|Image via mirror.co.uk|
The game started very brightly for the Reds who were off the mark with a shot from Benteke in just two minutes, shortly followed by a strike that smashed off the woodwork from Coutinho it looked like Liverpool were going to punish Arsenal in the very early stages.
Just before the eight minute mark the only blip in the first half for the Reds occurred when Arsenal had put the ball in the back of the net. Aaron Ramsey was ruled offside by the linesman but on closer inspection there appeared to be little wrong with the goal.
Brendan Rodgers' side continued to build the pressure in the first half as the Gunners struggled to deal with some slick movement from the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Milner and Benteke. Coupled with a solid defensive display and some confident runs from Clyne and Gomez Liverpool were making Arsenal look like an average side.
I haven't seen us play that well at the Emirates in a very long time but it was becoming more and more evident that despite our best efforts we just weren't going to find that all important goal. The final nail in the coffin came when Christian Benteke missed what looked like a simple shot at goal. A superb searching cross whipped in by Firmino was begging to be reached by the Belgian, he got a foot on it but Cech with a good save prevented the Reds from taking the lead. For me, he should have smashed it high into the net and over the keeper, or just put some height on it to be safe really. I don't mean to complain but I can't help but feel he could have done better there. A frustrating moment for sure.
Benteke's chance wasn't even the final of the half, at 44 minutes a shot from Philippe Coutinho looked destined to find the back of the net but Cech kept his side in the game once again with a sublime save to push the effort onto the post.
After failing to score in the first half Liverpool knew that Arsenal would benefit from the break, able to regroup and pounce on their visitors after stalling their rhythm.
Wenger's side did begin to get a foothold in the second half but the game was still scrappy (I hate that term but it describes what I saw) neither side really could maintain a strong enough grip on possession which led to rapid breaks, increasing the excitement for both sets of fans.
Alexis Sanchez hit the post at 59 minutes for the home side but just ten minutes later hearts were in mouths as Giroud's shot from close range may have won the game for Arsenal if it wasn't for the quick reactions of Simon Mignolet. Another brilliant save in a game where the goalkeepers both shone.
Arsenal continued to push but Liverpool would not let up. A special highlight should be placed on the performance from Martin Skrtel who was an absolute rock in defence getting all his tackles and aerial duals spot on throughout the 90 minutes. He's often moaned at and he definitely is prone to a mistake but the service that man has given to this club is phenomenal, proud to have him on my shirt.
And so, Liverpool were forced to settle for a point in an enthralling 0-0 draw. The plus side is that it was a fantastic performance from the Reds and they are yet to concede in the league. With West Ham up next, things are looking good for Brendan Rodgers' side.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
@LFCKirstyLFC Another step forward by LFC vs a 'big' team, who got a lesson in the 1st half, & were saved by their keeper. (Part 1)— Nigel Coady (@IrishRed11) August 25, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC 2nd half, Arsenal penned LFC back, but decent defending & some good saves by Mignolet keep it at 0-0. Clyne /Gomez excellent— Nigel Coady (@IrishRed11) August 25, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC Played like a team Skrtel was the best I'd ever seen him Milner excellent Couthinio simply brilliant— Terry Harper (@tezsar08) August 25, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC was at the game last night, stand out performer for us, Gomez, what a talent we have there. So assured for someone so young.— #drumnbreakfast (@DjRemedee) August 25, 2015