24th August 2015
FA Premier League – Venue – The Emirates Stadium, Islington
Arsenal V Liverpool
After two wins Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start at Arsenal. Liverpool began the game well with Christian Benteke having a shot himself, then setting up Phillipe Coutinho who hit the bar within two minutes. The makeshift center back Callum Chambers was looking extremely nervous as Liverpool almost took advantage early on. Arsenal began to settle a little and had an effort from Aaron Ramsey ruled out after he was adjudged off-side from a through ball from Santi Cazorla. The replay suggested he was unlucky to be flagged.Moments later Alexis Sanchez had a header flash just over the bar.
Liverpool dominated the rest of the first half and their new found solidity with Nathanial Clyne and Joe Gomez again impressing, gave a platform for Firmino, making his starting debut, and Benteke to play. Milner brought a good save from Petr Cech. In the last five minutes of the first half Cech pulled off two more fine saves from chances that came from more mistakes from Chambers. Coutiniho crossed for Benteke who should have done better from three yards but he allowed Cech to make what was still a fine save. Then Coutinho ghosted passed Chambers only to see his shot hit the post. Liverpool had much the better of the first half but we went in at half time goalless
Half Time – Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0
Arsenal began the second half the better. Cazola put an early shot just wide and Sanchez set up Olivier Giroud whose shot was deflected over the bar. Sanchez and Giroud, whow as starting to get into the game, teamed up again with sanchez setting Giroud up for a volley which he put just wide. Then roles reversed with the Frenchman setting up Sanchez who looked like he had to score but hit the outside of the post.
The games began to get stretched as Benteke gave Liverpool an outlet to try and counter as Arsenal were pressing forward. Benteke’s hold up play allowed Coutinho to make some room for a shot on the counter but it was straight at Cech. At the other end Giroud’s best chance came from a ball from Ramsey but under pressure from Dejan Lovren he slipped and could not get the power in the shot allowing Simon Mignolet to make the save.
The pattern of the game remained for the rest of the match with Arsenal pressing and Liverpool trying to counter when they could. Giroud put another shot wide and James Milner’s strike for Liverpool set up by a break from Joe Gomez was staright down the throat of Cech. Martin Skrtel could have cost Liverpool their hard earned point in the final minute when Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed toward Aaron Ramsey and Skrtel stretch to get it away was just enough to put it wide when it could easily have ended up in his own net. In the end this entertaining encounter deserved a couple of goals but probably ended with the right result. Given the way Liverpool’s fixtures fall, with on paper a favourable run in given they will have played all of the big 5 sides away before the end of February, this was a big point which will keep them in touch, exactly where they need to be to challenge for top 4, and just maybe more than that if they can maintain this new found solidity that has got them a clean sheet against one of the leagues top attacking sides.
MOON OF LIBERTY FINAL SCORE
Arsenal (0) 0 Liverpool (0) 0
MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN – Petr Cech (Arsenal)