Liverpool suffered their first defeat of 2010, going down 1-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
In what was a key match for both sides, the home side came out on top courtesy of Abou Diaby’s second half header.
Liverpool lacked an attacking edge and only after going behind did they push forward and attack their fragile hosts. Substitute Ryan Babel crashed a shot against the bar in a rare moment of excitement for the travelling Reds.
Earlier lone-forward David Ngog was denied the best scoring opportunity when he was put through on goal but William Gallas recovered to put in a superb tackle.
There was controversy late on when Steven Gerrard’s free-kick was clearly blocked by Cesc Fabregas’ arm in the Arsenal wall. Referee Howard Webb somehow didn’t see it and instead blew for full time rather than booking the Arsenal skipper and possibly awarding a penalty.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
“It was a pity because in the last 20 minutes we were pushing hard and had chances.
“It was just quality in final third that made the big difference. The second half was much better and we could have got something.
“It’s important for us to have a good run of results. There’s a long way to go and we need to keep on going.”