Arsenal v Liverpool - Player ratings

Last updated : 08 May 2005 By Mike Bohndiek
Arsenal all but secured second place with a 3-1 win over Liverpool. The first half got off to a slow start, but we eventually picked up the pace, and had the ball in the net when Jose knocked in a rebound. However, this was ruled out for offside. We then spurned a host of chances, the best of which saw Lauren hit the ball with a far post Volley. Soon after we took the lead through a fantastic curling free kick from Robert Pires. The lead was doubled before half time when Jose burst through and finished, and we went into the break comfortable. However, just after the break a deflected Gerrard free kick hit the back of the net to ensure that some tense moments preceded the third goal which came in injury time through Fabregas. It was good to see that Graham Poll was as good as ever, making one excellent decision after another. Or did I just dream that? Yes, I believe that must be the case as he missed one of the most obvious penalties you'll ever see. Even sat in the Clock, I had a clear view of Jose having his legs taken away! How Poll could signal that Traore got the ball is beyond me! But, we got the win, and now have second place in the bag. It's time to rest a few legs with the FA Cup final in mind.

Key Incidents:

Goal (Arsenal) (25) – After Vieira was fouled we were awarded a free kick just outside the Liverpool box. Pires stepped up, bent it over the wall and wheeled away in celebration as the ball him the net.

Goal (Arsenal) (29) – After some good build up play, Jose received the ball mid way in the Liverpool half. He then capitalised on a defender slipping and charged into the area before knocking the ball underneath the legs of Dudek.

Goal (Liverpool) (51) – A highly debatable free kick was given on the edge of the box. Gerrard hit the ball with power and in went in via a huge deflection off of the leg of Cesc.

Goal (Arsenal) (90) – A delightful Bergkamp touch saw Fabregas free in the area and he toe poked the ball into the corner of the net.

Man Of The Match – Patrick Vieira

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 7 - Could do nothing with the goal, as it took a deflection. Other than that he made two good saves and controlled his area well.

Ashley Cole - 6 - He had another fairly poor game, with spells of good play interrupted by other periods of slack passing and he lacked creativity on the most part. He did however, make one terrific challenge to deny Garcia.

Kolo Toure - 6.5 - He had a good first half, where he kept Baros in check. He started the second half with a stutter, missing clear opportunities to clear the ball, but he pulled it together for the last twenty minutes.

Philippe Senderos - 7.5 - Sack him now! We want Campbell! It's a disgrace – we conceded a goal with him in the team! Obviously I'm only joking here! Yet another great display with great tackles, good headers and a good understanding with Lehmann. He reads the game so well and is all the better for it. He deservedly took the Arsenal Player Of The Month award for the second month running.

Lauren - 7 - Someone said to me after that he played “like a man possessed” I would have to agree! He bombed up and down the right wing all game and linked really well with Cesc. He was unlucky not to score when he knocked a volley into the floor only to see it bounce up and hit the bar.

Robert Pires - 6.5 - His passing was much improved and he scored a cracking goal. The worrying news is that the injury he picked up could be serious. We await further news.

Patrick Vieira - 8 - He was nearly Man Of The Match on Monday, but today he was. He commanded the midfield and made Gerrard look poor for the majority of the game. He linked defence and attack, and made good runs into their half. His passing was top class and it was hard to find fault with him!

Gilberto - 7 Another carbon copy Gilberto game. Today he proved why he is a defensive midfielder, when late on he stormed into their box but lashed the shot high and wide (and that's putting it nicely!)

Cesc Fabregas - 7 - Linked well with Ralph down the right, and nearly got on the score sheet twice when he sent in a thunderous shot, only to see it fly just wide and hit the side netting.

Jose Reyes - 7 - Another good display, which is encouraging to see. He made good chances and got the second goal. My only gripe with him today was his seeming inability to shoot when presented with the opportunity to. He elected to take on another man or try and square ball instead, which was rather annoying to watch.

Robin Van Persie - 6.5 - He worked hard, but was not as involved as he has been in previous games. He had little impact on the game.


Dennis Bergkamp - 6.5 - Set up the late third goal. He is becoming a useful sub for Arsene to have.

Edu - 6.5 - Dug in to help the defence and tried to help spring a counter attack where possible.