Liverpool squander a two goal lead in just over three minutes as Arsenal Jekyll and Hyde their way to another draw.
- Arsenal’s feckless defense continues to fuel the dystopian novel industry. Luis Suarez opened the scoring just five minutes in on a play so thoroughly ‘Arsenal’ it begs no explanation. A Sagna slip plus one Vermaelen whiff led to the goal, Suraez’s 17th in premier league competition. He’s the tenth Red to reach that total.
- Suarez was excellent throughout, victimizing Sagna on numerous occasions. The Uruguayan’s pass to Daniel Sturridge led to more hysteria in the Arsenal box. Sagna’s lack of pace was prevalent throughout. It’s time Wenger gives Carl Jenkinson run.
- This has been the pattern for the Gunners. High profile fixtures are met with fear by their players. Danny Dichio described it as ‘nervy,’ an apt way to put it. Wojciech Szczesny’s indecisiveness on a corner kick nearly led to goal number two for the visitors. Lukas Podolski cleared it off the line, avoiding disaster.
- The first half was defined by the counter attack. Liverpool thrashed Arsenal on the wings. Andre Wisdom and Stewart Downing had their way with Kieran Gibbs and Podolski.
- Arsenal finally composed themselves, holding most of the possession. And then the unthinkable happened. Gibbs had to be withdrawn after injuring his leg in the 35th minute. Andre Santos — do his best whacked out Joaquin Phoenix meta actor impression– came on two minutes later. Beating up on Santos has become child’s play for Arsenal supporters, but the object of their ire should not lay solely on him. Arsenal do not have a competent second team right back. They’ve made zero additions on the transfer market. While his addition would be welcomed, David Villa should not be the priority. This team desperately needs competent defenders. Get on the damn phone.
- Liverpool made it 2-0 15 minutes after the restart. A resilient Jordan Henderson barged through four defenders, benefiting from a deflection off Aaron Ramsey and slotting the ball past Szczesny. Henderson deserves plaudits for his tenacity, but Arsenal’s clown shoes defending aided him immensely.Per Mertesacker was awful. Santos…the less said the better.
- Miguel Delaney has a great piece over at ESPN FC detailing Arsenal’s inconsistency. Arsenal have made their hay beating up on smaller clubs, scoring an incredible 44% of their league goals against last season’s three promoted sides. They’ve also relied on strong second half performances to lift them from the holes created by stunningly poor first half play. They did it again today.
- Jack Wilshere’s superb free kick found Olivier Giroud for Arsenal’s opener. It was the French striker’s fifth goal in three games. 176 seconds later Giroud laid off for Theo Walcott, who made it 2-2 with a well taken strike that Reina should’ve had.
- 21 starts, 14 goals and 11 assists in Giroud’s first season in North London. Not bad at all for a man labelled a flop in October. Unfortunately he exits this game wondering what could’ve been. Podolski’s pass in the dying minutes took a slight deflection on its way to Giroud, making what looked like a tap in slightly too difficult.
- Seconds later an atrocious Santos giveaway nearly gifted Liverpool the game only to have Stewart Downing produce one of the worst crosses in recent memory. 2-2 FT at the Emirates.
1. Luis Suarez
2. Olivier Giroud
3. Jack Wilshere