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The highest quality Arsenal v Liverpool game in years

Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0
From Goodplaya at the Emirates

(Apologies for the lack of updates in the past week – the home internet went down in the storm and still isn’t working).

This, by some distance, was the highest quality Arsenal v Liverpool encounter in many a year. And no, just because a game finishes 4-4 it doesn’t make it high quality. I know some Liverpool fans weren’t entirely happy with their performance yesterday but I’ve sat through some steaming piles from them in recent years and their show yesterday was infinitely better than any of those.

Admittedly, few of their chances were truly clear cut: when Suarez hit the outside of a post, for example, it was one of those where close as it was, there was no angle for it to go in. But Bacary Sagna fouled an onrushing Suarez in the first half and the forward took the free-kick early only for the referee to pull it back, I do think we were a little fortunate because by the time that whistle went and Gibbs and Szczesny stopped, we were already in a pretty perilous position truth be told. So they were a little unlucky there.

But ultimately, good as they were, we were better. The basics were all there: when Liverpool did have the ball, we were disciplined at the back and always worked hard in midfield and up front to get it back. Arteta was excellent defensively and going forward. Flamini was hardly missed.

And it was when we went forward that the ball was shifted at such speed. I’ve just watched the highlights on Match of the Day and they struggled to convey just how high tempo we were going forward.

Our opener was a great example: Arteta just suddenly powered forward at great speed and put in a delicious ball for Sagna. And you know, it was a good cross, which is not something you can often say for one that bounces before it passes the six yard line. But it was clever because it was where the Liverpool defenders weren’t.

And as it bounced and you saw Cazorla running at it, you felt as if you were watching the making of the latest super-slomoed, then suddenly sped-up advert for a certain TV provider attempting to sign us up. It was brilliant from Cazorla.

And then there was Ramsey. Just when you think he’s about to stop being the best player in the country, up he pops again. It perhaps wasn’t Kolo’s finest hour – had Martin Keown been his central defensive partner he’d have bollocked him – but it was a mighty fine strike.

And so we march on. This was a game where pretty much everyone other than Ozil had a very decent game. The surprise packages, I suppose, were Arteta and Rosicky but great credit should go to the centre-backs to and to Gibbs, who I keep forgetting to mention but who has been outstanding of late.

What was so pleasing about this was the way we responded to a couple of set-backs of late: we’d lost to Dortmund, got a result that was better than the performance at Palace and been pretty nothingy against Chelsea truth be told. Liverpool on the other hand appeared to be in flying form.

It is true that our truly big tests are yet to come. But they are ultimately only worth three points each and while you’re going to struggle to win the title if you don’t have a good record against the other top sides, you definitely won’t win it if you’re incapable of dispatching the rest and that we’ve done, largely, with aplomb.

21 Responses to “The highest quality Arsenal v Liverpool game in years”

  1. D says:

    Is the world really so full of delusional arsenal fans? Booing the team off 1 minute, acting like glory hunting ‘fans’ the next. I mean what does “march on” mean. They’re not some irresistible force of nature. They haven’t won anything for 8 years and they’ll win nothing this.

    And Ramsey, the best player in the country???? Ha ha ha ha!!!!

    The only certain thing about arsenal is that they’ll be booing down at the library again soon and waving their Wenger out banners.

  2. Bye bye Bale says:

    Wow, the bitter spurs fans are up early this morning. Go and have a lie down D, you’re just embarrassing yourself here.

  3. Macky says:

    No team is easy in Epl,big or so called weak teams,the title goes to the most consistent team….

  4. D says:

    Not a spurs fan mate. Just having a Sunday morning laugh at these arsenal jokers. Weren’t you all booing Ramsey off last season? 8 years …

  5. Wallace says:

    good post. all the talk pre-game was Suarez & Sturridge, lots of people neglecting to remember we also have some excellent players. i think this defence as a unit is as good as we’ve had in a while, and the midfield is gloriously heavy with options. once we have Gnabry, Walcott, Poldi & the Ox back we’ll surely have to be considered a challenger. odd to think we could draw both this week’s games and it could still be considered a good week.

  6. Malvin says:

    D wow take a chill pill yes it’s been eight yrs for a reason yes we won nothing but right now we are five points clear that’s a fact , playing fab football.

  7. PD says:

    Fantastic stuff. A win we desperately needed. I know we would have been only a point off the pace if we’d lost but as far as challenging for the title goes, our race would have been run psychologically. It was a simply huge result.

    Hats off to all of them. Well played lads. This is the most hope we’ve had in years.

    (can’t agree – unsurprisingly – on not missing Flamini. I thought Arteta’s limitations in that position were horribly exposed for both Sturridge & Henderson’s chances in the first half – if either had been taken it would have been an entirely different game. We really need Flamini for Old Trafford.)

  8. Volks says:

    So much to say about yesterday’s game. But rare credit goes to Arteta, he played the CDM role really well.

  9. Wallace says:

    @PD – would you play Flamini alongside Arteta at Old Trafford? it might be one of the few times where i’d take that over the Flamini/Ramsey patnership. and as well as we played yesterday and against Napoli i really hope we have Walcott and/or Gnabry fit for next weekend.

  10. Rsaltlove says:

    many don’t real still believe arsenal can deliver the trophy, yet we are five point ahead. By the time we are 15 points gapping the nearest contender they will face reality that arsenal has come to rule.

  11. Elvis says:

    Yes, we’ve still to play Man City, Man United and Chelsea in the league but people were talking of Spurs and Liverpool as contenders until we beat them both.

    We’re only a quarter of the way through the season and 8 of our 10 games have come against teams in the boiitom half of the table.

    But we have more about us this year than any time since 2005.

    OK, we might collapse – and losing Giroud to injury would possibly simultaneously end our challenge. But we’re five points above the rest on merit, not by luck. Who else has completely blunted Liverpool and won at a canter against them this season?

    For the first time since the Invincibles we go to Old Trafford as slight favourites.

  12. AOC says:

    we were not ‘nothing’ against chelsea – i dont think they played any better than we did. We conceeded a silly goal for the 1st & a fortunate on their part for the 2nd agreed bt theres no truth in us being nothing. We were wanting in the final third but that was expected given tht bodies hd to be rightfully rested. At 0-2 the team gave up on it which made me particularly very happy & i think yesterdays performance & result vindicates this thinking… we were not nothing dont say tht again its annoying coming from a gooner wth decent knowledge of the game & the clubs aspirations. COYG

  13. skillz says:

    agree with the notion of badly needing Flamini for Old Trafford…its going to be an almighty scrap up there next sunday..apart from the role he will play defensively on the pitch, psychologically his presence and attitude will be the extra ingredient added to our overall quality that would prove too much for united..cant wait.

  14. slc gunner says:

    @PD, I haven’t seen those highlights, but I have to say that I thought that was the best I’ve seen Arteta play: very good going forward and defensively. While Flamini may be the better option, credit where credit is due on this occasion.
    We were lucky on a couple of occasions and I thought we were sloppy in the first 5 mins of the 2nd half and then the last 10 minutes, giving away several chances. But otherwise, we were very good, although I think we can get even better. Imagine what happens when Ozil finds his stride.
    Shame about Gibbs: he was injured after a marvellous piece of skill and a great run. Hopefully he’s not out for long.

  15. Kay says:

    Good team work, great display. Clean sheet against Liverpool. I see trophy here.

  16. PD says:

    Unsure wallace to be honest. I think you’re right about the need for Theo’s pace at Old Trafford & I think the midfield options may well be dictated by whether he is available. Of course the debate may be irrelevant anyway as Flamini isn’t certain to be back…..

    slc, not knocking Arteta. The things he did, he did very well. It’s just the things he doesn’t do that worry me. I’ve a lot of time for him, I just don’t want him playing there as it’s a waste to me. e.g when was the last time he had a shot on goal ? Seems madness to me given he’s probably the best long-distance shooter at the club….
    Gibbs’ injury shouldn’t be much of a problem given how well Monreal has been playing. He’s doing really well off the bench & was easily our best player v Chelsea…we’re blessed to have two players that good for the same position.

    One down, two to go in a huge week. I guess we should be worrying about Dortmund first….

  17. Elvis says:

    That idiot who was always going on about Arsene Wonker and Ramsey’s private jet looks like a camel turd in a sandstorm now doesn’t he?

  18. Dheeraj says:

    WONDERFUL……..

    IF Depth of the SQUAD is addressed in January transfer window, Arsenal should be in shout for the premier league considering we are 5 points clear at this point of time..

  19. RD says:

    Until we’ve lost, we haven’t lost yet so if you’re a true Gunner, get 100% behind the team and believe in Arsene. He’s built us into a massive club so obviously expectations are heightened but we need to do it a step at a time. Should we sign just anyone in January or should we stay our hand if no one of caliber is available? I’m positive Arsene will make the right decision. Our attitude should be like my friend’s when he talks to me about Arsenal.. Who do I want to win when Chelsea plays Spurs? Arsenal!

  20. Wallace says:

    @Elvis – nice. i can’t recall a PL central midfielder ever having such a sustained run of form. Lampard probably had periods where he scored as many, but he never contributed as much defensively as Ramsey does. he seems like a nice kid, too. i’m genuinely thrilled for him.

  21. skillz says:

    just as i predicted in the previous comments section, we went to Germany and paid dortmund back in their own coin! This arsenal team like i mentioned then do not take kindly to defeats..its like it hurts their pride..Its clear as daylight the similarity in nature between our performance on the night and the one we displayed at Bayern last season..not pretty to watch but highly effective in the end..We lacked width in various moments when a good ball down the flank needed a bit of speed to stretch dortmund..but still hats off to the lads for improvising . The defence??? my goodness… what has happened to the leaky rearguard of last season?? some will be quick to say the ”BOULD Effect”…but that would be a disservice to the magnificent work/effort Koscielny and Mertasacker hav put in not only this night but all season thus far..i cant help but feel sorry for Vermaelen with respect to his ”playingtime” chances. special mention to Arteta once again for another impressive DM shift…Dortmund midfielders are slippery customers and they gave Arteta quite a night but even after the Yellow card he was relentless in harrying and Tracking runners off the ball, Rosicky too…as for Ramsey, Get your money and place it on him getting a goal at Old Trafford come sunday..

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