Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Is Benitez in a pact with the Champions League Devil?!

Rafael Benitez is a great tactican and manager. He is also a very lucky one! I think that he is in a pact with the Champions League Devil!

The man has had untold good fortune in this trophy and undoubtedly had a fair share tonight too.

Liverpool will, for obvious reason's, be the happier of the two club's after tonight's result. To come away with an away goal gives them an advantage for the tie, but I would certainly not rule Arsenal out of this tie yet. We are more than capable of scoring at Anfield.

The game started pretty cagey from both fronts which is understandable given what is at stake here.

In the five minutes leading to the opening goal Arsenal began to get the better of a scrappy start from both teams. We were rewarded with Adebayor heading home unchallenged from a Robin Van Persie cross.

Our celebrations were short-lived though. Within four minutes Liverpool had equalised through Dirk Kuyt after Steven Gerrard had somehow managed to evade two half-hearted challenges.

The second challenge came from Toure who before the game pin-pointed Gerrard as Liverpool's main threat! Maybe Toure should have taken heed to his own advice! Although in fairness Flamini could have cleared the ball in the build up to the goal.

Arsenal and the Gooner faithful seemed stunned by the goal and Liverpool controlled the rest of the first half growing in confidence, threatening to add a second.

We needed half time to regroup and let Wenger speak his words of wisdom. Whatever he said, worked. We came out in the second period with rockets up our arses and seemed to be camped in Liverpool territory only relenting when the occasional hoof down the field came from the Liverpool defence to give them a breather.

We had some chances to put the game to bed. Eboue missed a chance from a Walcott pull-back and probably the strangest decision came from Bendtner who tried to turn in a Fabregas effort that was going in! Had he left it, Arsenal would have been in front and Wenger wouldn't have to been at a loss to explain how Arsenal didn't win tonight!

Talking of strange decisions, the ref made a huge boo-boo by not giving Arsenal a penalty after Hleb went past SIX Liverpool and was pulled down by Kuyt. It was blatant and the ref was only five yards away. He must dropped his contact lense's!

It's hard to swallow a big decision like that going against your side when it's that blatant. I must say though, apart from that and a tug on Adebayor on the edge of the box, the ref had an excellent game.

So what now? The tie is set up for a nail-biting second leg at Anfield. The European nights there are said to be legendry. The Kopites will feel that they have one leg through the door but I wouldn't underestimate this Arsenal team. I don't think the Scouser's will either. They know they are in for a game, just as we do.

It's wide open in my book. Liverpool may have won the battle tonight, but they will not win the war!

Keep it Goonerish.......

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis and I love the title. Arsenal were unlucky tonight and I feel that Liverpool's luck will run out at Anfield. The tie is not over.

BimitarDerbatov said...

i would have to say that Liverpool are now favourites to go through..

Arsenal shot themselves in the foot in the first half..

Liverpool had the brighter start but after a sustained period of Arsenal pressure ye deservedly took the lead... and that's where ye made yer mistake...

the likes of Gallas (supposedly yer great leader) should have got a hold of yer team...told them to keep it tight for the next 10 to 15 mins before attacking them again.. instead ye let the 'Pool grab a goal and i feel the initiative for the tie..

the rest of the half belonged to Pool.. but the second half belonged to Arsenal but not in a dominating kind of way...

there just isn't the cut and thrust about Arsenal anymore just a lot of tip-tapping around

sure ye definitely should have had a penalty and Rafa Benitez might well make Bentner his next defensive aquisition but other than that it was all possession but no cutting edge..

if Liverpool are in the mood next week (and on European nights they invariably are) then they could steam-roll Arsenal...with the emphasis being on the word COULD...

COYS
BIOYC

Goonerman said...

Kuyt was pretty coy about the penalty claim. He knew he got away with it! Pretty fair analysis, have to say I love the title as well!

Arseneknows said...

Fuck off Bimitar Derbatov. Your not biased enough are you?! When your team gets in the Champions League then comment. Arsenal deserved victory tonight and Liverpool will be very happy to take a score draw. It sets up a great second leg.

Anonymous said...

BimitarDerbatov, are ye Russell Brand in disguise! Do yeselve a favour, PISS OFF! Ye are a boring cunt!

Run Coach David said...

Hleb dived INTO Kuyt. He has started doing that a lot lately (he tried and got booked against Villa, he tried and got a penalty against Bolton, he tried and failed against Liverpool).

Other than that move, Hleb was pretty annonymous.

Shame that we brought on Theo, and didn't give him the ball. We went straight up the middle all second half.

The ref should be congratulated. He was excellent. Really, really outstanding.

John said...

The Arsenal were excellent in the 2nd half, but i'd be amazed if you dominate like that at Anfield. Very happy with a 1 - 1 away.

I swear i'm being serious when i say i think the pen was not stonewall. If he'd given it, i'd not have complained but that said anywhere else on the pitch it would not have been given either.

Anonymous said...

Good article, and fair too. Watch out Anfield here we come!

Anonymous said...

Hleb DIVED into Kuyt?!! Fuck me mate ur as blind as the ref!

Wrighty7 said...

My baby nephew even shouted "PENALTY" it was his first word, shame.

BimitarDerbatov said...

dear arseneknows

i think you'll find that what i said has nothing to do with my team..i was merely trying to add my thoughts on the game..

if all you can offer up is "F*ck off", well then you really are letting yourself, your fellow supporters and your club down and reducing poor Wrighty7's blog to mere schoolyard name-calling rather than a discussion on football.. i'm sure Wrighty7 will agree??

the same goes for Anon 23.22.. and i quote "PISS OFF, ye are a boring c*nt"

well clearly with that insightful analysis you've proved that your knowledge of football far outweighs mine..

Wrighty7 why do you tolerate this kind of rubbish from you fellow "supporters" when all i'm trying to do is add to your blog in a positive way??

COYS
BIOYC

Anonymous said...

all that i can say is that i agree with my fellow spurs fan derbitov, arse are going through simler to what we have found out...loads of position but no en product an big name players not playin to there potential, why do u thik were 12 we have gtrst games then well have crap games, atse need to buy big they play greta footy at tim e but at end of day it means nothin if you dont score...im spurs fan

BimitarDerbatov said...

your a Spurs fan who needs to learn how to spell..

hey Wrighty how come we never see you over on Harry's page anymore??

COYS
BIOYC

Royston said...

Don't even take notice of these guys, they are shit-stirrers. Just imagine the success of BimitarDerbatov's life that he wastes his time coming on here, same with Run Coach David. If you look in slow-motion the penalty was clear. The Ref is Dutch, Kuyt is Dutch, probably ref'd some of his games in Holland. It's not a mystery here.
I still expect to win, but it will be close. Arsenal ALWAYS score, and I will bet BimitarDerbatov's mother on a victory. Fuck it. Throw the bitch in win-loose or draw!

Anonymous said...

I think (as a liverpool fan) if Hleb had have stayed on his feet another yard, and then fallen to the ground, it would have been easier for the ref to give a penalty.

As a defender, it would have been a harsh call, the player leaning into your path, although you having an arm out, and wraping him, it is impossible to defend against and 70% of refs would call a foul and, in this case a penalt. the good thing is that in this case the ref saw the lean into the player (to gain the advantage).

Arse were very good in the second half and all respect to them for that. Lverpool were resiliant and thank god for that professionalism.

we have the moakins of a great game next week. Lets hop its a liverpool win

Anonymous said...

royston/...get a grip we gave out honest opinions on game ..dont be a crank ball cause we won a trophy an ye cant

Anonymous said...

The tie is by no means over but the advantage is with Liverpool. They somehow survived the onslaught of Arsenal in the 2nd half. For some reasons Arsenal is too direct and made too many passes to the liking. It was a bit easy for Liverpool to defend.

If you put Walcott on the right, why on earth do you pass to Adebayor on your left? Walcott was useless as he didn't receive the ball towards the last 15-20 minutes.

Arsenal set pieces were lousy and only converted because of poor marking. To allow Liverpool back in the game in 3 minutes is criminal after scoring one.

You can see that Liverpool was growing in confidence minute by minute. In the 2nd, after the penalty claim rejected and Brendtner "super" defending, I can see Liverpool defence growing in confidence. Such things go for you some don't. So for all the possession Arsenal had, they were found wanting.

Liverpool had a great European result today. They are very professional and made everything count, in control of the situation. They are an English team with long ball clearance and very effective in counter attacks through the flanks. They fall when they need to and stand steadfast when defending. This is how you win CL.

In the last 10 minutes, Arsenal ran out of ideas and were tired. So now the Saturday game, we'll see the intention of two teams and how set up themselves up.

I think at Anfield, it will be a tall order in Arsenal especially when they are still chasing the title. Liverpool is going to make 11 changes, I bet my head on that while Arsenal will have to dig deep into their reserves (who are quite good too).

Anyway, my money is on Liverpool to progress. If Arsenal lose the Sat match, their season will be over unless they win on Tuesday.

Royston said...

I don't know how these people are saying Arsenal are over. They always score goals. It's a fact! Their game is suited to a wide Anfield pitch. Unless your pitch is a ruby, rain soaked pitch the Arse have a huge chance. My concern is not scoring one or two, it's defense. I still think we are going to do it. I am worried about the game on Saturday, but Arsenal will call up the gods of football next week and score
one or two.

Anonymous said...

WALLY

LULU said...

Hleb slightly overacted and I agree that in this case it's probably what gave the ref cause to not blow, but isn't that what one does to call attention to the foul, which is still a foul and still a penalty?

Leaning in does not mean you weren't pulled back as you were about to shoot. Heavens, if it happens on the halfway line it IS often blown, and there no one is shooting, just trying to pass the ball.

Anonymous said...

I warned you on the other thread that strange forces would be at work and Hleb would have an incident.

I'll let you know before Tuesday what will happen.

Cheerio.

BimitarDerbatov said...

i ain't shit-stirring royston..but clearly i've struck a nerve with you...

"imagine how sad you life must be to come on here" said the man coming on here and doing the exactly the same thing..

please think before you type royston.. you only make yourself look foolish...

now back to the game..

whilst i acknowledge that it was a clear penalty..ye are really pathetically clutching at straws to suggest that the ref didn't give it because he is Dutch...i mean come on..really now...the ref had a terrible game anyway and was consistent in his bad or questionable decisions..

that's just my take on the game but go on Royston i'm sure you can offer a rebuttle to my opinions in the shape of childish name-calling..go on give your club a bad name i dare ya...go on..

PS. before anyone says anything about Spurs, i haven't mentioned them once so just concentrate on your own club and it's 4th trophyless seaon in a row..

COYS
BIOYC

marcus said...

Wrighty, Bendtner's mistake was not decisive since he was called offside. If the ball had gone in, it would've been disallowed anyway.

And here's a quote from Kuyt: "I do know the referee. I played in Holland lots of times where he was the referee and he was the official when we played Feyenoord earlier this season. We both come from the same area. He comes from Leiden and that is the place where I grew up also. It is wrong, though, to say that, because I know the referee, he made decisions in my favour. He made a good decision against Arsenal with the penalty. There were no favours."

Yeah, maybe on your planet, Dirk.

Some positive things to mention about the game: Ade finally broke his drought. And we controlled that world class, on-fire striker Torres quite well.

Eboue has to go, end of. And I've had it with Rosicky and RVP. Fantastic footballers but they're paid to be injured, we can't rely on them.

We're still in it, no need to despair. But I'm very angry at AW. We're about to witness the sickening spectacle of the mancs winning both the PL and the CL. And that is entirely due to AW's decisions. He's enabled us to hand over the PL title over to them on a silver platter.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can play your first team against our reserves on Saturday - every little helps!