Date: 2nd February 2013 at 2:00pm
Written by:

Arsenal v Liverpool FCSOME may berate the mid-week performance against Arsenal, not because they were allowed to pressurise the Liverpool defence so much, but because two largely avoidable goals were conceded in 3 miserable minutes.

Yes the Liverpool midfield wasn’t particularly solid in the second-half, yes the Gunners were running at the defence a lot more vigorously.

Then Henderson’s goal should’ve sealed off the game. But it didn’t.

The only thing I remember thinking while watching when it was 2-0 was: ‘We’ve got to stop booting the ball away. We’ve got to keep it longer and make them run about for it a bit. Every time they get the ball, they’re finding their men, it’s too easy and it’s going to be trouble.’

It was, and it was so in spectacular fashion.

A nothing free-kick allowed them to head one in. Then overlapping runs and Theo Walcott finds himself inside the box, turns and shoots a bullet past Pepe Reina.

Seeing the replays did make me wonder if the Spaniard could’ve done more to stop that instead of what it looked like to me, the ball going under his semi-stretched right arm.

I could be wrong. It could’ve been much quicker in reality.

This doesn’t change the fact that a side reeling from an embarrassing cup defeat at the hands of Oldham were on track to defeating Arsenal at the Emirates.

Both Liverpool goals were lucky in a way, but I will say this:

Having criticised Jordan Henderson more than my share, and while I’ll never agree on the justification of bringing him to the club as a replacement for Raul Meireles, who back then still wanted to stay, I was greatly impressed by his tenacity to take on 2-3 Arsenal defenders, followed by the presence of mind to nick the ball in to the net once it rebounded off the keeper.

A defender was literally milliseconds away from booting it away so good on him for scoring that goal and putting the team in the driver’s seat.

What followed…hopefully Brendan Rodgers has an explanation for it.

If he does, I’ll be doing my share of praying [and this from an atheist] that he and his team put it in to use this Sunday. As we all know, it’s a big one. Not THE big one.

We’ve already lost to Manchester United. This is just their neighbours. But we’re still playing the Champions of England this weekend, and it’s at their backyard.

When they visited ours, we gave away two sloppy goals yet again after, and on that occasion, scoring two brilliant ones. Repetition this weekend wouldn’t surprise me.

A turnaround of that statistic which shows Liverpool haven’t beaten a top team yet – would frankly send me to the moon, and I may even remain there for a while.

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