Monday, 3 September 2012

Liverpool v Arsenal

After qualifying for the Europa League group stage to face Anzhi, Udinese and Young Boys, Liverpool turned their attention back to the Premier League and the pursuit of a first win of the season. The lineup included a debut for Nuri Sahin and Raheem Sterling again getting a start alongside Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini.
Liverpool had the first real chance to score via Fabio Borini but he shot wide of Mannone's left post and minutes later the same result came from a Luis Suarez set-piece.

Liverpool looked the most likely to score as the first half went on but were then dealt a massive blow as Gerrard lost possession when trying to put Suarez through on goal only to be intercepted by Podolski who fired the ball up the field to Santi Cazorla who advanced past a back tracking home defence to then lay the ball off to Podolski who's shot crept under Johnson's leg to then take a slight touch off  'keeper Reina and slot in the right corner after 31 minutes.

Liverpool's response to the blow was instant as Gerrard and Borini linked up to put in Sterling but his shot narrowly missed the left post and meant Liverpool went into halftime 1-0 down.

The second half started brightly as Gerrard found space out on the right and crossed looking to pick out Suarez but Suarez looked to have been wrestled to the the ground by Per Mertesacker but appeals for a penatly were turned away by referee Howard Webb while replays showed that Mertesacker had been lucky not to have been sent off.

Downing entered the fray just before the hour mark and setup Suarez who forced a save from Mannone who tipped the shot over the crossbar to stop Liverpool from levelling the score. 

However on 68 minutes, disaster for Liverpool as Cazorla and Giroud linked up passes and Cazorla surged into the box and struck for goal with the ball cannoning off Reina and going in to give the Gunners a two goal lead and leave Liverpool needing a miracle to salvage a point.

Liverpool pressed to get back in the game but in the final 20 minutes their efforts failed to come to fruition and despite an impressive performance another game goes without a win.

The international break could be a blessing and give Brendan Rodgers the chance to find what needs to be done in order for Liverpool to claim a first win which hopefully will come against Sunderland.