Arsenal (1) – (1) Liverpool
The Emirates Stadium, London
Would you put money on yet another 1-1 draw at Anfield on Tuesday?
Today saw a lot of similarities from the first encounter apart from the final scoreline, including the fact that for all our play it was a set-piece and header which gave us our goal.
Cesc, Kolo and Gallas looked tired which isn’t surprising and Liverpool (with 7/8 changes from midweek) looked and performed like the fresher side. They were the better team in the first half an hour and just when Arsenal looked like they might do something Liverpool opened the scoring with a well-taken Peter Crouch goal.
He caused us all kinds of problems this afternoon and if Liverpool want to beat us next week all they have to do is play Crouch. Luckily Benitez will stick with his favoured Gerrard-Torres combination with the two Dutchman out wide which is, I think, a less of a threat than Peter Crouch is.
Arsenal did step up their game in the second half (sound familiar?) and got an equaliser ten minutes into the second period. Fabregas floated in a great freekick and Bendtner made an excellent run and headed the ball home from 5 yards out.
Seriously, we need to cross the ball more against this team!
And just to make the game like a carbon-copy of last weeks encounter we were denied a decent penalty shout when the game was at 1-1. To be honest, I didn’t think it was a penalty when watching the game but afterwards Graeme Souness who was talking to Sky said it was a stone wall penalty.
Maybe we’ll finally get one on Tuesday?
Liverpool are a compact side, who make things difficult and have that abilty to shut out teams. But there is no doubt that they suffer from set-pieces because of their zonal defending. Arsenal need to take advantage of this fact and score goals in the air in the upcoming Champions League game.
Whether Arsene will do this though is another matter.
I’d like to see Bendtner and Adebayor start on Tuesday but we know that won’t happen.
Our team selection is predictable.
Last week I predicted the team selection over 24 hours before the kick off, and it’s pretty obvious what the starting eleven will be next week.
GK: Manuel Almunia
RB: Kolo Toure
CB: William Gallas (captain)
CB: Philippe Senderos
LB: Gael Clichy
RM: Emmanuel Eboue
CM: Mathieu Flamini
CM: Cesc Fabregas
LM: Abou Diaby
FW: Alexander Hleb
CF: Emmanuel Adebayor
Walcott will not start because I just don’t think Wenger believes he’s ready for the big games just yet. I can see Theo making an appearance though in the second half depending how the match is playing out, probably coming on after 75 minutes. Nicklas Bendtner won’t start either because Arsene will put Hleb in the hole were he can link up with his mates Cesc and Flamini in the middle, which to be honest makes a lot of sense.
And with Rosicky out then there’s no choice but to start Diaby and Eboue. Diaby to be fair had a good game in Milan, but Eboue is someone who worries me. Because Kolo isn’t a proper right-back he needs decent defensive cover but Eboue just doesn’t provide it. Then there’s the fact he always loses the ball, makes reckless challenges and is prone to get stupid bookings.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets sent off.
So Bacary Sagna aside, it will be the team that did so well against AC Milan at the San Siro. The theory is with those 2 wide players we will be tough to break down and try to spring with pace on the break.
I guess we will see on Tuesday night.