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Monday, April 18, 2011

103 Minutes that Showed Arsenal that Liverpool Never Gives Up


They say you get what you give in this world. Liverpool’s 4-4 draw with Arsenal in the 2008/09 season was not only emphatic, high scoring and one of the most entertaining matches you’ll ever get to see, but it blew Liverpool’s chances of winning their first Premier League title in 20 years then. The draw, as sweet as it was, contributed to Liverpool letting Manchester United win their 20th Premier league title.

Cue in two seasons thereafter, the two were at it again, only that it’s Arsenal, and not Liverpool this time round who were the title contenders. Could another pulsating 4-4 draw be in store for us? LFC- Arsenal game has provided more hat-tricks than any other game in the premier league history.

In a repeat of the Spanish El Clasico derby which was played a day before, two penalties in the dying minutes of a 103minute game settled a high quality but poor game between Premier League hopefuls Arsenal and Champions league also-rans Liverpool at the Emirates stadium. The match wasn’t as highly entertaining as the 4-4 draw the two teams played out some time back in 2009 but it was worth watching. Arsenal dominated their opponents in the first half in which Liverpool’s injury problems came to haunt them again when Fabio Aurelio was forced out of the game and replaced by 17-year-old Jack Robinson at left back.

The first half ended in a stalemate. Liverpool started the second half better but injury problems soon compounded them when Andy Caroll looked to have twitched his knee bringing the match to a halt for some time. However he was able to shake off the setback. Soon it was to be Jamie Carragher who clashed heads with rookie John Flanagan and dropped down unconscious bringing an end to his contribution in the game. Greek centerback  Sotirios Kyrgiakos came in to replace the captain whose armband was then handed to Pepe Reina.

After Carragher was stretchered off the field to a standing ovation from the fans, the game got back underway after a protracted pause. Arsenal continued to push for the opening goal but the visitors defence were just good enough. Suarez and Caroll tried linking up to give the visitors the lead but Arsenal also held off the challenge.

This was never going to be a high scoring match as the 90 minutes ended without any team finding the back of the net. However, the 8 minutes added time changed everything. Not entirely the eight, but actually the last two minutes. After some neat passing from the Gunners, Cesc Fabregas looked to have been tripped by Jay Spearing and the referee pointed straight to the penalty area. Robin van Persie stepped up and sent Reina the wrong to send the largest crowd at the Emirate stadium into jubilation.

Gamer over right? Wrong. Never count out Liverpool. The Kopites had a torrid beginning to the season but people seem to have forgotten that one King Kenny is not at the helm. After fouling Lucas just outside the penalty area, Emmanuel Eboue, who I have to say had been impressive, appeared to push Lucas, again, but this time round in the penalty area and the referee gave it. Mr. Reliable, Dirk Kuyt, stepped up to dispatch a goal that might have put the last nail in Arsenal’s coffin and dented their hopes of catching up with league leaders Manchester United in the Premier League title race.

Liverpool were happy with the point but their voodoo against the Gunners continues. Titi Camara’s strikesecured a 1-0 success for Dalglish's men February 2000 when Arsenal were still playing at the Highbury stadium.

Any Liverpool fan would rather see Arsenal win the title than Man United. But none of them would want to see their team being beaten for that course. With six games remaining including a duel against Manchester at the Emirates, Wenger’s men still have a fighting chance.

Arsenal’s remaining fixtures   
                                                       
Wednesday, 20 April 2011                                                        
Tottenham v Arsenal

Sunday, 24 April 2011
Bolton v Arsenal

Sunday, 1 May 2011
Arsenal v Man Utd

Sunday, 8 May 2011
Stoke v Arsenal, 14:05

Sunday, 15 May 2011
Arsenal v Aston Villa

Sunday, 22 May 2011
Fulham v Arsenal



United's remaining Fixtures

Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Barclays Premier League
Newcastle v Man Utd

Saturday, 23 April 2011
Barclays Premier League
Man Utd v Everton

Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Uefa Champions League
Schalke 04 v Man Utd

Sunday, 1 May 2011
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v Man Utd

Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Uefa Champions League
Man Utd v Schalke 04

Sunday, 8 May 2011
Barclays Premier League
Man Utd v Chelsea

Saturday, 14 May 2011
Barclays Premier League
Blackburn v Man Utd

Sunday, 22 May 2011
Barclays Premier League
Man Utd v Blackpool

And That's thesteifmasterteake!!