Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool’s form on the road has improved this season, but the capital is still not a good place to go it seems… though Luis Garcia did score our first London goal of the season.
In fairness, Arsenal probably had the balance of play, and certainly created far more chances. Maybe if we’d have drawn it would indeed have been a case of ‘nicking’ a point. On the other hand, one could argue that having ridden the storm and then come back to score an equaliser, maybe there’s a sense in which we deserved a point.
Certainly having pulled ourselves back into the game – Garcia proving why he’s always a threat, and notching another headed goal – we could have gone on to get a draw – and who knows, maybe undeservedly snatch a win.
Unfortunately Alonso’s dismissal soon after the goal proved to curtail our revival. There was no way he deserved a second yellow, for basically falling over near the ball. The referee obviously didn’t see the incident, and thought Alonso had made a clumsy sliding challenge…
Admittedly, the talking point will be Gerrard’s terrible back pass – straight through to Henry, just like Euro 2004 – mistakes happen to the best of us, but his desire to waste a bit of time was (I think) a direct consequence of us just being reduced to ten men. What’s even worse, of course, is we’ll now lose Alonso to suspension as well (which we can't appeal)... I have to say, I thought some people were getting a little carried away raving over Sissoko, whose distribution and tackling were often ‘raw’, but we’ve missed his energy in midfield.
Still, defeat to Arsenal is no big shame – and provided we can re-capture a bit of form we still have a healthy lead over them in the table. I’d certainly have settled for this back in August.