Praesidium

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Liverpool 1-0 Arsenal

The advantage of being single is being able to watch football in the pub on Valentines. We got great seats, and it was a great game – well, maybe only a good one for the neutral, but Liverpool were totally dominant.

Unfortunately wayward finishing from Morientes, combined with Lehmann’s good saves from Kewell, Fowler and Senderos(!), kept the score down. Indeed, when Gerrard’s penalty was saved, I thought it might not be our night. Gerrard and Cisse seem to trade penalty duties, with both having missed quite a few. I really thought it might’ve been a good chance for Robbie, even though he hasn’t scored for us yet. I’d like to see him taking the next one.

Anyway, Arsenal were anonymous. Veit asked where Pires was – I said ‘I think he’s on the bench’ while Tom thought he was injured. It says a lot that he was only shortly after subbed off. We hadn’t seen him influence the game at all!

The same couldn’t be said, however, for Garcia – who I’ve often thought of as our answer to Pires. Only on the pitch for a few minutes, he latched on as Lehmann was only able to parry Hamann’s shot, and put the ball in the net for a deserved late winner. While his inconsistency may be frustrating, he certainly knows where the goal is – he has a knack both of running into dangerous positions and scoring important goals. It’s good to have him back from injury, with our strikers generally mis-firing.

It’s a shame we weren’t able to produce a more convincing scoreline. On shots, we must’ve won about 20-2, even if many of ours were admittedly off-target. Arsenal, conversely, offered so little in attack that The Times even mis-identified our goalie as Carson rather than Dudek (penultimate paragraph).

Games are coming thick and fast now, but let’s hope we can take this form and some better finishing into the Man Utd and Benfica matches.

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