Arsenal will feel they dropped two points against Liverpool after a 2-2 draw at the Emirates this evening.
Arsene Wenger made changes, bringing back first choice defenders Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs into the defence, while there were also starts for Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott after they were rested against Brighton.
And the vistitors took an early lead after some comical, except not that funny Arsenal defending. Bacary Sagna slipped allowing Glen Johnson to run on into the box. He crossed, Vermaelen miskicked, it fell to Sturridge, he shot, Szczesny saved, it rebounded off Ramsey’s heel, fell to Downing who fed Suarez and his shot deflected in. 1-0.
Daniel Sturridge could have put Liverpool further ahead when played in by Suarez, but dragged a shot wide. He was then nearly gifted a goal immediately when Szczesny played silly tricks in the area but eventually the Pole got it clear. Crazy stuff. And by crazy I mean fucking dense.
Arsenal created the next chance after working it well down the left hand side, Lukas Podolski pulled it back for Olivier Giroud but he put a first time shot wide with his right foot.
The Gunners put some pressure on with another Giroud shot deflecting out for a corner and when a Vermaelen shot was blocked, it fell for Theo Walcott whose curler was tipped around the post by Pepe Reina.
Another fantastic Arsenal move involving Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla saw the ball spread out to Lukas Podolski on the left. He might have shot but chose to cross and saw it deflect just over.
But it was Liverpool who might have gone ahead when a careless Mertesacker pass saw the visitors win a corner. From the resulting set-piece Szczesny came, missed it, and only Lukas Podolski on the line stopped Daniel Agger’s header going in. Then Suarez shot just wide as Arsenal’s defence was all over the place again.
Arsenal suffered a blow when Kieran Gibbs pulled up with injury and was replaced by Andre Santos in the 37th minute. Giroud tested Reina with a header after a good Arsenal move but it was easy enough for the Spanish baldy.
Liverpool had another good chance when a long ball down the left saw Szczesny come, realise he wasn’t going to make it, then stand looking as Henderson lobbed it over the bar. Probably his big foot. Arsenal failed to break down Liverpool’s defensive set-up before the end of the half.
Liverpool started the second half brightly, looking for handball against Thomas Vermaelen in the box before Sturridge dragged a shot wide from close range. At the other end Podolski also claimed a penalty, going down under a challenge from Wisdom but nothing was given.
Theo Walcott should have equalised in the 53rd minute when a Lukas Podolski cross found him at the back post but he headed over from close range. The German then hit the wall from a free kick before blasting the rebound into the belly of Jamie Carragher after which play was stopped for a while.
Then Liverpool went further ahead after a weak Mertesacker challenge saw Henderson through on goal with Santos on his shoulder. A touch and he’d have gone down for the penalty (and a possible red card from this cunt of a ref) but he took it on, his toe poke rebounded off Santos into his path and with Szczesny out of position he had a tap in to make it 0-2.
Aaron Ramsey shot over the bar and Podolski just wide Arsenal tried to get back into it, before Olivier Giroud got his 5th goal in a week. Jack Wilshere clipped in a free kick from teh right hand side, the Frenchman rose above Daniel Agger and planted a header into the bottom corner. 1-2
Amazingly, Arsenal were level just minutes later. Santi Cazorla played a pass into Giroud, he laid it off first time and Walcott hammered it home from a tight angle to equalise. 2-2.
The winger then almost put Arsenal ahead, curling a left footed shot just wide of the post with Reina stretching, before a Per Mertesacker header from a Cazorla free kick flew just over the near top corner of the Liverpool goal. The Spaniard then drilled a cross along the 6 yard box which went wide of the far post after eluding Giroud in the middle.
A great break from a Liverpool corner saw Arsenal move it from Cazorla to Walcott to Giroud, and Reina was forced into a good save. Giroud then headed over from the subsequent corner and then miscued a brilliant chance to win the game after Podolski’s strong cross came in from the left hand side.
Suarez could have won it for Liverpool in injury time when his goalbound shot was saved by Szczesny after Santos had given away possession in midfield.
In the end it was an enthralling encouter, Arsenal showed real desire to get back into it, but can’t look beyond the poor defending as the reason they dropped points.