Liverpool vs Arsenal – Minute by minute

by Michael Somerville

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

This fixture usually gives us goals a plenty, but with Arsenal fielding no out and out strikers and Torres not yet up to full fitness, this could be a tad dreary. Aquilani the promised man, the Italian who will make all the bad things go away isn’t fit to start.

Liverpool lineup: Reina, Carragher, Johnson, Agger, Aurelio, Kuyt, Lucas, Gerrard, Mascherano, Benayoun, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Insua, Ngog, Degen, Skrtel, Dossena.

Arsenal lineup: Almunia, Traore, Gallas, Vermaelen, Sagna, Fabregas, Denilson, Song, Arshavin, Nasri, Walcott
Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Eduardo, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere.

Referee: Howard Webb

90 secs: Great 360 from Torres, reminding Liverpool why they need him for his creativity

1: Arsenal looking to break with pace. Walcott (starting only for the 2nd time this season) wins a corner

3: Careless back pass from Nasri to Gerrard almost hands it to Liverpool.

4 Looking like a physical and tenacious game between the two sides.

6 Ambitious run by Benayoun cut out by Fabregas

10 Liverpool are looking good so far with Gerrard and Torres in the team together.

11 Fernando misses a sitter! Put through by Steven Gerrard but hits it straight at Almunia. Smart save by the Arsenal goalkeeper.

12 Clear penalty appeal turned down by Howard Webb. Gerrard brought by Gallas “en route” to goal. Not given.

13 Vermalaen heads over from Arsenal free kick. Arsenal chances are being limited here

Song is having a good game in midfield. Another good footballing decision by Wenger to keep him in North-London and not South East London where he spent a season at Charlton on loan.

20 Johnson just couldn’t squeeze it to a Liverpool player in the box

23 Yellow card to Denilson for a nasty challenge on Mascherano. Went for the ball I think

24 Glen Johnson has picked up a knock. Not the news Liverpool fans want right now with the dangerously poor Philip Degan waiting in the wings.

25 Mascherano picks up a serious knock. Comes back on in the 27th minute. Not that serious after all.

32 Fernando Torres goes down amid a flurry of challenges in the Arsenal box. No penalty

Involving game at Anfield here and remains 0-0

Xabi Alonso spotted smiling in the stands. Smiling at Liverpool’s current situation domestic and European??

40: GOAL! Kuyt gets the goal for Liverpool after an error by Almunia. Almunia’s flap falls straight to the Liverpool striker who makes no mistake, burrying it in the bottom left hand corner. 1-0 Liverpool

43 Cross by Johnson, and this time Almunnia catches it.

45 Superb link up play between Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott down the right hand side. Arsenal will need to use the flanks more if they are to get anything from this game.

HT: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 0

* Good first half performance from Liverpool and a useful lead for Benetiz’ men

2nd half: No changes for either sides. “PEEP PEEP”

47: Shot by Fabregas matched by a smart save from Reina. You won’t beat him from that tight angle.

49. GOAL! Cross from Nasri sees Glen Johnson horribly and inexplicably pass the ball into the bottom right hand corner of his own goal.

52: Great run from Torres but just can’t fire it accuratly into the box and is met by Almunia.

54: A flurry of challenges in the middle of the park sees Mascherano eventually booked for a challenge on Fabregas.

57: GOAL! Brilliant goal from the little Russian marvel who nestles it into the top left corner from 18 yards out leaving Reina watching helplessly! Arshavin hasn’t done much this game, but that’s a moment of class from Arshavin. Pity he’s not going to the World Cup.

Aquilani looks positively glum on the subs bench. “Why did I leave Rome for this?” he’s probably thinking…

60: Frenzied tackles coming in at Anfield, and unsurprisingly Nasri picks up a knock.

63: Still in the balance this one, but Arsenal need the win more than Liverpool, and it shows.

65: Mascherano OFF Aquilani ON

68: Walcott OFF Diaby ON. Wengers going for a more cautious approach and I’m not surprised. His team have lost shape.

72: Cheeky little run from Andrei Arshavin who seemed to be completly crowded out by Liverpool players still manages to get a shot off from 18 yards. Saved by Reina; Arshavin is much improved second half.

75: Arsenal need to hold on to this result if they are to have any chance of winning the league with Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City all dropping points this weekend.

77: Liverpool are looking dangerous going forward: who would bet against them grabbing a late equaliser?

77: Benayoun OFF N’Gog ON

80: Nasri booked. Aquilani has failed to make much of an impact but there’s still time…

81: Johnson OFF Degan ON. Johnson looks positively annoyed with himself for that OG and I don’t blame him. Traore can rest easy now, as Degan’s forward runs will not be anywhere near as testing as Johnson’s

82: Nice run from Degan down the right but the cross is abysmal. Glen Johnson he aint!

The strange sight of Arsenal with no striker seems to be working. Alexandre Song has been faultless today.

84: Lucas booked. “The Liverpool fan sitting next to me is complaining complaining complaining!

86: Traore OFF Silvestre ON. “Good decision by Wenger as Arsenal need a bit of experience to see them through.”

87: Arsenal want this more, and I predict a much needed win for the Gunners.

89: N’Gog remains anonymous and doesn’t look to be repeating his last minute goal against Man Utd.

4 mins added time.

91: Cross by Gerrard, blocked by Song. He has been everywhere today the Arsenal midfielder.

91: Arshavin OFF Ramsey ON “What can I say… incredible strike from the little dynamo looks to have won Arsenal the match.”

93: Foul by Gerrard sums up Liverpool’s day. Frustration and anger! And not just from the Scouser next to me who has just downed his Guinness in sorrow.

FULL TIME: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

Arsenal heap yet more gloom for Liverpool, as Benetiz looks for new ways to improve his team. Get rid of the dead weight first Rafa! Starting with Lucas and Degan

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  • Darren

    that was a truly sensational result, Liverfool were at full strength too, is that stat also right, they haven’t lost at Anfield when they’ve scored first since 2003?

    Arsenal are back in it, Burnley and Hull are their next 2 games, what an exciting season this is turning out to be!

  • Mike

    Arsenal weren’t particulary brilliant, but great goal from Arshavin seperates the teams. Agree with you Darren, exciting times ahead!

  • Darren

    I thought considering we had our 3rd choice left back playing our defence were brilliant second half. The fact they didn’t have a single shot on target speaks volumes.

    Knowing Arsenal though we’ll lose at Burnley on Wednesday!

  • Mike

    Have faith have faith! If Fulham can do alright then Arsenal should fine!

    I like Arsenal…:D

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