Arshavin Embarasses Liverpool – And Arsene Wenger (w/ Player Ratings)

Liverpool (4) – (4) Arsenal
Arshavin (36′, 67′, 70′, 90′)
Anfield Stadium, Liverpool

What a crazy game.

And what shambolic defending, from both teams.

The bottom line was that tonight too many players (possibly because of an FA Cup Semi Final hangover) weren’t in the game at all. Denilson was particularly dreadful, and Cesc Fabregas wasn’t in the game at all. Bendtner was lazy and couldn’t even be bothered doing the simple things such as closing down or making runs, and then we have our defending.

And somehow we drew the game 4-4.

On reflection, we didn’t deserve anything from tonight’s game. We were very sloppy at the back, we were completely beaten in midfield and upfront Bendtner was toothless. So how the hell did we score 4 at Anfield?

Two reasons; Fabianski and Arshavin.

Fabianski had to be called upon so many times it was ridiculous. Liverpool dominated throughout and he really kept us in the match. And Arshavin had 4 attempts, 4 of which were on target and he scored 4 goals.

This guy is world class. All 4 goals were superbly taken and he was our best player by a country mile. I cannot tell you how good this player is – without him we would have left Anfield with what we deserved – absolutely nothing.

Make no mistake, tonight was a smash and grab in every sense of the word.

So you wonder why the hell Arshavin didn’t start against Chelsea at the weekend. The mind truly boggles – what was Arsene Wenger thinking? This guy has been our best player since he arrived and not to play him in the FA Cup was a travesty – I still can’t get over it. If he can score 4 stunning goals against Liverpool at Anfield then what could he have done against Chelsea?

Arshavin didn’t just embarrass Liverpool tonight, he embarrassed Arsene Wenger.

Because all he needs is one chance. He proved that tonight.

Liverpool’s first equalising goal came from a shocking ‘clearance’ from the usually solid Sagna, who looked a bit jaded after only just coming back from injury. Kuyt had two chances to cross the ball and he finally found Torres for a well taken header.

The second was from a deep cross which somehow made it over the line, and the third wasn’t great either. Torres did well to make the space and score but it was far too easy, and once again Fabianski was exposed.

And the fourth was in injury time.

As a defensive unit we weren’t comfortable all night. Liverpool were on top for the majority of the match and throughout the game made chance after chance. It was almost the Fabianski show and he had to make a lot of decent saves to keep us in it.

But against the run of play Arsenal amazingly managed to take the lead. Fabregas did well to nick the ball away from Mascherano on the edge of the box and find Nasri. Then the little Frenchman played a brilliant reverse pass back to Cesc who squared for that man Arshavin to smash the ball into the net.

We lead 1-0 at half-time and collapsed in the second. Silvestre seemed hell bent on playing short back passes which put us under pressure time and time again. Toure was trying to do what he could but he couldn’t cover for the hopeless Silvestre, who in all honesty is past it and I am really worried about playing Manchester United twice with him in the side because it will be a massacre.

But after Liverpool took the lead Arshavin popped up again.

Arbeloa got dispossessed by the little Russian and he ran towards goal before smashing the ball into the side netting for 2-2. Simply a stunning strike by anyone’s standards and amazingly we were back in it.

The third was terrible defending from Liverpool as Aurelio decided to do a Sagna and give the ball straight back to the opposition from a cross. Unfortunately for him it fell to Arshavin who duly smashed the ball under Reina for his hattrick!

Don’t be mistaken, no-one else in the Arsenal side would have scored that goal.

And to really put the cat among the pigeons his fourth was another sumptuous strike. Walcott went on one of his slalom runs after a Liverpool corner and played in Arshavin, who smashed the ball passed Reina with his left foot.

4 attempts and all of them went in.

This guy is unbelievable. Two goals with his left foot, and two with his right.

If we had him available to play in Europe I’d be confident of going all the way. Because Bendtner and Adebayor aren’t good enough or clever enough to out fox defenders like Vidic and Ferdinand.

Player Ratings

Lukasz Fabianski – 8/10
Put the nightmare of the Chelsea game behind him, despite conceding 4 goals. He made some excellent saves throughout the Liverpool barrage and you couldn’t fault him for any of the goals, which were all caused by shocking defending. Kept us in the game because you wouldn’t have argued if Liverpool scored 7 or 8.

Kieran Gibbs – 8/10
One of our better players despite only being the youngest in the side. Coped well with Kuyt for the most part but wasn’t helped by Silvestre’s antics at the back. Very energetic and always wanted to attack although he was caught out defensively a few times during the first half.

Kolo Toure – 7/10
Made some excellent tackles and tried to keep the defence together the best he could. Torres caused him problems all night but managed to keep him down to 2 goals when it could have been more.

Mikael Silvestre – 4/10
Truly terrible. Slow in body and mind, Silvestre is sadly past it. Struggled at the weekend and struggled tonight – 2 games in 4 days is probably asking too much but the number of lazy passes (both to the goalkeeper and other team-mates) was unbelievable. He was always in trouble once a Liverpool player was running towards him and has Fabianski to thank for keeping it down to only 4 goals.

Bacary Sagna – 6/10
The usually reliable Sagna looked a shadow of himself tonight, making several mistakes. But you can put that down to a return from injury because he hasn’t played that badly since he’s worn the Arsenal shirt.

Samir Nasri – 6/10
Floated in and out of the game but ineffective overall. Had a tidy game but hardly influential.

Cesc Fabregas – 6/10
Well he has kept his unbeaten league run going as Arsenal captain but bar the assist for the first goal was pretty anonymous. Moved the ball well but couldn’t get control of the game which was disappointing considering Steven Gerrard wasn’t even playing.

Alex Song – 6/10
Did okay, and was much better than Denilson. Made some descent tackles and passes but at times wasn’t interested in helping the team defend. Too many times Liverpool players had shots from distance and he would just stand there and watch instead of closing down.

Denilson – 4/10
I’m not sure if he’s tired or in his comfort zone but he was terrible tonight and contributed nothing. Actually, that’s not strictly correct since he did manage to give the ball away several times in dangerous positions. His ‘pass’ to Torres after 4 minutes to set up a shot sums up his performance.

Andrey Arshavin – 10/10
He didn’t get much of the ball throughout the game from his team-mates but that didn’t matter. He took all of his goals superbly and showed the quality he is, which is world class. He’s been our best player for the last 4 months now and it was a shame his team-mates didn’t show the same desire tonight, because despite playing badly overall we could have even won the game because of this guys brilliance. It is not an exaggeration to say he carried us tonight.

Nicklas Bendtner – 6/10
Pretty lethargic and like most of his team-mates didn’t seem bothered. For a player who is supposed to be hungry and fighting for a first team place he didn’t even attempt to close down defenders or make runs for his midfield which is something you have to do if you’re the lone striker.


14 thoughts on “Arshavin Embarasses Liverpool – And Arsene Wenger (w/ Player Ratings)

  1. The ten of them should all donate their wages to the Russian.NOw we have one superstar we just need another 10………get busy bying Wenger.

  2. are u kiddin man, song 6? he did exceptionally well today cinsidering the opponent he had, he basically defedned the central midfield alone coz denilson didnt help!! Nasri 6? he desrves atleast the same as toure he was inneffective in the frist half but wasnt everyone he was fantastic wen arsene played amster stroke with nasri and song in the middle-ehich i think is the best pairing after fabregas nd song

  3. Song 6!!! Goonbrother, you are spot on . Song was excellent. our second best player. He has been great for game after game this season after a sticky start.

    Fabianksy may have made some good saves but he did not make a single one that I would not expect Almnuina to make and for two of their 4 goals he was at seriously fault. If Arsene doesn;t buy a keeper in the summer I will be amazed.

    We WERE VERY LUCKY to get a point tho

  4. Silvestre is a disgrace. Song was a close second to Arshavin for man of the match in my book. Still not convinced about Fabianski. cud have saved a couple of those goals. still got a long way to go to catch up to Almunia. Bendtner put in a berbatov performance today. lazy motherfucker.

  5. Quite honestly i had no idea Denilson was on the pitch, i honestly couldn’t have told you who the 11th man that was playing in lieu of a 2nd striker was. I can’t figure out if that is better or worse than the fact that i definitely knew Silvestre was playing because how amazingly bad he was.
    Thank god for Arshavin, Song, Toure and Gibbs..

  6. Agree with melcfromfinsburypark, Song was good tonight and with Arshavin were the only two players who performed. Also I think you’ve overrated Fabianski – yes, while he did make some saves he was also poor for a couple of the goals, the second and third in particular. Manual Almunia would have only conceded a maximum of 3 goals tonight.

    Again, Wenger played the wrong team. The five in midfield should have been:

    Arshavin – Song – Nasri – Fabregas – Walcott

    Denilson has been a passenger for weeks now and needs a rest or a kick up the backside. Nasri was far more effective in the middle when he floated about and Walcott would have caused more damage on the right.

  7. spot on abt the praises for arshavin. He totally deserves it! I f*king love him!

    It was Liverpool-4 Arshavin-4.
    Without him we would be thrashed by them. All his shots wasn’t tap in or serve on a silver platter.
    And yes none of the players could have scored any of those!

    And funny how some fans are saying they ‘understand’ or think that wenger was right to not play arshavin in the fa cup semis. How wrong were they!
    Even when he wasnt scoring, he was tracking back and making defence splitting passes!
    And sagna has been awesome for us but i think he deserve less than 6 for tonight

  8. gr8 post!arshavin single handedly got us the draw.he was immense & like u i’m still baffled & r.upset on why wenger didnt play him against chelsea:( yeh & the mancs are gona hammer us if we defend like this.we need to play 4 4 2 with song as dm & denilson on the bench,cos den is gona get raped in that match & wenger plz dnt play diaby as he’s simply a squad player who comes on in the last 10mins when we’r 2/3-0 up.we need to play eduardo cos he has clever movement & is clinical unlike bendtner who is a retard & ade who is a jekyl & hyde player.and fabregas needs to step up a gear – song has been better than him recently & i thought nasri put in a lot of work 2day while bendtner does not cause the defence problems…

  9. Great finishes from Ashavin after being gifted in all 4 goals..
    Terrible defensive eras led to each goal. Again, great finishing not inventive creation.
    But I’ll take it and happy that he is cup tied for the semis against United.

  10. Mostly accurate ratings, although i thought Nasri, particularly in the first half looked our brightest hope going forward and made the first goal.

    Song was a mix of excellent and dreadful as he seemed the only Arsenal midfielder who was bothered to defend and not give the ball away cheaply, although his forward passes were unbelievably poor and inaccurate.

    Fabianski was at fault for a couple of goals, but when so much gets through your back four against a team like Liverpool it is impossible to save everything. It would have taken one of the best goalkeepers in the world to have kept a clean sheet yesterday evening, and alas fab ain’t one (yet)

    Oh and what of walcott??? he came on and played amazingly!!!

  11. couldn’t disagree more on Bendtner. Guy was up front on his own and ran it well, not closing down stupidly but allowing the ball to move wide before closing down. Little service as Fab and Nas had a night off. Song again I thought done very well, he could have done with some support though and Sagna hardly surprisingly looked shattered after 60 minutes and should have been replaced by Eboue. Hope Sylvestre goes in the close season as he’s old, slow and just not good enough. Be nice to have Torres as he’s just pure class.

  12. The defence was bad but remember we have all these players out. With Almunia playing, we would have probably won the game.

    Sagna had a shocking game by his standards. Sylvester has not played a lot and it showed, he needs more games under his belt as he was injured so long, but who would take that risk given an alternative.

    Fabregas… I think we are better when he does not play. When we had a midfield of Song/denilson and the trio of AA/Nasri/TW the team was more balanced. Sell FAb in the summer if we are better without him. If AW had chosen Walcot ahead of Fabregas last night, no way, Liverpool would have bossed the game.

    AA …. Hats off. We need cover for the defence, not enough depth I am tempted to say.. But then who could forsee that JD and Gallas would be out at the same time.

  13. Nasri and song should have got 7’s.

    Both of them were tracking back and tackling, something neither fabrigas/arshavin or denilson were not doing.


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