Liverpool vs Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: February 08, 2014 12.45 PM BST
The first game of Arsenal’s tough period started today, facing Liverpool at Anfield. And in all honesty, we couldn’t have possibly had a worse start. It seemed as if Arsenal just decided not to turn up at all, and judging by the first 20 minutes of game play, not turning up and forfeiting the match would have been far kinder on our goal difference.
Liverpool came out of the gates at full pace. In the opening minute Mertesacker was completely unaware that Suarez was running in behind him. The big German fouls the Uruguayan giving Liverpool the chance to whip one in. Arsenal have a history of being poor at set pieces, but it seemed like we had been getting better. There were hints of offside from the delivery, but nothing was given, and Skrtel knocked Gerrard’s ball past Szczesny with his thigh. Terrible start for Arsenal. 1-0 Liverpool.
Shortly after Liverpool earned a corner, and Arsenal looked all at sea once again. Another Gerrard delivery, Skrtel given acres of space by Koscielny, and looping a header from quite far out into the top corner. Szczesny and the man on the post (Chamberlain) unable to get near it.
These goals visibly rattled Arsenal, and the team really began to fall apart. No one in midfield was able to hold onto it, players were giving the ball away under no pressure whatsoever, and just letting the Liverpool midfield stroll past them through the middle. Özil was being very sloppy on the ball, trying to be too clever in a dangerous position, and starting a Liverpool counter. Suarez drove down our left side where Monreal was caught way out of position, and squared a ball across goal where the home side were lining up to tap it in. Sterling was there first and had an easy job putting it into the back of the net. 3-0 Liverpool.
Arsenal were playing high up the pitch, foolish against the pace of Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling. And our midfield was putting no pressure on their ball players. Özil again gave the ball away, and again Liverpool came at us on the counter. Sturridge was played through the middle easily, and his pace doing the rest; Koscielny and Mertesacker nowhere to be seen. One on One with Szczesny, curled around the keeper and into the net for 4-0.
Sadly these were just the goals, there were countless other chances for Liverpool to increase their lead, and no such chances for Arsenal. Sturridge had another one on one with Szczesny which he put wide, and Suarez almost destroyed the post with a fantastic long range shot.
Arsenal really need to step it up in the second period, a mirror of our 4-4 with Newcastle or the Capital One Cup match against Reading would be ideal.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
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