Anfield, Sunday 15th August 2010
Well that was certainly a game of two halves. The first half saw Arsenal have the lions’ share of the game and the chances (indeed it would be hard to concede that Arsenal were not the better team in the first 45 minutes) and then in the second half we had the lions’ share of the game and the chances (and we were the better team in the second 45 minutes).
What was more remarkable about our second half performances was that we did it with just ten men on the field after Joe Cole was harshly sent off for a tackle on Arsenal new boy Koscielny, which looked worse than it actually was especially when earlier on Jack Wiltshire had been booked for an equally controversial challenge. To cap it all off Tomas Rosicky performed an identical challenge on Stevie G and just got a yellow.
Justice was sort of done, however, when Koscielny got sent off for a second bookable offense in added on time. There was no malice in Cole’s tackle on Koscielny, Joe Cole isn’t that sort of player, and indeed have never been sent off prior to this game, it is just frustrating when there are far worse tackles than that going unpunished, or given a lesser punishment (a case in point here being Wiltshire and Rosicky’s challenges which both got bookings, but no more), but this is football and you just have to take it on the chin, as sometimes these things happen. It is still bloody annoying though!
The end result was sickening for us, because we led for the majority of the second half after David N’Gog’s put us ahead just into the half with a well taken shot. We battled and battled, and even went down to nine men for a short spell when Agger went off (we had already used our three substitutions by that time), and still went looking for a winner after Arsenal had equalised, but sadly it wasn’t to be, but all credit to the lads for not giving up and battling right until the final whistle.
There was a little bit of luck on Arsenal’s side for their equaliser right at the end of the match, and it was doubly annoying that had we had lasted another couple of minutes then we would have had 3 points rather than the 1 we ended up. Still, at the start of play I would have taken a 1-1 draw, as I would have at half time when Cole was sent off, but after N’Gog’s goal I thought that we might just go and win the game.
This is how I like to see Liverpool play and hope they continue to do so for the next 37 league matches. Come on you Reds!
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Jovanovic, Mascherano, Kuyt, Cole, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Torres, Maxi, Babel, Lucas, Kelly.
Arsenal: Almunia, Clichy, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Diaby, Nasri, Eboue, Sagna, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, van Persie, Vela, Walcott, Song, Gibbs. Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)