ARSENAL 4 – 1 LIVERPOOL
SORRY Reds fans. It just wasn’t our day. Arsenal took the 3 points from the game and Liverpool have 7 more league games left as we attempt to keep climbing the Premier League table. It becomes more and more important that Manchester United drop points as Liverpool seek to claim their current position (4th). Since we didn’t get any points against Arsenal, we’d really appreciate Aston Villa beating Man United today. We rely on others, not just ourselves in the struggle to keep going upwards and perhaps qualify for the Champions League by the end of the season.
The Liverpool line up had a few changes. We knew we’d be without a couple of key players who had suspensions – Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard. Their “replacements” were still quite strong players, we put Sakho, Toure and Can at the back and they’re very good players. Lucas Leiva has been a part of many Liverpool victories, we tend to win games when he’s a part of the team. It looked hopeful and we really can’t point out any huge mistakes the manager had made when choosing the lineup. He even had chosen to put Daniel Sturridge on the bench, despite him being reportedly injured – it was clear Rodgers wanted us to have options for chances of goals and Sturridge is a known goalscorer.
The first half went well – for about half an hour to 35 minutes at most. In fact, despite the fact that by half time we had conceded 3 goals, the first half was probably our best half. We spent about 35 minutes where we did not concede a goal, attacked well and made some promising chances where we almost scored and could have been the ones taking the lead. Most reds fans had thought up until the first goal of the game had been scored by Arsenal that we would go in at the break drawing 0-0 or perhaps even winning by a single goal.
The first goal of the game would be scored around the 37th minute by Hector Bellerin, seen here making his way past Alberto Moreno and getting his shot off which would have gone past Joe Allen and our goalkeeper before going into the net. Liverpool were shocked but probably just thought that now they would be one goal down by half time and kept on playing. Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool.
Around three minutes later, Mamadou Sakho would make a foul and the referee blew his whistle for a free kick. World Cup 2014 winner Mesut Özil would take the free kick and score it, giving Arsenal a two goal lead and this would not be the end of the goalscoring for them in the first half. Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool.
Another World Cup star would make his name for himself scoring for Arsenal, about 5 minutes later… Alexis Sanchez would shoot and score a right footed shot in the top left corner of the net, after being assisted by Welsh international Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal 3-0 Liverpool.
Liverpool had conceded three goals in around 8 minutes and it was looking like the game was already over as the teams went into the changing rooms at the Emirates stadium with Arsenal winning 3-0 at half time. Liverpool have come back from three goals down before (and against such strong teams like AC Milan) but unfortunately Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso were nowhere to be found as we would need to score 3 times in the second half to get any points from the game.
I have no idea what the manager’s reaction to this could have been. Most likely, he told them to keep their heads held high and that they had played well, despite the scoreline. A change would be made to the lineup before the kick off for the second half as Markovic got replaced by Daniel Sturridge, who was now under a lot of pressure to score and help us make a “comeback”, even while being slightly injured. He never would get a goal though one of our players eventually would.
Raheem Sterling contributed, though not by putting the ball in the net. He spent a large amount of time in the Arsenal penalty area, diving to the ground. I don’t want to label him a “diver” but he was seen going to the ground multiple times in the second half although the referee only gave a penalty one time after Sterling had been “fouled” by Arsenal’s first goalscorer of the day, Hector Bellerin. Jordan Henderson would be the one who took and scored the penalty, making it Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool.
It was the 76th minute by now and Liverpool had about quarter of an hour to go and were trailing by two goals still. I’m not sure very many of the dedicated Liverpool fans thought we would get a point out of this game by then but we never give up, even when the odds are against us.
This really wasn’t to be a “comeback” though. Sturridge was being tightly marked after being identified as the “danger man” (most likely to score) by Arsenal’s defense. He couldn’t get a shot off and we really didn’t have many other options for goals, except perhaps for Sterling to dive and win more penalties – which the referee wasn’t giving.
By the 84th minute, Emre Can had received a second yellow card and was sent off the field and will likely face at least a one match ban now. If we were ever going to get a second and third goal, we probably needed 11 men on the pitch to do it. It just wasn’t going to happen. By the end of the game with ten men, Liverpool would concede one more time as there would be an assist by Alexis Sánchez to his teammate and Olivier Giroud’s left footed shot from outside the box would go past Mignolet and into the top left corner of our net. Arsenal 4 -1 Liverpool.
The referee would then soon blow his whistle for full time and put an end to the humiliation.
All I want to say to the reds fans now is “STAY STRONG IN HEART, don’t lose faith”. Defeats happen in every season but what do Reds fans do? We walk on through the storm. We walk on through the wind. We walk on through the rain and YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE, Reds. We’re all going to be walking on together with our 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 (about 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.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.