Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stop Me If You've Heard This Before

Arsenal totally and completely dominate and yet fail to win.

Oh, you have? Me too, many times over.

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

Shots: Arsenal 15, Liverpool 4
Corners: Arsenal 6, Liverpool 3
Possession: Arsenal 65%, Liverpool 35%

Arsenal scored a great goal from a short corner when Adebayor rose to bury a great Robin van Persie cross in the 23rd minute. But just 3 minutes later Stevie G did good work to put in a cross that Dirk Kuyt was able to slide and stab home because both Clichy and Senderos decided that marking the only man in the box was not at all necessary but rather they could just stand around and watch. Shambolic defending, the kind of schoolyard shit you see in my rec league on Sundays, but should never see in the Champions League.

And despite Arsenal's domination in the second half, that was that. Hell if Arsenal had 65% possession for the entire match then I guarantee they had 70% for the second half, which is just unheard of- Liverpool were literally struggling to get out of their own half. A critical moment was when Kuyt grabbed the onrushing Hleb with his arm, tackled him in the box, and somehow despite having a front row seat from about 5 feet away from the play the referee inexplicably did not award the penalty. Further incompetence a bit later when Bendtner somehow managed to clear the ball off the Liverpool line by getting it mixed up in his legs, when if he would have just not touched it, it would have gone right into the Liverpool goal- the linesman flagged him for offsides in front of goal, which I don't see how that is possible when Sami Hyppia is standing on the goal line.

But make no mistake, Arsenal should have won this match 3-1 and no amount of sour grapes at the referee can change the fact that they did not convert their chances and domination into a convincing win.

But that penalty no call will still haunt me next week when Liverpool 1) hold out for a 0-0 or 2) win on a fluky goal.

Fuck it, it's over, and now the task is clear. Arsenal must score a goal at Anfield at the minimum and beat Liverpool in their house at most to advance. They beat their asses twice in 4 days last year at Anfield, knocking them out of two cup competitions, so it can be done. But as we've discussed many times over, Liverpool in the CL are just a different animal.

Fenerbache 2-1 Chel$ea
Fenerbache gifted Chel$ea an early lead with a terrible own goal, then stormed back with two beauties, the second of which was an absolute screamer and redemption for Deivid, who scored the opening own goal. 2-1 is a nice win for Fenerbache, but with the {albeit lucky ass} away goal all Chel$ea need next week is a 1-0 to go through. I can see them getting that, but if Fenerbache can score a goal at Stamford Bridge I think they will pull off the shocker.

Yesterday morning I wrote:

If I was forced to pick today's/tomorrow's matches, I would guess a Roma-ManUtd draw {without Totti more like a ManUtd win}, a Barca win, an Arsenal-Liverpool draw {if so then 0-0 please} and a Fenerbache win.

Not bad, eh?


moin said...

Where were you when RM needed a win over Roma? I place the blame solely on you.

And in a slightly constructive note: I'd much rather be the dominating side of a draw than the lucky to escape side. But Rafa certainly does seem to perfect this whole... 2 leg elimination game that club tournaments are all about doesn't he? Too bad for Liverpool it's a whole different mentality to win leagues.

Scalz1 said...

That no call was either:
A. Really bad, but consistent with all the other calls.
B. A good no call.
Can't be too mad about it, really. There was a takedown on Gerrard nead the area at about 74 mins that could have been called the same way.
And, you're right about Rafa, he knows how to do the 2 leg thing, too bad the final is only one game.Looking forward to the next 2 matches with the gooners. I look for Torres to dominate at Anfield.