Hello everyone, I know it's been a couple days but I've been extremely busy. My Under 12's team that I coach is undefeated and we had two games over the weekend so I just couldn't be arsed to do much else.
So a point at Anfield and a valuable one. Manchester United went top of the league on Saturday with I think their 8th consecutive win so it was important for us to keep the momentum and jump back to the top against the scousers. The press and critics everywhere were saying this game would be our first real test. I don't really buy that because we have beaten City, Sevilla, Sp*rs, etc but they still labeled this as our first real challenge, and you have to say we passed. Arsene Wenger and the rest of the team say so too.
The game didn't start especially well for us, with Gerrard scoring on a free kick from about twenty five yards in the seventh minute. It was a real cannon of a goal but it left me wondering who had moved out of their place in the wall because it went right through it.
Almunia, who I thought had a very good game, saved efforts from Crouch, Gerrard and Riise and again consigned Lehmann to the bench. He's having a great year and he deserves his starting place.
So we pressed for an equalizer, much more in the second half than the first, and had a good chance when Eboue hit the post and Cesc missed on the rebound. It really should have been a goal but I find it hard to fault Cesc "The f'ing brilliant magician" Fabregas about much.
But the breakthrough did finally come, through who else but Cesc? Hleb (brilliant this season) received the ball on the left and held up play while players made runs forward. He finally saw the one he wanted though and lifted it in to Fabregas with touch that many great great players could not have displayed. It really was brilliant and Fabregas only had to toe-poke it into the net. Reina maybe could have done better but of course we're happy he didn't.
Cesc had another chance just a minute after but his effort hit the post and you could tell we really wanted the three points, but it wasn't to come. The match ended 1-1 and we remained unbeated. I'll take a point at Anfield any day.
Man of the Match: Alexander Hleb
Needs Work: The walls on our free kick defending
Several players reacted to the game afterwards. Gael Clichy says we played well enough to win but the team knows that it is still a good result at Anfield and that now we must be considered title challengers.
"Since the start of the season people have never stopped saying Arsenal are playing well but they have not played any of the big teams yet. Now we have.
"We passed out first test successfully. Next Saturday, we play Manchester United and if we get three points nobody can say Arsenal are not ready to win the title."Robert Pires talked about how Wenger is full of magic and he is the best coach around.
Also we have William Gallas talking about how Cesc can be the best in the Premier League. I thought he was already but I guess that's just me.
You can see all the goals from the last match here.
And that's all I have for today. Have a good Monday.