Reds Take One Point After Leading 2-0
|The goalscorers celebrate...|
Liverpool started with a slightly changed line up as Pepe Reina was reintroduced between the sticks and Jamie Carragher was added to the back four. Up front for the Reds were Suarez and Sturridge.
Liverpool started the game with real intent, determined to put behind them their loss at Boundary Park, Brendan's boys were eager to pile the pressure on Arsenal. The effort paid off almost immediately as the Reds found their first goal of the night just 5 minutes in.
Arsenal's defence were quite simply all over the shop, failing to clear in the first instance the ball eventually fell to Sturridge for an effort, after half heartedly clearing again the ball fell to Suarez who took his chance head on and slipped the ball past Szczesny giving Liverpool their lead.
Suarez and Sturridge are looking extremely good as a partnership. We all knew Suarez was a bit of a magician but Sturridge also seems to know exactly where Suarez is and when. Sturridge also throughout the game despite not scoring offered us the outlet we have needed for so long, again, Sturridge's presence in the area ultimately led to Suarez receiving the ball and allowed us to gain an early lead.
For the next section of the first half Arsenal did manage to instill some sort of calm, Liverpool were still creating chances but at this stage the home side didn't look like they were going to break that easily, they were creating some good passing play but were struggling more than Liverpool in the final third.
Arsenal's rather safe period didn't last much longer in the game though as Liverpool continued with their momentum and provided several attacks for the home side to deal with. Arsenal's defence began to look very questionable, in open play Suarez and Sturridge were causing havoc and from corners the likes of Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson were making things very difficult for the back four.
Half time was reached with no more goals from either side but it was clear that there was still firepower left, certainly in Liverpool. I'd had a bet on it being 2-2 and with Suarez first goalscorer because I wasn't sure we'd be able to find a win but had predicted there would be goals scored!
Liverpool found their second goal on the hour mark and perhaps deservedly in terms of effort it fell to Henderson. Earlier in the game the midfielder had a chance to chip the ball over the Arsenal keeper but whereas most players have the confidence to take the chance instantly with Henderson you could physically see him hesitating, the thing that gets me with Henderson is his hesitation, if he just had enough guts to go with his first thought he'd be a better player. Nevertheless he made this chance count, this time with some quick thinking he gave the Arsenal defenders the slip, his first effort was saved but he made no mistake with the follow up emphatically putting Liverpool 2-0 up. Again, you could tell from the level of celebration how much the goal meant to Henderson, I have a lot of time and patience for the man I must admit that and was pleased to see him score.
Unfortunately for Henderson and Liverpool things quickly changed after the second goal. Probably fed up with being bossed all over the place Arsenal found an opportunity to pull one back.
Wenger's half time talk must have done the trick. A free kick from Wilshere left Liverpool with a lot to deal with, Giroud with a confident header though had scored Arsenals first.
Just 3 minutes later and the Arsenal onslaught was well and truly underway. Giroud was once again involved, setting up Walcott who with a superb strike had found the home side their equaliser. At this stage I was in one of those extremely horrible situations, this scoreline with Suarez as first goalscorer was about to win me a much needed £47 but I also wanted Liverpool to get the 3 points they were so close to picking up after going 2-0 ahead. Remind me never to bet on a draw again! Lol. It wasn't all bad though because if Johnson found our winner I'd of won a tenner, that would of been sound haha!
Liverpool though couldn't find a winner and neither could Arsenal. With the momentum now in their court there were some hairy moments for the Reds to deal with in the dying moments of the game but we also hit Arsenal on the counter too, eventually the game fizzled out and both sides had to settle for a point each.
This result is a frustrating one really because if you look at a 2-2 scoreline at the Emirates and think about that result before kick off then you'd be pretty happy about it but when you add in that you lost a 2-0 lead in a game you were controlling then it becomes very annoying. The game exposed some of Liverpool's weaknesses but it also highlighted the strengths, as I've said several times in the past few weeks it still definitely feels like slowly but surely Liverpool are moving in the right direction and hey, at least I got 47 quid out of it! Haha.
Next up for Liverpool is Manchester City on Monday!