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Team News: Arsenal v. Liverpool

After a difficult two and half weeks, Arsenal entertains Liverpool in a game that will decide whether the Gunners are part of a top three or just Champions League hopefuls. Arsenal haven't beat Liverpool at the Grove in the league since the Scousers initial visit in 06. However, the Carling Cup team beat an experienced Pool team in North London back in October. That was a thoroughly entertaining match. A dull 1 nil win will do me fine today though.

Arsenal Starting XI: Almunia, Eboue, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Diaby, Nasri, Bendtner, Arshavin

Arsenal Bench: Fabianski, Sagna, Rosicky, Walcott, Denilson, Traore, Campbell

Liverpool Starting XI: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Lucas, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard, Maxi, Ngog

Liverpool Bench Cavalieri, Riera, Aurelio, Babel, Spearing, Degen, Kelly

Howard Webb is the head official.

With United playing at Villa Park and Chelsea traveling to Goodison maybe there is stay a ray of hope?

Apologies for the lack of a preview for a second match in a row. It's been a hectic week for me, but normal service will resume in a week against Porto. Up the Arse!

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 10 2010

Time: 7:06PM

Your Comments

nik to score!
is that a real life striker i see?
yeah, finally, eboue in for sagna. Sagna is becoming rusty lately...and bendtner starts.
This will be a battle between ngog and bendtner. Two young strikers, fighting for a place. Older/more experienced alternatives injured. Hopefully it will be our dane who shines.
"Howard Webb is the head official." -- Oh dear...
Glad to see Sagna benched, wish he could bench Clichy too.
Great chance to come back in it lads! COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!
is matt le tiss commentating on sk sports news? if he is... arsenal wont be winning this tonight
***** me. what a boring game
Just put the United-Villa game on picture-in-picture and BAM, Nani gets a red.
slow play
all too boring for Samir too,he's gone watchin the Villa game
haha, ajwb, hilarious!
Am I the only one annoyed with the English commentators?
Looking at chelsea and Man u (again OG... do they even score themselves lately? :P) should provide a good boost for the players.... They seem too scared to fully go for it this time. Bendtner needs to step up in the next 45 minutes. Fab too.... bit sloppy. Game on :-)
you got to be kidding me Tomas...
tomas rosicky you can do better
im telling you -- matt le tiss is on ssn doing the arsenal game and we will not win....
pretty disgraceful from Bendtner
f2ck off dan83, you are not a fan of us off to where you will be.
im diehard..... but im also a jinx, so i have to be negative all the time or we dont win... its a curse.... we'll lose 2-1
haha, same old gerrard, always cheating! well done home gooners!
Gerrard booking?
Can someone tell me how Nick got a yellow card for diving but Gerrard didn't?!?!??!!
Well played Bendtner!
good game from bendnter, other than the dive of course
Most quiet 'big' game of the year lol..
Eboue gliding past Insua...then slipping still with style
Yes well done to Nick, nice to see the Gooners gave him great applause. Wow oh dear, what a strike from Babel, great save from Almunia!
World class save
everton is winning against chelsea
are yo fuuuuuucking jokin?
diving bast4rd
come on you gooooooners!!!!!!!! we're still in this
Good signs: Clichy and Almunia getting better; Song, Diaby, Eboue, Nick and AA playing well (in the right position); good crosses coming back, from one of which we scored a HEADER!
I said I'd take a dull 1-0 win, and I got it for the most part!
hahaha, gerrard dives to earn the last fk, cesc uses his arm to block it... poetic justice my gooners.... good win
I was literally sweating - Cesc raising his arm like that! Love to see that we did some of the ugly stuff to hang on to a result though (except the dive lol)..
wolves 1-0 spuds.. hahaahahaa
that wasnt a freekick in the first place so justice done there. plus we had another penalty on bendtner, so no cause for complaints there for liverpool. 12 such more wins please arsene. in 2002 we started a similar 13 match winning run with a 1-0 win over everton, i hope history repeats itself..
It is poetic justice. Gerrard should have got a yellow just like Bendtner. Both clear dives.
The football god is smiling at us again you bloody beauty
Wolves did the double over Tottenham. Hahahaha. Top 3? You're havin a laugh!
luckys= we also did it in 1998 i believe... ten in a row?
and theo walcott is not a footballer, he is just an athlete. he plays like an amateur or like a kid whos playing with the big boys in the park. no confidence nothing. as soon as he gets the ball he just wants to get rid of it. that ball back to reina, wtf was that. really lost my patitience with him now. should loan him or sell him off in the summer..
Just need Everton to hold on
11 in a row in 1998 yess, we can surely do it again. 5 points away from united and lets hope everton hold chelsea now for a draw atleast. with away trips to old trafford and anfield, it wont be so easy for chelsea as the world keeps making them believe and united also have fixtures tougher than us coming up for them. 1-0 to the Arsenal, lets bring that back!!
Villa are so useless. couldnt even create chances against a ten man united..
thanks Everton :)
We can be sure we wont see any spuddies around tonight !
hahahha yess it's going to be a long night on vital spuds tonite..
Dont give up on Theo lucky, just think back to comments on RVP Diaby etc all weere lost cases but now. JUST WAIT AND SEE.
lol Harry should have kept his mouth shut. GG Everton, 6 points off Chelsea lads... God I can't help but wonder how a better result vs the Mancs or the chavs could have made these results even more thrilling... Despite the press we still got a small shout though! :-) Abou or Eboue MOTM? Abou prolly but who would have guessed that we would come close to picking either of them :D
Now the media will go on and on about Bendtner's dive and Cesc's handball, ignoring everything in between, I can see it coming!
Was it me who was complaining about our crossing accuracy :)? Terrific cross from Rosicky for the goal and there were definite signs of improvement. However, there were some negatives as well (Theo playing the ball to Reina, Vermaelen attacking in the 89th min FFS) which shows that this team hasnt learned fully. We were saved by brilliant defending by Gallas, otherwise we would have paid for the same mistake of over committing and losing out to a counter attacking goal. I hope that save from Babel's shot will improve Almunia's confidence. Overall though, Arsenal fully deserved the win. Pool were clearly playing for a draw.
I guess after AW's lectures pre game about over committing ourselves and getting caught on the break we were extra careful in the first half. Great start to the second half and towering performances indeed from Diaby, Eboue and Gallas. I thought Clichy had his best game in a long time as well. He was defensively sound and bombed forward with more confidence than off late. Cesc's passing and shooting was off today. Rosicky was off colour barring that perfect cross to Diaby but then that was a vital contribution. Theo was so naive today..he could'nt hold up the ball and constantly gifted possession back to pool. All in all, a battling performance. Up the arse!
but Diaby and Robin showed promise, showed that they have the talent n technique required at this level, just need time and experience. Theo shows nothing other than pace. i think he is a nice boy, a good person, but a Arsenal quality player he is not. i really hope he proves me wrong and goes onto become an arsenal n england legend, will love it if that happens, but anyway im sure arsene has faith in him and he will get his chances so hope he makes it..
they wont talk about bendtner diving cuz sky's top pundit mr. gray said nick was caught there and also it wasnt a freekick there at the end in the first place, so justice was done, and liverpool had a lot of decisions going their way. they were getting all the good decisions with fouls which never happened and corners which were never corners lol so overall im really pleased with this win, and we deserved it..
I agree totally with you GoonerLou. On another note, really hope Arshavin has'nt picked up a bad knock and that Nasri is ok too. We need every single player in our first team squad in the run in.
I'm bouncing around like a bouncy ball too! What a challenge by Gallas, brilliant save by Manuel and justice done after Howard Webb gifts Liverpool a nothing free kick in the last minute of injury time! My only gripe is why was Gerrard not booked for persistent simulation. Gets away with bloody murder that man. Seems like ages since I could watch Sky Sports News without feeling suicidal/agitated, so excuse me peeps, I'm off to pleasure myself (probably could've chose my words better there, lol)
Diaby has now overtaken Song as the most improved player of the season, I think to a certain extent he was more influential than Fabregas. Speaking of Fabregas, Liverpool gave him way to much time on the ball. This win won't mean a thing if we don't get a good revenge over Sunderland on Saturday. I pray to all the Gods that Bendtner doesn't get injured.
Just doesn't seem to have a footballing brain to be honest. You can make gigantic errors and still be a gifted player but Theo of late only shows retarded spasms that are a clear lack of confidence and, for me, football brain. Abou could do crazy dribbles and then do something stupid but Walcott just runs at the ball, veeeery fast and then he blows it. It's not logic at all what he does. Like Rosicky at the goal... That was also a total error because imo he was looking at options in front of goal to chip it to but then he shows he can play football later on. What did Theo do? He can't hold the ball if his live depended on it. Liverpool kept bombing forward because Bendtner was not there anymore and instead a midget took his place. So he is a lousy attacking option and puts immense pressure on defence... What's the point then? Playing him versus lower teams to ease the pressure on the real stars is his only function for me at the moment, sad as it is.
Hope Nick, AA and Nasri are okay. If we're perfectly honest, we can't play the frontline that ended the game for too long. Especially Nick, lively performance, giving us a lot more options up front. Hope Cesc and Rosicky will get back to their best soon too. The team just looked so much more balanced today, magically with Eboue slotting in, Diaby, Song and Gallas playing well and Clichy and Almunia improving. Perfect midweek results too eh Gooners!!
I think you guys are being very harsh on Walcott, at the moment he is low on confidence and is being a bit cautious because he has had so many injuries this. But do not take for granted the talent this guy has Theo was not bought solely on his pace,he can finish, he can pass he can dribble and he does have a footballing brain. I think Theo will become a great player one day and I dont even think he has done that much wrong to be fair. I think he can a really good finish to the season if he stays clear of injuries. Trust me this boy has bags of ability, much better than Lennon and Young.
The results could'nt have been better for us today GL. Sure if Man U had lost it would have been perfect but lets not be greedy now!
by the way, i forgot to watch the bolton game yesterday to see Jack play... i guess he struggled, but where did he play exactly, in the middle or on the wing?
Both shoulders injured hamstring groin problem only played 4 matches and people are ready to bag him. As i said wait and see, three people come to mind song/Diaby and RVP all useless and now?
We didn't give them a demonstration of football but we were efficient...........
Little Dutch
He didn't really struggle TPowell. He looked bright from what I've seen in this video.
thanks gk!
Give Walcott a chance. Not all players can bloom so early like Cesc and Ramsey. (Take Drogba - an average player at best until his late 20s.) Theo's not necessarily going to be a world beater, but he can at be good enough to deserve his spot. Plus, apart from him, we have no one with genuine pace - we just need to make the most of what gifts he does have.
I watched JW and he was very active though not very effective. That is understandable Bolton is not Arsenal, they play more direct we play FOOTBALL. With a few more gamesI am sure he will settle effectively. I am very happy about tonites win and I believe strongly taht we can sneak up on the leading two, by the time they realise it we are through.
In my own personal opinion the Bendtner dive was a dive, a foul should only be given if the contact is sufficient to either knock the player to the ground or enough to knock him out of his stride to gain an advantage, but the way that law has mutated over the last few years it was a foul, the defender went for the ball but made no contact with it but did with Bendtner, he went down. I don't agree with the way it works now, but in the laws of today it WAS our free kick/penalty.
That seems to be the way the laws are being applied, but it's not what the law says. The law doesn't say contact=foul, for football is a contact sport after all. The laws are still the same, it's just the officials are applying them incorrectly. The booking for Bendtner was correct. However, Gerrard shuld have been red carded as he took two replica dives. Gerrard? Diving? Look at my big surprised face.
Little Dutch
And it really pi**es me off that no one on sky sports will say the word dive with Gerrard. Anyway, now that those 4 games are done on reflection only the Man United game was a bad result. A draw at Villa is decent, we beat Liverpool, Probably expected to lose to Chelsea leaving only the United game as a dissapointment in my oppinion. If we could of only had one win against either of the top 2 we would be in a great position. Although in with a chance i think it would be difficult to make up points and goal difference on both teams, but not impossible. Chelsea still have away games at Liverpool, Man United & Spurs with Villa & City at the bridge while United have Everton & City away with home games against Chelsea & Liverpool. Points will be dropped we need a run of good games now until the end of the season.
Gerrard's dive was a ******** disgrace, he almost got up straight away cos he was so embarrassed.
IT was Bloody Cold at the match last night! It took 2 large Rum+Cokes to warm-up once I got back indoors! I was so please for Diaby as he played well. It seems like Liverpool had come for a point, and at times it seems like Webb must have had a Liverpool shirt on underneath! Overall 3pts to The Arsenal was about right!
Agreed LD - Which is why I'd said the law seems to have mutated. I reckon it's stemed from Sky Sports who have always looked to defend the likes of Rooney and Gerrard saying that it was clever play by making sure they make contact ... but no, it's just diving. But if that's what the ref's are going by these days, which they clearly are, then Bendtner should not have been booked.With regards to Gerrard, watching the analysis last night Richard Knobhead Keys said "Gerrard went down a little easily there didn't he?" and Smudger said "Well, no, it's just a dive really" .... lol
Quick question - does anybody know if the Man City home game will be category A or B?
NI Gooner
Category A games are: Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur & West Ham United. All remaining games are B. That has been the case for the last 3 seasons, i dont think they have extended that to City yet.
Richard Knobhead Keys said "Gerrard went down a little easily there didn't he?" and Smudger said "Well, no, it's just a dive really" .... lol Rocky7 LOL Rocky, trust smudger to say it like it is! Gerard is a cheat there was no contact at all, where'as atleast bendtner was bumped into, no matter how little contact.
I've always thought it was bizzare that the West Ham game was a catergory A game. I always refused to pay the extra cash for a ticket for that match.
No more games against the other Big 4 teams for the rest of the season. pheww...

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