Liverpool vs Arsenal, 1-1: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on August 15, 2010 23:15
Some would say new season, same old Arsenal. We knew playing Liverpool on the first day of the new season was not easy but I believe we should have taken the advantage of the extra man and sealed a very important win on away territory.
That didn’t happen and all-in-all we should consider ourselves lucky to have a point in the table. And that is why when you have Manuel Almunia in goal and a set of midfield players who for a reason unknown to mankind are afraid to hit the target from long range, getting a point is indeed a bonus, or, more precisely, a gift as Reina would put it.
Off the blocks, we looked to be in a better position than the Reds and enjoyed plenty of possession in the first part of the game although it would be foolish to ignore the fact that we created very, very little. When Joe Cole was sent off I thought we would come out in the second half hungry as lions but unfortunately, it was the complete opposite.
Manuel Almunia was beaten – and not for the first time – at his near post but he’s not the only guilty party as Javier Mascherano was presented the ball after some shocking defending on the right by our players. I wonder when we will learn to clear the ball properly instead of passing the ball in dangerous areas. Thanks to Marouane Chamakh’s persistence and Reina’s hands we managed to equalise but we won’t be gifted goals every week I’m afraid.
But anyway, our first game of the season ends and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth as I see it as two dropped points. Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie were missing, granted, but they can do nothing to prevent Manuel Almunia from coming out for the ball and completely missing it. We desperately need a goalkeeper who is not the Spaniard or Fabianski and we need to be more adventurous from long-range.
To conclude with, whether you agree with my ratings or not, submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and make sure to share them on Twitter and Facebook.
Match Video Highlights
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Almunia: 4,5 – Terrible when coming out from set-pieces and beaten at his near post. We were very, very lucky not to go 2-0 down when he completely missed the ball in the second half in one of his Tarzan-like jumps.
Koscielny: 7 – A very good first game for the Frenchman who was very solid, especially in the first half. He did struggle a little when Torres came on but all in all he will surely be satisfied with his first taste of Premier League football.
Vermaelen: 6,5 – Solid, but I am convinced Thomas could have done much better to prevent Ngog from firing Liverpool in front. From the replays you can clearly see how he was jogging forward almost unaware of the striker, reason why he failed to tackle him in time.
Sagna: 6,5 – Always disappointing with his crosses but defensively he was very solid and always ready to close Liverpool players down.
Clichy: 5 – Not convinced at all with Gael’s game at the back. Liverpool players went past him way too easily on one-on-ones and should have properly cleared the ball in the move which saw the Reds take the lead.
Wilshere: 6 – Anfield is not the best place to kick-off your Premier League campaign and poor Jack failed to make an impact in the middle of the pitch. Also I’m not convinced he is to blame for the conceded goal; was it a wrong pass or he was just not aware and failed to control it?
Nasri: 6 – Disappointing. Did well to get past his markers but it’s no use if you then turn back and start from square one. He also kept the ball in his feet too much and was awful from free kicks.
Diaby: 6 – Does well the first 50% of what he has to do, fails in the remaining 50%. Needs to step it up a gear this season Abou if he is to be finally considered a player worth relying on.
Arshavin: 5 – No Anfield magic today for the Russian who looked disinterested with was going on around him. Need to wake up. Quickly.
Eboue: 6 – Excellent first touch and did well to help the team get forward in the first half. I was disappointed to see him substituted, deserved more time on the pitch.
Chamakh: 6 – I think today we understood why we should not be too harsh on Nicklas Bendtner when he plays up front alone and fails. The Moroccan was indeed too isolated, clearly showing that he needs more support to make an impact.
Walcott: 5 – Make no mistake, he brings pace to our forward line which is good to have, but besides that, I can’t think of any reason why Wenger prefers him to Carlos Vela who was much better in pre-season.
Rosicky: 7 – Did what Samir Nasri was supposed to do throughout the whole game. The Czech took control of the midfield, went close to score and delivered a number of good balls in the penalty area.
van Persie: 5 – Clearly short of fitness Robin. Very anonymous display but he has one whole week to recover and lead our forward line against Blackpool.