My initial reaction to this match is one of confusion. While, the back and forth action is awesome for the neutral, it has to be frustrating for a Red. While an away point at The Emirates is nothing to sneeze at, one must wonder if the Reds should have gotten more.
The First Half
The first half saw a goal disallowed. Big Virgil was stopped on a 1v1 and also hit the woodwork off a set piece. The disallowment of the Mane goal in the 17th minute was told to us by the commentary team, that it was a bad call. Without patting myself on the back, and without knowing all the ins and outs of the rules, I saw it just as they did in real time. Once Bobby chipped the keeper and the ball came back off the post with Sadio onside, its a new run of play. However, this wasn’t the most egregious of calls on a bang bang play, so I’ll let bygones be bygones. That is unless we lose the league by a goal differential of 1, then I will personally lead the charge to implement VAR in the EPL.
Only five minutes after that, Virgil took a great ball from Salah. Unfortunately after he took it off his chest, he just mishit it off his shin. If he catches it with his boot, then its two nil and Liverpool are probably home and hosed with three points. Not to far after that, VVD once again found misfortune when he headed a set piece off the piping and it deflected just wide.
Liverpool were fortunate not to concede in the 15th min. It was a cross played in, which Allison came charging out on and barely did enough. The issue here was TAA. Trent was playing on his opposite side. However, with the play in front of him, he cannot play Mkhitaryan onside. He needs to be better than that.
The second half saw the Reds score against the run of play. James Milner slotted home a sublime opportunity to put Liverpool up by one. This is when I thought our counter attack would take over. Of course that didn’t happen as The Redmen seemed content to sit back and try to see out the game.
The 65th minute saw such an attack. Mo led Sadio just a tad much, and in the end it was quite innocent.
In the 81st minute, Lacazette tied the match with an outstanding curling effort. I’ve seen some people trying to place blame for the goal. They need to realize that Arsenal are also made up of professionals and that they are allowed to make a good play or two as well.
The remaining time saw little else and both sides got out alive with a point. While it was disappointing not to keep our foot on the throat, it is a decent enough result. Going forward though, the Mighty Liverpool need every point, seeing how City cant stop scoring at the moment.
Like I said before. It was a confusing match. The shots and saves were close to equal, with Arsenal taking 12 shots, 4 on target and LFC with 13 shots, 4 on target. The fouls were even at 7 a piece. The disturbing fact is Arsenal had 62% possession to our 38%. That might not have been an issue last year when the counter was firing on all cylinders. But this is an issue when trying to see out games and we can’t hold on to the ball. How do we want to win? If its get a lead then hold on, we need to do much better than only 38% possesion.
Virgil is a man amongst boys. He didn’t score, but his play out of the back was superb. Its like he has a gravitational pull to any ball thats in the air. It just fines him.
Robbo is just so consistent on the left side. One second he’s playing a cross in, the next he’s breaking up an attack in the box. Pure class.
Trent needs to be better. Maybe the semi scandal tht broke this week had something to do with his mindset. It just seemed he was a tick off.
Mo’s definitely playing better. I would like him to look for his shot a little more though, instead of always trying to make the perfect play.
Fabinho is going to be a monster in the Midfield. Still a step slow, but some bonecrushing tackles that will make people think twice. I like the grit he’s shown.
James Milner extended his streak of 49 unbeaten matches in which he scored. A true professional. It will be a shame if he does in fact leave at seasons end.
All in all, a match that felt more 3-3 than it did 1-1. Some good, some bad, some confusion. Now on to Serbia!
These are my ramblings and thoughts on this weekend. I welcome any questions, comments or criticisms. Feel free to drop a line and tell me what you think!
You’ll Never Walk Alone -Hooch-