals and considering that we won by only a single goal eventually, it was critical that we had him there to help us achieve our victory. The only down side about him was that he limped off injured, looking like he had cramp around the 70th minute. It probably won’t keep him out for very long.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our first Premier League fixture of the season. It’s always important to start off well and you can’t get much better than victory against Arsenal for your first result. Lets hope we can continue this kind of success for a very long time. One match at a time, though. Liverpool will play a Premier League fixture against Burnley next. We’ll be back to cover that on 20th August.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.