Liverpool succombed to another defeat as Andrei Arshavin’s goal gave Arsenal a 2-1 win at Anfield.
The Reds’ sixth League defeat of the season didn’t look likely at half time, with Rafa Benitez’s side in control of the game and 1-0 up through Dirk Kuyt’s close range goal.
But the second half saw Arsenal come back, the same as Fiorentina did in midweek, and Glen Johnson’s own goal just 5 minutes into the second half changed the game. Johnson turned Samir Nasri’s cross into his own net and Liverpool’s fragile confidence was clearly shaken.
Just eight minutes later Arshavin, who scored 4 times in this fixture back in April, scored a world class goal from the edge of the box. The Russian’s first touch, turn and shot in off the underside of the bar left Pepe Reina no chance.
The first half had seen Liverpool denied a clear penalty when Steven Gerrard was tripped by William Gallas and the home side went close when Torres should have scored after great build-up play with Gerrard.
But if Liverpool were dominant in the first half, they certainly weren’t in the second period, failing to muster any real chance on goal, despite the introduction of Alberto Aquilani on 65 minutes.
Despite most other results going their way this weekend Liverpool remain seventh, level on points with Birmingham City.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson (Degen 82), Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano (Aquilain 65), Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun (Ngog 79), Torres
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Sktel, Insua, Dossena
Booked: Aurelio, Mascherano, Kuyt
Goal: Kuyt 41
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore (Silvestre 87), Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Walcott (Diaby 70), Arshavin (Ramsey 90)
Subs not used: Fabianski, Vela, Wilshere, Eduardo
Booked: Fabregas, Denilson, Arshavin
Goals: Johnson (og) 50, Arshavin 58
Referee: Howard Webb