It is impossible to argue with the scoreline, so let’s make one thing clear from the start – Arsenal played poorly at Anfield today, and Liverpool were deserved 4-1 winners.
But to draw any conclusions from this match is futile – we learned nothing new today, it just served to drive home a few truths for Arsenal and push Liverpool up to 3rd place.
Pool played well today, they found Arsenal weak through the middle and especially on the flanks and they made their experience count. To say that that the Arsenal midfield put too much pressure on their own defenders is true, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Liverpool were positive, fought hard and put away their chances.
Arsenal had no Silva, three kids and a misfiring Belarusian, with Adebayor (not the world’s greatest striker, I assure you) and Baptista (who Arsenal fans must loathe) playing up front. It didn’t take much to rattle this team, and Liverpool’s syle of play was very effective against them.
However, you have to keep this win in perspective – but does this mean that Liverpool are going to be challenging for the title next season? With any luck, they should go on a winning run similar to last season that saw them finish very close to Manchester United and then, over the summer, with more money being spent and probably 2-4 more players being brought in, we’ll hear the same-old, same-old title contenders routine.
It’s too early to predict anything like that – the best time to judge this is in mid-August, when most of the transfers have been done, pre-season has been played, injuries have been sorted out and you have a clearer idea of which team has what.
Right now, Liverpool are still not title contenders. They met a poor Arsenal side, and effectively dispatched them 4-1. It could have been 2-1 if Arsenal had defended a tad bit better, and it could have been 2-3 if Baptista had put 2 of his several chances in.
Simply not good enough. They made Crouch look good, dammit. At his best, Crouch is more ‘effective’ than class, so for him to get 3 goals against Arsenal speaks volumes about Arsenal’s failure today.
They missed Silva, and I’m wondering why they didn’t play 4-5-1 with Baptista in midfield and Rosicky playing instead of Denilson.
A better analysis of Arsenal’s failings will probably come from arseblog, so you guys had better check on him Sunday morning.
To be honest though, Arsenal had 2 first-choice strikers (Henry, van Persie) and an impact player (Walcott) missing. They had Silva missing as well through injury. Rosicky didn’t come on till the 65th minute, although I doubt he could have done much considering the way Baptista was playing.
They still have 8 games to go this season, and as Wenger said after the game, Arsenal have to dig deep and focus on their Champions League qualification. Bolton are 5 points behind but Arsenal have a game in hand. They should qualify, but it never needed to be this close.
The author is not an Arsenal or Liverpool fan – please don’t insult him by calling him either.