Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

Shaun Botterill

Liverpool come close in the second half but ultimately fall short at the Emirates, dropping out of the FA Cup to Arsenal.

liverpool blog fc sbn

Arsenal 2: Oxlade-Chamberlain 16', Podolski 47'
Liverpool 1: Gerrard (pen) 59'

  • That first five minutes should have seen Liverpool go 2-0 up given Daniel Sturridge's form--a terrific through ball from Steven Gerrard released him on goal for the first, and Luis Suarez played a cute little dink over the top for the second. Both times he mis-hit with his right foot, though, and Arsenal were out of jail early.
  • Fortunate for Arsenal to take the lead, though the set-piece that led to it was lazy from Jon Flanagan. Deflected shot fell straight to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Brad Jones had no chance. Crummy to go down after having the better part of the first quarter-hour, but I guess whatever and stuff.
  • Liverpool's attack for much of the first half was on the break, relying on pace and countering whenever Arsenal got men forward. It was not effective, and the opening 45 minutes was more notable for the activity of Howard Webb (SHOCK) than anything else.
  • Lovely break from Arsenal after Luis Suarez very nearly scored right after the restart. Oxlade-Chamberlain was played in wonderfully by Mesut Ozil, and the young winger's cut-back for Lukas Podolski was perfect. 2-0 for the hosts and Liverpool were mostly in damage control mode.
  • What a silly, silly challenge from Lukas Podolski. Liverpool weren't doing much outside of Luis Suarez, so Podolski naturally tracks back and makes an absurd attempt to dispossess the Uruguayan right as he entered the penalty area. Steven Gerrard then did what Steven Gerrard does, and suddenly it was a one-goal match.
  • Which should have arguably been level on another penalty when Oxlade-Chamberlain bundled over Suarez minutes later. Worse foul than Podolski's, nowhere near the ball, and Webb only a few yards away with a clear line of sight. Terrible, terrible no-call, and worst of all is that I suddenly became very interested in the match.
  • Gerrard should have been off for his foul on Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Webb's gonna Webb, so whatever.
  • Raheem Sterling's shift at fullback was another good one, even if it's not what we're looking for given his success in attack of late. With Jordan Henderson coming on Liverpool had an advantage in midfield, and Joe Allen looked better with Henderson around.
  • I was sure Agger's header was going in. Instead he got punched in the head, and no penalty was awarded. Terrrrrific.
  • Good job, good effort, arguably better than Arsenal on the day. Roll on next weekend.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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