22 Apr 2009

20 years after *that* goal in 1989, have Arsenal robbed us of the title again?

What a game! Fantastically exciting and great to watch but Liverpool’s title hopes have undoubtedly been damaged tonight. And twenty years after Arsenal cruelly won the title with almost the last kick of the season, they may have done the same again tonight.

When the brilliant Andrei Arshavin scored Arsenal’s 4th goal, all I could hear in my head was Brian Moore’s legendary commentary:

“It’s Thomas charging through the midfield! Thomas...It’s up for grabs now!”

I remember watching that game in 1989 and feeling physically sick when Michael Thomas lifted the ball over Bruce Grobbelaar, and that’s how I felt again when that 4th goal went in tonight. And even though Yossi Benayoun rescued the game, the damage had already been done.

Premiership title hopes notwithstanding, the game was fabulous. Is there any doubt that Torres is our most important player? Take away Torres’ vital goals this season and we’d be nowhere near the top of the league. He has rescued us time and time again, and despite being injured for long spells, he remains as sharp and lethal as ever.

The same goes for Benayoun, who has scored perhaps three of the most vital goals this season – the winner against Fulham and two tonight against Arsenal.

The title is still theoretically achievable, but I just can't see it. Man United have Portsmouth at home tomorrow, and whilst it is certainly possible for Portsmouth to get something out of the game, it's not really probably. Deep down, we all know that there will only be one result.

Speaking of results, I wonder what the odds are on three 4-4 draws in a row? ;-)

NB: For those masochists among you who want to relive one of the worst football moments in the club’s history, here you go!


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  1. Excellent game but where did all that extra time come from?

  2. Bloody great game, the Arse were undone by some very sloppy defending from a patched up back five, but what the hell has happened to Liverpools steadfast defence? 8 goals in 2 games. I sincerely hope for Liverpools sake that we manage to take 3 points off Man U. Good luck for the rest of the season.

  3. Hello Sue
    Is this the same Sue that has been giving all the teenage doubters a hard time since Saturday? If it is good on ya.


  4. I love games like this with mistakes, drama and wall-to-wall excitement!

    I agree, Sue - 6 minutes of extra time?! No idea where that came from I don't recall man y long stoppages.

    @anonymous - both defences were pretty shambolic, Liverpool especially. If Sami Hyypia had played in both Chelsea games and tonight, I have no doubt we would have conceded far fewer goals.

  5. What I think is evident by tonight, and the recent results of Manchester United, is that results at this stage of the season are very hard to predict.
    On paper, yes, Portsmouth have no chance. But who would have predicted Fulham? For me, United are still failing to convince - and ever since we crushed them at Old Trafford every team they have faced since has played with much more convinction than is the norm.
    So there is hope. Hope and six games for United to cock it up in.
    Glad to see you acknowledge the emergence of Benayoun as a key player - he offers the perfect example to Ryan Babel, who you feel has been mistreated.
    While Babel has sulked, mouthed off to the press and failed to impress when given an opportunity, Yossi has grasped the nettle and battled his way into the side.
    And he has improved his defensive capabilities ten-fold - he works hard every game - and tonight he reaped the rewards.
    Please check out my blog: http://robbohuyton.blogspot.com/


  6. Hey Robbo - I really do hope United screw up some more over the next few games. I can seem them having trouble against Arsenal in a few weeks, so that may work in our favour.

    I see your point re Babel and Benayoun - I still think the situation is slightly different though. Having said that, I've always been a fan of Yossi. He reminds me so much of Peter Beardsley, one of my favourite players :-)

  7. Beardsley was superb, still can't believe to this day Souness sold him when he did - and to Everton!
    Anyway, here's hoping - "Play up Pompey".

  8. To the tune of Volare:

    Arshavin whoa oh
    Arshavin whoa oh oh
    He plays for Ar-se-nal
    Liverpool can scratch his balls
    Arshavin whoa
    Arshavin whoa oh oh

  9. Paybacks are a bitch....I will be so happy if you lose the title by exactly ONE POINT...payback for the injustice of last year's CL

    Enjoy your robot football for the rest of the year ;-)

  10. sorry erm did anyone miss the point that liverpool destroyed a woe ful arse team, i cant remeber a more one sided game since spurs.

    any other day 8-4 would have flattered the cockneys.
    look fwd to any game against them luck cant last for ever.

    lets hope they spawn their way thru the rest of the season and not collapse again like they did against the chaves

    hugs d

  11. I'm a gooner.

    You battered us for most of the game but we were more clinical than you. 4-4 was probably fair.

    But I'm still bugged by all that injury time. The game should have finished 4-3 except for an inexplicable amount of injury time. I sometime think that Sky encourage more time if the game is exciting. Maybe the ref got caught up in the moment. I don't know. But there is something wrong there. Six minutes!?

  12. So is Benitez still a defensive coach Jaimie? =P

  13. Defensive minded, yes. You can't take 5 or six performances from one season and use them to represent Benitez's entire 5 year reign.

    In the last month or so, it's true to say Liverpool have been more attack-minded. However, this style of play needs to continue over the whole of next season for me to stop labelling Benitez as defensive-minded.

  14. I'm happy as hell that I was wrong about Benayoun, I thought we needed to get rid of him in the summer. In him, we have another proven match-winner. As for Liverpool needing players in the summer, I think its time we invested in a decent right back, and possibly left wing back as well (Gareth Bale?) The defence has been really sloppy for the last 2 games. With all due respect to Arsenal and Arshavin, ALL FOUR OF THEIR GOALS WERE FROM LIVERPOOL MISTAKES. First Masch, then Arbeloa, then Carra, and then the whole defence, it was shocking. Liverpool were far more deserving of the victory.

    And Jaimie, Rafa has been more attacking this season. Its not that he's a defensive minded coach, its that he wanted to build the team from the back and then move forward. He also seems to build it from the centre first, which is why he'll probably bring a full-back and a winger next year.

    And I don't know how you can compare him to Houllier or say that we are not going to win the PL under him. We've improved, and for the last few weeks, have been absolutely scintillating going forward. He's already won 2 La Ligas and a Champions League with a relatively weak team, so I think he's already ahead of Houllier and quite a few other managers, and this is our first realistic run for the title in a loooong time. Whether or not we win the Prem this year (unlikely, but Man U only have to lose 2 games, you never know - Arsenal, Tottenham, Pompey - could happen), it will have been a positive season, and we will be realistic contenders for the title next year, if none of our big stars leave. Even your tone towards Rafa has been getting much more positive over the last few games.

    I hope you are soon proven as wrong about Rafael as I was about Benayoun.

  15. Excellent post, Bikram. Good assessment of Rafa`s imperatives.

  16. @ Jaimie, re: Hyypia. This is completely irrelevant to your point about Hyypia, but I was watching the video of the Hillsborough Memorial Service and noted that as the players walked in to take their seats, Sami was the only one who stopped to shake the hands of fans and families of the bereaved who were sat in the front. Testament to his character and class. A true gentleman, and a veritable legend.

  17. @kais - I agree with you, Sami is a true legend of the club and a real credit to football in general. He's been my favourite Liverpool player for years, mainly because of how he conducts himself.

    And I'm positive that if Sami had played in the last 3 games, Liverpool would still be in the Champions League and title race.

    Take Chelsea at Anfield for example - with Sami being so imperious in the air, there is no way Ivanovic would've got those two fatal headed goals.

    You only have to look at his masterful performance in the 4-1 hammering of Man United to see that he remains at the top of his game.

    Carra, Skertl and Agger are good players but they are nowhere near as commanding as Sami in the air. This is something Liverpool need to address at the heart of the defence otherwise it will be an ongoing problem.