We Gave Arsenal Their Boost
Just in case you missed it.
They had been outdone by United and outdone by Chelsea, unfortunately, Liverpool who make up the big four could not enforce a similar humiliation of a weak looking Arsenal side.
Before we go on though, in all honesty, was anybody realistically expecting much? Although i felt as though we "could" get a win, it was the draw that was looking more feasible and definitely acceptable, but after calming down from the result yesterday, i don't know about your selves but there is a strange feeling of "I'm not really surprised."
We have never won at The Emirates, Arsenal had a point to prove, we are lacking attacking options at the moment, throw in the loss of Kyrgiakos, the forced substitution of Jamie Carragher and Howard Webb's bad eyesight then you have a recipe for Arsene Wenger's bragging rights breakfast.
Let's not fall back on refereeing decisions, substitutions and missing players though because the performance was just not good enough.
The first half reminded me of when we faced Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux back in January, we started the first half in almost identical situations.
Passing the ball around, sitting back, happy to wait until a chance came to us, too patient to go and make something happen.
Now when you are playing a team like Wolves, this attitude can make more sense, however when you are facing an Arsenal side, known for their attacking flair, although we were the ones obviously happy to come away with a draw, this ideology would never work. We should have known Arsenal would come up trumps eventually and when it happened, it was far to late for Liverpool to change tactics and try to get one back.
The first half therefore quite predictably was lacking chances and action, the only real moments to highlight were a Maxi Rodriguez attempt that appeared to hit Vermaelen on the arm, an Arshavin chance that hit the side netting, an Arsenal sub Nasri off, Rosicky on and two cautions given to Arsenal players.
Not forgetting Jamie Carragher running around with what seemed like a split lip, blood everywhere, on the shirt on the floor, did he come off? Did he heck! He was told to change his shirt but then ran straight back onto the pitch good old fashioned English football that. What would follow in the second half for Carragher though would prove a big blow to Liverpool.
Just ten minutes into the second 45minutes and Carragher was forced off due to a tightness felt in his thigh. The problem doesn't appear to be too serious though so hopefully he will be back for the clash with Unirea.
Degen was the man who came on in replacement, now my first thoughts were of his impressive stints in past games and also the attacking aspect he could add to the game, something we clearly needed. However, it didn't turn out to be a good game for the Swiss man, unfortunately, it was mostly him to blame as result of the goal to come.
Thomas Rosicky who had earlier took a terrible second touch on his run into the box and blew a fantastic chance for Arsenal made sure that he could redeem himself. He produced a great cross which was met by a free in space Diaby and Reina was beaten.
Degen who was too far forward when the attack was coming in did track back, and because he is pacey he made it back in time, thing was though he was nowhere near his position, he should have been covering Clichy who was on the left of the picture and although he had hawk eyes on the man miles away from him, even when Kuyt spotted the problem and covered Clichy for Degen he didn't pick up on the forward pushing Diaby and was left standing to watch the header go into the back of the net.
Despite this, and without denying that Degen did have a poor game, fact is, you can't win games without scoring and you can't get a draw from 1-0 without doing that either, and let's be true, we never really looked like getting anything past Almunia.
Our best chance in the second half came from Ryan Babel, no denying this, full credit given although still, i don't see enough in his full game to reason his choice before say the likes of Riera. He did very well to get his chance in though a powerful run and then a snapshot effort which saw the Arsenal goalkeeper tip it onto the cross bar.
Our final and only hope of an equalizer was the last kick of the game, Steven Gerrard lines up for a free kick, if there was anyone on the pitch that could spark a miracle it was him. A fantastic take which was almost certainly goal bound was then saved by Cesc Fabregas's hand.
I'm not going to sit back and complain but the camera never lies, ball + Fabregas's hand = Howard Webb is blind.
With Man City up next, we could seriously do with beating them. Although we still find ourselves 4th in the league, above Mancini's side on goal difference, they do still have 2 games in hand. City have been dropping some silly points though and there is no denying that a win here would allow our confidence to continue despite this loss to Arsenal.
One to forget i'd say, time to look forward to Unirea and the prospect of some silverware for Liverpool.