Before I go onto my main topic of discussion let me say, that although it’ll be a pain to see United win the league and tot up a superior number of titles to us, I NEVER want to see us effectively for fit a game before it’s played.
Moving on let me start by saying what a terrific finish to a tactically fantastic game of football. I raved after last weeks game about the performance of ‘Jay Leiva’ and if ever one of my articles was justified it was that one. Once again both proved more than a match for their midfield counterparts, superb. Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere had a lot of the ball sure but did they really create many clear cut opportunities? No. This was most of the time down to the excellent positioning of the pair of them, Arsenal are a team that like to play the ball through teams not around them and we just didn’t let them. Kenny, Steve and Sammy set our boys up brilliantly, we were able to stand up and clear anything that came up against us. The possession stats may look as if Arsenal ruled the game but we know that’s not quite true. We looked dangerous on the counter in classic Liverpool fashion, Suarez and Carroll looked a threat and defended well from the front. Raul Meireles and Dirk Kuyt were absolutely tireless throughout making it difficult for Arsenal to move around our back line. Oh and what a last minute penalty that was!
A word on Jack Robinson and John Flanagan, these boys were fantastic. An absolute credit to our youth system and a credit to the club. Flanagan got booked early on and it didn’t phase him at all, he knocked out Jamie Carragher (not an easy job by any means) and continued professionally and calmly. Jack Robinson hasn’t had a first team appearance for a year and his first task is to stop Theo Walcott having an impact on the game, and didn’t he just do that. The fact a relatively experienced Walcott was taken off before the end is a credit to Robinson, shut him out of the game and Bendtner barely had a touch when he was introduced. As I say both lads an absolute credit to the club and shows are back line has some terrific strength in depth.
Pepe Reina, if we cast our minds back to the first game of the season Pepe’s mistake was a huge blow so late in the game but he made a save from Robin Van Persie that has gone unnoticed, he stuck a left hand out to deny the Dutchman and keep Liverpool in the game when it mattered most. Kyrgiakos came on and did a great job, he had a torrid time against West Brom but came on when we had our backs to the wall and was faultless, well done to the big Greek.
Finally I want to talk about a player that in my mind was actually Man of the Match, Flanagan and Spearing had brilliant games once again but Martin Skrtel was key to the point gained today. He has been great all season under difficult circumstances but today had to deal with many obstacles. He kept Van Persie relatively quiet and had to deal with the loss of Carragher and Aurelio either side of him. Every time a boot HAD to be stuck in it was his, headed away countless balls in and made clearance after clearance. Fantastic performance and one I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Our positioning was brilliant and made us so hard to be broken down. That when it’s teamed with our work rate makes us a force to be reckoned with. After such a good match against City I was worried we’d come into this jaded but we were anything but. A point for Liverpool and it was deserved, Arsenal never did enough to beat us.
I was worried at half time I wouldn’t have much to to about for his weeks podcast, the worry for some reason has gone now. (You can download the podcast on Itunes here for free – http://www.tinyurl.com/EOTKPodcast)
Well played boys