Arsenal 4-4 Liverpool: You’ve got to be four-king kidding me!

Arshavin celebrates his fourth goalWhile we may have been denied a thrilling victory at Anfield by Yossi Benayoun’s late equaliser, it’s hard to be too disappointed with last night’s 4-4 draw with Liverpool (view all the goals and highlights here).

In a game that was littered with defensive errors Andrey Arshavin was the star of show, scoring all four of our goals in a performance to remember. In contrast, our back five had a night to forget as Mikael Silvestre and Kolo Toure were given a torrid time by Fernando Torres, Bacary Sagna played well below his best and Lukasz Fabianski, despite making a number of good saves was at least partially at fault for both Liverpool’s second and third goals. 

Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby were all left out from the side that lost to Chelsea and Nicklas Bendtner, Samir Nasri, Arshavin and Alex Song took their respective places. However, the first half was all Liverpool as our much-changed line-up struggled to get a foothold on the game.  Torres and Benayoun forced good saves out of Fabianski while Samir Nasri cleared a Daniel Agger header of the line.

We were lucky to still be level with Liverpool after the opening half-hour and somehow took the lead with our only decent attack of the half soon after. Cesc Fabregas and Nasri caught Javier Mascherano napping on the edge of the Liverpool area before the captain teed up Arshavin to fire home off the underside of the bar. A well-taken, if slightly undeserved goal.

Unfortunately the lead didn’t last too long. Liverpool regrouped after the break to score two quick-fire goals and take a 2-1 lead. First Torres punished a poor clearance by Sagna before Benayoun forced home a header that Fabianski could really had saved had he been standing on the right side of the goal-line. From the TV coverage it sounded like The Kop was absolutely rocking and our boys were back under pressure again.

We needed a response and got it through the brilliance of Arshavin. Nipping in to steal the ball from Alvaro Arbeloa, the Russian steamed through on goal and smashed a 25-yard effort beyond the out-stretched fingers of Pepe Reina. It was a superb goal and just as we were celebrating pulling level, Arshavin scored again. This time Fabio Aurelia was at fault as his clearance fell straight to the Russian and he fired low into the goal. 

It was an amazing turnaround, but more was still to come as Torres scored his second of the night after wriggling free of Silvestre and just about beating Fabianski. The Polish goalkeeper got a good glove on it and on another day may have turned it away, but he is clearly not firing on all cylinders. I thought his reaction to the goal – giving the post a good thump – summed up perfectly the difficult time he is having at the moment.

After drawing level I really felt that Liverpool would go on to win it, but after 20 minutes of being run ragged we took the lead again. With Liverpool giving their all to find a winner Theo Walcott – who had been brought on for the woeful Denilson – broke forward at pace to give Arshavin the opportunity to score his and Arsenal’s fourth goal of the game. He duly obliged, finishing clinically to secure his place in Arsenal history and sending this blogger absolutely crazy in his own living room.

I thought at that point it was surely over, but once again Liverpool showed their incredible fighting spirit to have the final say. With just a minute or two of added time remaining a frantic goal-mouth scramble allowed Benayoun to score his second and deny Arshavin match-winner status. 4-4 it ended, and utterly mental and absorbing contest that put a severe dent in Liverpool’s title dream and denied us a morale boost in the lead-up to the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.

It’s always difficult to analyse contests of this nature but I thought we learnt a few things today.

Firstly, it’s become clear to me that the defensive side of our game is nowhere near as secure without Manuel Almunia, William Gallas, Gael Clichy and Johan Djourou. I realise this might be an obvious statement, but whereby our under-strength defence was able to get by as a unit against Villarreal at the Emirates, as individuals they have been found wanting against both Chelsea and Liverpool.

As a fourth-choice centre-back Silvestre should not be criticised too much, but Torres and Didier Drogba have just been too quick for him to handle in the past two games. Meanwhile Fabianski is struggling to keep his head above water and Toure looks far less of a player without Gallas next to him.

Secondly, I strongly believe we now know our best attacking six to play out the rest of the season. Denilson’s horrible recent performances – he was again completely anonymous tonight – mean that Song and Fabregas should be the middle pairing with Arshavin and Nasri or Walcott on the wings and Adebayor and van Persie as strikers. Walcott should come in for Arshavin in the Champions League while Diaby and Bendtner should remain where they belong at the moment, firmly on the bench.

Thirdly, Alex Song. Wow. He is just impressing me so much at the moment. With every good performance he puts in Denilson and Diaby must surely be getting further and further from the starting side. And rightly so, too. He has become indespensible to this side and should we lose him to injury I don’t think we can win the Champions League.

Fourthly, and perhaps most excitingly, it is crystal clear that we have unearthed an absolute gem in Andrey Arshavin. To score four goals at Anfield from the left side of midfield is a truly preposterous feat for any player, let alone one who has played as little as seven games in England and was making his debut against another big four club. His willingness to be direct and finish emphatically is so refreshing at a club that generally looks for the long way to goal and I am beginning to get extremely excited about the contribution he could make to Arsenal next season.

The only disappointing aspect of Arshavin’s four-goal haul was that it came just three days after missing out on the starting team for the game against Chelsea. I think it’s fair to say that had the Russian been playing at Wembley there’s a very good chance we would be facing Everton in the Cup final at the end of May.

To summarise a completely insane game, I’m not too unhappy with the result because I truly believe Liverpool were the better side. They played with more urgency and precision and had it not been for our amazing Russian we would have been nowhere near getting a point. Having said that, it was certainly disappointing to be so close to winning at Anfield only to have it whisked away by another late, late goal.

Phew, I need a lie-down. More tomorrow.

Have your say on Arsenal’s utterly amazing 4-4 draw with Liverpool by leaving a comment.



  1. @SF Great summary of the game spot on.
    It is nice to be able to comment on a game that I actually watched, on a big screen with UK commentry, if it wasn’t so biased towards Liverpool, the last few minutes were all about pool scoring the winner even when we were on the attack.
    As SF said a draw was a fair result given that for the most part Liverpool were the better team, we played much better after Denilson was taken off. I always thought he was a good player but last night he had no impact on the game at all. With regard Sagna I hope he was still recovering from his virus as his defending was a joke at times. What can you say about Arshavin’s goals, sublime, amazing, what a talent this lad is and to think we so very nearly didn’t get him. I must admit though for the first 30 minutes you may have wondered if he was on the pitch, but certainly not by the end of the 90+6 mins, where did all that extra time come from. It was a game where my emotions were certainly high and when we got our fourth I was jumping up with my arms held high, even my sp**s supporting mate gave me a high five, but when pool equalised again I was not deflated it had been a wonderful and exciting game to watch and one that the Turkish guys watching it were impressed with, has anyone watched Turkish football, it is very boring.
    Lets hope that we can get a good result at the weekend and stay injury free, hopefully we will have Adebayor back for next Wednesday, can we give Arshavin some stilts and dress him up to look like Rosicky, nobody will remember what he looks like anyway!!!

  2. @ Dally – Nice one mate. Sounds like you had a ball. I felt the same after the concession of the fourth, not too deflated at all. Just thrilled at Arshavin’s goals.

  3. Great game! Arsene, Arsenal, Arshavin!
    I heard a rumour that Arshavin could be available to play at this stage of the UCL. Could it be true? Somebody tell me!!!

  4. Sorry not true, unless as I already said we dress him up to look like Rosicky. Arshavin will not be eligable until next season. He played in the initial rounds for Zenit so is eneligable to play for Arsenal.

  5. @ geeman

    Its weird but I heard the same.

    They say that if a club lost a player for the rest of the current season of the Champions (like Gallas) they could call another to replace him.

    I hope its true.

  6. While we celebrate that result against liverpool, i still feel Sylvestre was very inefficient in central defence and caused most of the problems that resulted into those goal and couldn’t partner well with Toure.Theres need to get 2 more defenders in our team.We missed the services of one Gallas or Johan Djourou.So far so good for us and am sure Man-U was watching.Good one .Patrick.

  7. Great summary as usual SF. It was a great game and thanks to Arshavin, we got a result we really did not deserve. Brilliant stuff from our little Russian.

  8. I’m still buzzing from that crazy game. It was reminiscent of the champions league quarter final where we went from being through, to being out, to being through, to being out again…. That was a heartbreaking result, this one not so much. But the fact that Liverpool outplayed us, that hurts quite a bit. Outplayed… By Liverpool… Not good at all folks.
    Arshavin is amazing to say the least.


  10. Hey SF, you failed to mention Bendtner disallowed goal (for offside) that was clearly on side!

  11. Can someone tell me where 6 mins came from yesterday. Which player got injured to warrant 6 mins extra time? To think most Liverpool fans will crow when United have 4 mins. Amazing isnt it?

  12. The 5 minutes added on was ridiculous – and completely unjustified. That was totally wrong. I feel sorry for Arshavin – to put in a performance like that and the rest of our team couldn’t hold on for a couple more minutes. But my word what a player. One of the best individual performances I’ve ever seen in a premiership game. World class. He is in the very top bracket. Lets hope he can do the same next season for us because he is a difference maker.

  13. we gotta give it up for our boys and Arshavin the Assasin!!!2 score 4 goals against fools@Anfield with a shaky defence and num 2 goalkeeper is surely fair enaf!!!Walcott should neva be benched!!!in fact he should always start n maybe rested afta assisting and scoring like 3goals b4 half time hehehehe(don’t stare @me like that guys it’s possible,we’re the GUNNERS ryt?)though liverpool dominated the game,im happy with the result.Imagine how lethal we can be with our strong and usual backline and keeper,plus the kinda midfield we have with vanP and Eduardo/Ade as strikers,im sure manures are trembling!!!they should know that we’re coming with our guns loaded!!!

  14. @ Darragh – I did forget about Bendtner’s offside goal and Cesc’s too, didn’t I. Sorry about that. To be honest I thought Bendtner’s was just offside while I haven’t seen a replay of Cesc’s. It’s possible on another day the first goal might have been called off so to get one of the two was good enough for me, I guess. Any thoughts?

  15. Spanish – Great to read your thoughts on the game, you have mirrored my own thoughts and feelings almost exactly. Whilst I was so pleased for Arshavin, I was equally frustrated with our defence and with the fact that Wenger did not start Arshavin against Chelsea. Any doubts the manager had before the game regarding a different result with Arshavin starting must surely now be blown out of the water! His direct nature and clinical finishing make him one of the most exciting prospects Arsenal have had for some time. Only the late goal from Benayoun and the thought of ‘what could have been’ slightly took the shine off the evening. I can’t wait to watch Arshavin play again, he has re-ignited my interest in Arsenal and I only hope he has the same effect on some of our other players, who have looked rather lacklustre recently!

  16. Ahh, you win some you lose some! I guess they make up for the time Eboue scored a blatantly offside goal earlier in the season.

  17. spanish fry….can u tell me what u think our best 11 are when all fit also who would u buy to partner cesc…do we need a compleat new back line?

  18. phew! one hell -of – game!
    A nite that u throw everything away and be proud to be a gunner.

  19. Our first goal was clearly onside. Here in Africa, lines were drawn against the last defender in all replays and it clearly shows so. Also, I don’t think we were outplayed, BUT we were outsmarted. To lose 5 first teamers is not really pretty. If we had Adebayor (only), he might have given his whole better that big Nicky, and you would have seen a different Arsenal.
    On other days, Nicky B’s goal could have been allowed. But i’m not complaining this time, because with our defense, if some one had offered us a 1:1 draw before the game, I would have chewed off his hand, I know I would.

  20. To get a hat-trick at Anfield as a striker is a feat itself, to net 4 as a winger is even greater. He is an outstanding talent and he responded in the best after not starting against Chelsea ” he can score 4 past a big 4 team away from home ” I am not overally dissappointed because I think to get a draw at Anfield was great because we had an under strength side (excpet out midfield) and I still want Liverpool to win the league but it would have been nice to win, our unbeaten run continues and we have Almunia back for Middlesbrough. Good Times, Arshavin you are king! Song is the new Flamini, well almost.

  21. Spanish Fry, I strongly agree with your statements: “Arshavin willingness to be direct and finish emphatically” & “Liverpoool played with more urgency and precision.” Gunners totally lack of directness and urgency for past few seasons.

  22. @ SF

    Great summary and analysis of the game! I do however feel that your assessment of Fabianski’s performance is unfair. I think he played great! We truly could have given up 3 more goals had it not been for some of the saves he made. The defense was absolutely wretched! Silvestre has no business being in any premiership side, but we are forced to play him through injury. He was responsible for two of the goals alone. I do not fault Fab for any of the goals as the defense put him in no position to make saves on the goals they scored…not being able to simply clear the ball or just kick it out for an opposition throw-in is ridiculous and unacceptable. Fab made 10 saves! How often do you see that stat line?! Most teams don’t get 26 shots and 14 on target, and he saved 10 of them!

    Enough of the negativity…I thought it was a fair result and an absolute gem of a game to watch. I felt the same way as you SF at the end of the game. I wasn’t upset or angry really at all, just exhausted from all the excitement! We DEF need to add to our back line next season to compete for the premiership’s top spot and have a chance in the CL or any cup for that matter.

    Song deserves all the praise you have given him all season…I was a doubter for a while, but see the light now. He has played brilliantly in the past few months! Can’t wait for the CL matchup against Man U next week! Keep up the good work…

  23. it was a good performance, but as always we could have won the game if only our defence was workingg as hard as the attackers. i dont know, but i have never liked the way Denilson plays, i also dont like Kieran gibbs. these two players are notworth first team selection, and AW should kno better.

  24. We Can’t blame Dani or Fabiansiki with being some mistake made on their part. Especially we should be with our GK. His confidence is not on high and I still believe he is good enough to wear Arsenal shirt as far as dani is concerned I always thought this is an break through season for him. But he has done well. I still believe we need some sort of experience in midfield role. Because we should be able to shut opposition after we score first. We should be able to play the ugly workmen like game which chelsea played against us in FA cup semi. My personal view because all the ball we thrown in the air and our patched up defense were not able to cope up with it. Cant say the same for liverpool superb game. Fair result.

  25. Well i think Gibbs has done a good job covering for Clichy, but i think our other LB Armand traore (on loan at Portsmouth) does trump Gibbs, but they’ll both be stars.

  26. I believe we all have short memories or selective ones, I can’t decide which, but Gallas and Toure were not playing well earlier in the season where we all wanted Jourou to play instead of Toure. The same goes to Song and Deni in the middle of the park. But, the professor stuck with them and look who we are cheering on now, may be except Deni. Even Deni had his moments. Sometimes the lineup and tactic favors his game sometimes it doesn’t. My point is that Silvestre and Fabianiski did not have a run of games to gel with this team. They were thrown in at a critical point of time against very competetive teams. What were we expecting, a miracle? Unfortunately they will be yanked out of the team as the injured players return which sets them back to where they were before. We have been proven wrong again and again about our assessment of talent in players by Wenger, but we don’t learn. I suggest we need to go back and read some of our own blogs a few months back.

    Liverpool’s high pressure game is producing both success and failor to their season. Some teams simply collapse under pressure, but Chelsea and Arsenal have taken advangage of them. Chelsea wrecked their CL season and Arsenal may have ruined thier PL title chance. What we are finding out is that any defence put under pressure eventually make mistakes and good teams punish you for it. Remember ManU?

    The game was unblievable & Arhavin was clinical, but Gibbs is the one who impressed me the most for a 19 years old under this circumstances. Cool under pressure if you ask me. This is mixed blessing for us. We don’t want to lose as that will knock our team’s confidence and end our run of games without defeat, but the only way to put pressure on ManU is for Pool to win their games. What a choice! In the end a tie is better for us and for them because they could have lost the game last night.

  27. Arshavin was great!!!
    I know it’s not “transfer period”, but here is my summer wish list.

    – Babel (Liverpool)
    – Veloso(Sporting Lisbon),
    – Senderos (return*) or Steven Taylor (Newcastle)(why not both!!!)

    – Fabregas (Barca)
    – Adebayor (Milan)
    – Denilson

    We need to cash big on certain players, and make sure we have a consistent starting 11.

  28. Great analysis fo the game SF. 2 mistakes to be corrected though, I was watching the game and I remember very well that it was Gibbs who cleared off the line, not Nasri. And it wasn’t Fabio Aurelia clearance that fell to the feet of AA for the 3rd goal, but Jimmy Carragher’s.
    Back to Arsenal, omw, what a game. I was watching the game with my brother, an avid liverfool, so you can imagine the tension in the house. AW and Song impressed me. I’ve always sung Song’s praises, glad to see every1 is taking note. He needs to work on his defensive positioning though, he tends to leave the DM hole open, chasing after the ball where he shouldn’t
    Anyway, can’t wait for Man U. Hope Vela and Dudu play this weekend against Middlesbrough

  29. @ Geez – Im so happy your not in charge, Babel in?, Senderos back?, Fabregas gone? You crazy

  30. Geez, Senderos is not good for English games. He may do well in the champions league, but not league. Obviously most coaches don’t buy players for certain competition only. How on earth did you come up with a wish for Fab to go to Barca? Fab & Ade won’t be sold unless they absolutely want to leave, period. Are you sure you’re Arse’s fan? There is always Spuds!

  31. @ Geez

    Thats the crazyest thing that I ever read on this blog.

    In: Babel that is a nobody, Senderos please not again & out our grat mind in the midfield and one of the best strikers in the world.

    Youre completely insane.

  32. @ GUNNER_CIAN – I think I listed my favourite XI in the sixth-to-last paragraph. Adebayor and van Persie up front, Arshavin and Nasri on the wings (with Walcott rotating in regularly) and Song and Fabregas in the middle, Sagna, Djourou (or Toure, but I prefer the former), Gallas and Clichy at the back with Almunia in goals.

    @ mgeiks – There were in fact two clearances off the line, I’m pretty sure Nasri had the one in the first half while Gibbs cleared from Torres in the second. Also, it was definitely Aurelio who failed to clear for our third – the TV cameras just showed Carragher sitting down afterwards.

    @ OLA – It’s certainly NOT true that Arshavin can play Champions League. I’ve heard nothing but rumours and I’m absolutely sure that we would have heard something about this from the official site had it been true. Arshavin is NOT eligible.

    @ Geez – I don’t know what to say. Hoping that Adebayor and Fabregas leave is ridiculous, they are arguably the most important players in our squad. Babel has hardly impressed while Steven Taylor is not up to the standard required of this side. Let’s just focus on what can happen for the rest of this season before we start worrying about transfers.

  33. @geez are you a closet Spurs fan?

    @Spanish Fry – I personally prefer Toure to Djourou. Also, if we’re goign to play 4-5-1, I’d like to see something like this

    Sagna, Gallas, Toure, Clichy
    Walcott, Fabregas, Song, Nasri, Arshavin
    Adebayor(up front).

    I really think Nasri would be more suitable centrally. He’s got great skills, and I think needs to see more of the ball.

    Also, would anyone swap Adebayor for Drogba? I have to admit, I’d prefer Drogba…I think he is a lot stronger on the ball than Adebayor (also, manages to stay onside more often!)

  34. In the end of day, I really think that we need to have a consistent starting 11. I’m just having a hard time seeing Fabregas,Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott all playing at the same time in midfield. You may not agree with me, but I can assure you that one of them will be left out of the starting line next season. Things will be different because Arshavin will be eligible for the Champions league, and all players want to play in big games.

  35. liverpool is the worst fuckin team ever. They don’t deserve to be 3rd place in the premierleague. The should be punished and lose all the games they’ve won. cause they don’t know know how to play soccer, all they do is kick the ball up front, they are skillest. They know nothing but sucking their own dicks. Infact, they either fuck mens or fuck their mom. I can’t belive they actually win games. They are so fuckin lucky, and thats the only thing they got. Reina is an asshole, Torres is a shitass sperm seller, Gerrard is no more than a dick fighting for the ball, carragher is a fucked up cow, babel is like G.I Joe on the field, Benayoung is a motherfuckin dick licking white nigger.

  36. i bet liverpool will lose 10 to nothing if they face Brazil’s national team. I can bet for a billion US dollars. By the way, Arsenal can cream liverpool if theyplay with their full starting 11 team, they tied because Gallas, Sagna, Almunia, Clichy, and van persie were all injured, and walcott didn’t play as well. I love Arsenal. I wish their whole team could be my friend. I know one day they will cream Liverpool 10 nothing, not only Arsenal, ANY TEAM!

  37. Hypiia is a fuckin ugly white nigger, Kuyt is an underdog semen, skrtel sucks so much that he should go to hell, i can’t believe kuyt can play in holland’s national team. Liverpool are son of bitches.

  38. I love Reina, NOT! He needs to go to school because he should know that blind people can’t play soccer. He can’t catch, he slips, and he can’t throw because he needs glasses so badly.
    He loves his manager, so i think they should might as well have sex to getter.

  39. Liverpool sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rooney is just a cow’s dick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, or an ugly bold white nigger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, R.Ferdinand should be lived in because he is bigger than the CNTower!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,O. Shea is crap but, he is funny to watch. I think he should be named O.Shit. Ha!Ha!Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Arshavin is cool, he is one of the best soccer player, it is kind of sad that Arsenal didn’t buy him when he was young. I’m trying to say that he needs some time working together with Arsenal because he is a great tallent but, his playing style needs to be changed because it isn’t working the best with Arsenal. So if he played in Arsenal before he was 20 years old, he would be commiting with the team perfectly by now, and that will be great. I’m telling you again, he’s a great tallent. Arsenal is the team for him to be in.

  41. Alex Ferguson is dumb, Man U has the worst centre midfields. Carrick is crap, Scholes is fuckin old, Anderson is having a hard time commiting with his teamates, and thats all the centre mids ManU got. It’s terrible isn’t it? And Fergusing is still focusing on the wingers, and he doesn’t care about the centre. Also, he wants to buy Ribery, the wing midfielder, WHOLY!
    ManU is hopeless if Ferguson doesn’t leave.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.