Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Last updated : 02 April 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Liverpool frustrated Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to secure a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Robin van Persie partnered Emmanuel Adebayor in the home attack, while Fernando Torres was the dangerman for the visitors, who had Javier Mascherano back in their midfield.

The opening minutes of the game saw no clear chances at either end, with the first opening arriving after 21 minutes of play.

Mathieu Flamini's superbly weighted pass played in van Persie, but his first-time left-foot volley drifted over the top from 15 yards out.

A couple of minutes later the Gunners made the breakthrough as van Persie's inswinging corner from the right was headed home from close range by the unmarked Adebayor.

However, the lead lasted just three minutes as Steven Gerrard got away on the left side of the area and his deflected cross was bundled in from close in by Dirk Kuyt.

The rest of the first half was as drab as the opening 20 minutes, with the only effort on goal coming from Ryan Babel, whose low 20-yarder from the left side of the area was gathered by Manuel Almunia.

The Gunners were forced to replace van Persie at half-time due to a thigh problem, with Theo Walcott coming on for the Dutchman.

Liverpool soon threatened as Gerrard's free-kick dropped to Kuyt at the far post and Almunia had to make a smart save low down, with Sami Hyypia waiting to pounce.

The home side then began to dictate play and ten minutes into the second half Walcott drifted inside off the left wing and drilled a 30-yarder inches wide of the far post with Jose Reina at full stretch.

Soon after the hour mark Adebayor and Walcott combined superbly to open up the Reds defence, but Emmanuel Eboue failed to convert from close range.

Almost immediately Alex Hleb tricked his way through and was hauled back by Kuyt, but referee Mr Vink strangely chose to award a corner as opposed to a penalty.

Twenty minutes from time Adebayor cut the ball back from the left and Cesc Fabregas' effort was rolling in before team-mate Nicklas Bendtner blocked the ball on the line and was flagged offside in the process.

That proved to be the final clear chance of the game, as the Reds shut up shop and Arsenal ran out of ideas to leave the tie delicately poised for the return leg at Anfield next week.