Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2 - Comeback Kings strike again
Report of match 30th January 2013
More of the same - give the opposition a head start and play catch up.
This pattern is being repeated on such a regular basis that you'd think it was pre-planned.
In truth, it's simply a case of the defence not being good enough - we've seen the same mistakes over and over again, and frankly I can't fathom out why the situation is not being addressed.
We need better players and better coaching - it's not rocket science - so will Wenger shore up the defence before this evening? - of course he won't.
Here's the report:
Arsenal fought back from two goals down to draw with Liverpool in a thrilling Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Both sides knew defeat could prove fatal to their hopes of closing back up on the top four, but neither looked ready to settle for anything other than all three points in an open and entertaining match.
Liverpool took an early lead through Luis Suarez after terrible defending by Arsenal, and then looked to be in complete control when Jordan Henderson walked in a second on the hour.
However, as so often in a frustrating season, the Gunners suddenly burst into life as in-form Olivier Giroud reduced the deficit with a close-range header and Theo Walcott then rattled in an equaliser.
There were more chances at each end, but defeat for either side would have been an injustice.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had recalled his regulars, making seven changes from the side humiliated at Oldham in the FA Cup on Sunday.
It was a bright start by the Reds, their travelling support displaying a banner protesting against the infamous £62 tickets for away fans.
An early slip by Bacary Sagna let Glen Johnson away down the left.
His cross into the Arsenal penalty area was miskicked by Thomas Vermaelen, just back from an ankle injury, and Wojciech Szczesny produced a good reaction save from Daniel Sturridge at the far post.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, though, failed to clear with a tame flick and the ball broke for Suarez, whose curling shot then deflected off Per Mertesacker to wrongfoot the goalkeeper.
Arsenal almost produced an immediate response as Walcott got ahead of Jamie Carragher, but his snapshot was straight at Jose Reina.
The match remained open, with Sturridge dragging an angled shot across the face of goal. Arsenal also continued to press, and Reina was again called into action as he turned a curling effort from Walcott around the post.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard then produced some desperate defending as he hooked Lukas Podolski's cross through the six-yard box behind.
The visitors, though, almost made it 2-0 on 27 minutes when Szczesny got nowhere near a corner from the left and Daniel Agger's header was hacked off the line by Podolski.
Arsenal were forced into a change before half-time when Kieran Gibbs hobbled off and Brazil defender Andre Santos came on.
Szczesny was almost caught out when rushing from his goal to close down Henderson on the left corner of the penalty area, but the Liverpool midfielder chipped the ball onto the roof of the net - much to the relief of the backpedalling Poland goalkeeper.
Arsenal came close to a leveller early in the second half when Podolski floated a pass from the left out to the far post, where Walcott arrived to head it just over.
It proved a costly miss as Liverpool extended their lead on the hour.
Henderson battled past Santos and into the right side of the penalty area, before then holding off two more defenders. As the ball bounced back off Ramsey's boot, he stabbed it past Szczesny.
Arsenal needed an immediate response, and got it on 64 minutes when Giroud planted a header into the far corner from Jack Wilshere's right-wing free-kick.
Before Liverpool could settle, the Gunners were level.
Santi Cazorla worked the ball out on the right side of the penalty area to Giroud. His lay-off teed up Walcott just outside the six-yard box and the England forward lashed an angled drive across Reina into the far corner.
Walcott curled a 20-yard effort just wide after running along the edge of the Liverpool box.
Gerrard was somewhat fortunate to only have been shown a yellow card by referee Kevin Friend after jumping in with his foot raised on Mertesacker.
The 6ft 7in German was, though, soon up again as he headed a free-kick from Wilshere just over at the near post.
Reina saved at full stretch from Giroud as Arsenal looked for a late winner, with the Frenchman then scuffing an effort from close range.
Suarez saw a late strike turned away by Szczesny in stoppage time as a thrilling encounter finally ended all square.
|Competition: Barclays Premier League Kick Off: 19:45 Venue: Ashburton Grove Attendance: 60,089|
|2 - 2||Liverpool
|90+0||Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|90+0||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Thomas Vermaelen by Leiva Lucas. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.|
|90+0||Corner from left by-line taken by Luis Suarez.|
|90+0||Corner taken right-footed by Luis Suarez to the near post, Olivier Giroud manages to make a clearance.|
|89||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Agger by Per Mertesacker. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick. Caution for Per Mertesacker.|
|88||Bacary Sagna concedes a free kick for a foul on Sanchez Jose Enrique. Free kick taken by Leiva Lucas.|
|87||Luis Suarez has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.|
|86||Olivier Giroud takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.|
|85||Santi Cazorla takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Steven Gerrard.|
|85||Free kick taken by Jose Reina.|
|85||The assistant referee flags for offside against Luis Suarez. Bacary Sagna restarts play with the free kick.|
|84||Olivier Giroud is shown a yellow card.|
|83||Olivier Giroud takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina. Corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla from the left by-line, Olivier Giroud has a header from inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.|
|82||Inswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Thomas Vermaelen.|
|81||Effort on goal by Santi Cazorla from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.|
|80||Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing from the right by-line, clearance made by Thomas Vermaelen.|
|76||Andre Wisdom concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere. The ball is swung over by Santi Cazorla, Close range headed effort by Per Mertesacker clears the crossbar.|
|75||Jordan Henderson fouled by Aaron Ramsey, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.|
|72||Foul by Steven Gerrard on Per Mertesacker, free kick awarded. Steven Gerrard receives a yellow card. Per Mertesacker takes the direct free kick.|
|71||Leiva Lucas challenges Jack Wilshere unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jack Wilshere.|
|69||Theo Walcott has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post. Sanchez Jose Enrique on for Daniel Sturridge.|
|67||Shot by Lukas Podolski from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.|
|67||Luis Suarez concedes a free kick for a foul on Bacary Sagna. Bacary Sagna takes the free kick.|
|66||A goal is scored by Theo Walcott from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool.Assist by Olivier Giroud.|
|63||Free kick awarded for a foul by Glen Johnson on Theo Walcott. The ball is swung over by Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close in. Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool.Jack Wilshere provided the assist for the goal.|
|61||Shot from just outside the box by Lukas Podolski misses to the left of the target.|
|60||Shot from just outside the box by Aaron Ramsey goes over the crossbar.|
|59||A goal is scored by Jordan Henderson from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool.Daniel Sturridge provided the assist for the goal.|
|55||Free kick awarded for a foul by Leiva Lucas on Jack Wilshere. Lukas Podolski produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, blocked by Steven Gerrard. Volleyed left-footed shot by Lukas Podolski. Blocked by Jamie Carragher.|
|53||Close range header by Theo Walcott goes over the crossbar.|
|50||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clarindo Andre Santos by Jordan Henderson. Clarindo Andre Santos restarts play with the free kick.|
|48||Shot from close range by Daniel Sturridge misses to the right of the target.|
|43||Jordan Henderson takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.|
|42||Santi Cazorla takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Gerrard.|
|39||Olivier Giroud takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.|
|38||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Sturridge by Thomas Vermaelen. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.|
|35||Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Ramsey on Daniel Agger. (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Clarindo Andre Santos coming on for Kieran Gibbs. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard. The referee blows for offside against Daniel Agger.|
|33||Santi Cazorla takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Jordan Henderson makes a clearance.|
|32||Stewart Downing is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|28||Luis Suarez has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.|
|27||Free kick awarded for a foul by Lukas Podolski on Andre Wisdom. Free kick taken by Leiva Lucas.|
|26||Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger takes a shot. Clearance made by Lukas Podolski.|
|24||Luis Suarez fouled by Santi Cazorla, the ref awards a free kick. The referee cautions Santi Cazorla for unsporting behaviour. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.|
|23||Corner taken by Theo Walcott, Jamie Carragher makes a clearance.|
|20||Foul by Steven Gerrard on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.|