Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool – Glass half full, glass half empty?

Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool
Premier League
Wednesday, 30th Janaury 2013; Emirates Stadium

Goals: Suarez 5, Henderson 60; Giroud 64, Walcott 67.

emirates_arsenal

Liverpool let slip a two-goal lead to share the points with Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

While most Reds supporters would have been happy with a point from this fixture before kick-off, having been two-nil up that point can also look like two dropped. A win would have put Liverpool level on points with Arsenal.

The Reds took the lead during a good start, when Luis Suarez‘s shot deflected past Wojciech Szczesny in the fifth minute. Liverpool pressed Arsenal high up the pitch and forced their defence into mistakes.

After half-time Jordan Henderson doubled the lead after more bad defending from the Gunners.

But the lead didn’t last long, with Arsenal hitting back with two inside three minutes – Giroud heading in from a free-kick and Walcott rifling past Reina.

Veteran duo Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard put in superb performances, while returning Pepe Reina made some vital saves.

Liverpool almost won it in stoppage time with Suarez’s shot forcing a good save from Szczesny. While Arsenal also had chances to win at the other end, with Giroud fluffing his lines from close range and Cazorla going close.

The result means Liverpool are still without a win against any team currently in the top half of the table at present. They face Man City at the Etihad on Sunday next.

Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Carragher, Agger, Johnson; Lucas, Gerrard; Downing, Henderson, Suarez; Sturridge (Enrique 71).
Subs not used: Jones, Skrtel, Shelvey, Borini, Sterling, Allen.

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  • Enrik

    Wasn’t the ideal finish ( which would be a win) but a good result. Even though Giroud isn’t the most physical of forwards, Agger was still outmuscled in his goal.. LFC really needs to solve their set piece issues. Kind of wish that we had another defensive midfielder we could sub in after we took a 2-0 lead so then we could just park the bus and win. Henderson looks great, our midfield seemed good, but a little slow. Really fun match to watch though, I thank Arsenal’s defence for that. All in all, great performance but some defensive issues need to be fixed.
    Go liverpool!
    YNWA!

    • sideshow_bob

      Great point. We are in a strange situation. BR has talked about defending with the ball and as Barca prove it can be done, but our movement (rather than passing) just isn’t good enough at the moment to be able to do that. I just think many of our players, particularly the British players, are schooled in a more direct style of play and turn their back on the ball more readily. Until we get the players (if we ever do) to play that style we need more physical strength to deal with defensive situations.

    • TRai

      I agree. It is more than half of the season and our set piece defense is still sh#t. BR, please use Zonal marking system or find another coach to help you. Every free kick against us looked like it could lead to goal.

  • Doggie

    Excellent performance – the result could have gone either way, so glass is simply 50% :o)

  • sideshow_bob

    Glass half full for me. Arsenal looked dangerous throughout, but we did well on the break. Stevie and Lucas got overran in the second half and we could certainly do with more muscle in that midfield. I said on the article discussing LS’s move to the left that wide men always get dragged into defensive work when their team doesn’t have the ball and that was always going to be the case against Arsenal. Luis performed admirably in the first half, but I don’t think it will work on a long term basis and may result in LS picking up more injuries. I think a 4-4-2 with Luis behind Sturridge is a better long term option.

    • junior galtieri

      ‘Stevie and Lucas got overran in the second half and we could certainly
      do with more muscle in that midfield. ‘

      Quite a jekyl and hyde performance from Gerrard I thought. He was excellent in the first half – bith going forward and defensively, but gave away the ball very cheaply in the second

      ‘I think a 4-4-2 with Luis behind Sturridge
      is a better long term option.’

      Suarez best position would definitely be behind Sturridge but in a 4-2-3-1 as opposed to the almost out-of-fashion 4-4-2

      Dalglish tried to take us back to the traditional 4-4-2 last season and it didn’t suit us

  • rossyboy2010

    After having time to reflect I have to admit a draw was probably a good result, even with letting a 2 goal lead slip – Arsenal had so many chances to win, in the end we were quite lucky. I was just disappointed that with Gibbs going off and the woeful Santos coming on he wasn’t tested more. Surely Rodgers should have brought Sterling on and really tested him? Wisdom should have been taken off as he worried me every time he had the ball and passed back, can’t help but think had Sturridge been on he would have tapped Suarez shot in at the end! On a good note Carra has proved me wrong and put in a quality performance, as he usually does v the big sides. Hendo too was immense.

    • Psych

      Agreed…at times it seemed as though Arsenal were just teeing off in our half at will. It was an extremely nerve racking experience to watch that. It seemed we weren’t pressing or passing the ball well.

      Something seems a little off in our passing game especially. It seems as though when we are really pressed and get into a really physical match just as in the manure, oldham, and now the arsenal game… we can’t seem to hold onto the ball. Hopefully this is remedied soon or a blueprint on how to play us has now been set. Perhaps with Enrique back it will gain us the attacking presence on both edges that will take the pressure off the middle of the pitch for us. Cause face it…Wisdom is nowhere near the threat Enrique or Johnson are.

      • rossyboy2010

        Exactly, I was shouting with Carra for the team to press higher and higher but the mental strength just isn’t there yet – frustrating as everyone knows its just a matter of time until you concede when you play like that, Sturridge was the only one in the top half most the 2nd half v 4 defenders and stood no chance.

        The teams so scared of losing the lead they just shut up shop, problem is our defending isn’t good enough to do so – ironically we’d have a much better chance if we carried on attacking.

        The main thing we can take away is progress. I always compare us v Arsenal/Swansea to Barca not in the difference of quality but the way they’ve been playing this style of football for years and we’re still starting out, so to match arguably the best possession sides in the league is an achievement.

  • Prince

    Extremely disappointed you know we played sh#t when Suarez looks like he is playing left back. We didn’t pass the ball around nor press for the ball. Sturridge was ineffective alone by himself. the most disappointing part is going up 2-0 against a bad Arsenal side only to lose everything in less than 10mins (mental weakness). will come good i havent lost hope in BR yet

  • AussieRed

    Gutted, 2 points dropped! We have played some really attractive football in patches this year but once / if we score against opposition of a similar or perceived higher calibre we sit back and try and soak up the pressure it does my f$&kn head in!
    For those that think liverpool have been transformed under Rodgers have a really good look at our performances no win against a side in the top 10 is disgraceful! We absolutely bossed sides last year, won a cup, lost another in the final and premier league results would have been far greater had liverpool not had the highest missed penalty conversion percentage in the premier league topped by the most number of shots to smash into the woodwork! Even those with the shortest of memories that bash the king on these sides cannot blame him for missed pen’s / hitting the woodwork!

  • Kooptillidie

    Stop complaining dude…last season and the season before, people complaining we are struggling to beat the team of the bottom half of the table, and this season look we have turn things around..and now they keep complaining we are without win with the team of top half of the table….BR have turn the things around even with his FIRST season…we have score more then last season and there still plenty of game coming!!!

    • marctick

      Yeah, stop complaining! We’re not totally rubbish, we’re just fairly ordinary! It could be worse. We’ve just got to keep aiming for mediocrity and hope for the best. That way contentment lies!

      With fans like you, it won’t be long before Premiership survival will be seen as a success.

      Go away!

  • johnsnow

    Good game! For once we have shown some serious bottle (albeit with an experienced side), This gives an experience to the younger blokes (eg allen and suso (no matter their obvious quality)) so they can see how the english game appreciates loyalty and gut. The draw was fair because of wilshere’s absolute quality… (great english heart great news for england!!!) And as a liverpoolmcrown we can surely appreciate our ability to get involved with a chanpions league side considered our league position!!!!

  • kistrand

    Carra came in and our defense was superb compared to the Oldham game. Legend! Still, I think it would have been quite unfair if we had won this game, Arsenal was far more active than us and I think we still do not dare to play against better teams. We just sit deep and do nothing but defend.

  • Rederik

    Good to see Gerrard and Carragher the two senior players putting in a good performance, the problem is players of this caliber are not being replaced, and it breaks my heart to say this, but the team is slowly but surely starting to look like they are only in the league to make up the numbers, we have to face the fact we are not progressing under the present owners and management, and there is virtually nothing to indicate things will get better in the long term, cup half empty with out a doubt.

  • josek

    Brendan got clobbered by the “fanbase” when there was was talk of letting Agger & Styrtel go for huge sums in the Summer. Neither of them are good enough for the style of football we are going to play going forward and for the type of fees mentioned we could have strengthened that position significantly.

    • Butragenio

      Agger is world class. Get over it.

  • sMoke

    This game showed we don’t deserve the 4th place. Arsenal a far better team, but our defenses are same.

  • Butragenio

    Poor performance. Both our goals were on counter attack, and we were pretty lucky to get both. Arsenal totally outmuscled us in midfield and tore through our defence pretty easily. Agger and Carra did a good job, but there is little you can do when the rest of the team is not in sync. Also, Enrique sub was 5 minutes too late… another clear indication that Brenda does the right things at the wrong time. Most importantly where does this leave us in the “progress project”? Will we have improved over last season?

  • Darryl W

    Once again defensive frailties are highlighted and we’re still looking for our first win of the season against a team above us, this situation is truly ridiculous.

    Brendan needs to work on his tactical side of the game and almost constantly sticking with the 4-3-3 is something that needs to change, our midfield despite all the money spent on it is still not good enough and Gerrard is still head and shoulders above the other players, just hope Coutinho can add the quality that we’re missing.

    Defensive minded players have been ignored by Rodgers in favour of attacking ones, if we’re to compete then we have to address the defence and add a quality defensive midfielder, Theo Walcott taunted LFC by saying he loves playing against slow defenders like ours, this situation has to be sorted out, but it looks like we’re going to have to wait until the Summer at the earliest before this happens.

    • imoff

      I’ve been making this observation as well that we need to add a strong Defensive midfielder as an able deputy/replacement to Lucas because it is there for all to see that we get overrun so easily in midfield many times this season.It is sad to see that the defensive midfielder position has not been addressed since last season and that’s probably one reason why we are in the position we are right now.

  • saraceaninc

    Improving but still a loig way to go, the team cannot retain the ball and little physical strength in midfield, Reina should have stoped Walcotts goal or any half decent goalkeeoer should have. Too mcuh respect for the opposition. This is a second rate Arsenal side. Fact remains we still have not beaten anyone above us. That iteslef is pretty dismal and tells the story.

  • ash

    I thought Gerrard was very poor, his passes were badly placed or intercepted easily and he was a bit invisible in the second half. Disappoint.

  • Rodgers supporter

    I have to ask what happened after walcott scored? our players played like they wanted to to something else… passion was nowhere to be found… rodgers didn’t make any substitution but enriqe and it was poor call. why we started to play so porly after scoring second goal???

  • marctick

    A very concerning second half. We were outplayed in many areas for the final 45 minutes and showed no capability whatsoever to stifle the marauding Gunners. Gerrard’s performance exemplified the fact that this ridiculous 4-3-3 formation leaves us prone in midfield.

    Any manager who plays a formation that has Louis Suarez spending most of his time deep in his own half, scrapping to get the ball to the lone striker, is clearly deluded.

    For anyone with a modicum of intelligence it is plain to see, 4-3-3 is not working for us. The solution is simple; get Suarez and Sturridge in a striking partnership. Either that, Brendan, or start winning some decent matches, because my patience is wearing very thin and I don’t think you’re remotely up to the job of taking Liverpool FC back to the top.

    Very disappointing… again!