Arsenal 3 - 0 LIVERPOOL
ARS - Flamini (41min), Toure (56min), Gallas (80min);
Words can't really describe how utterly disappointed and depressed I'm now. It's as if after all the good works we've done, we're back to square one and proclaiming out loud that 'we're really not good enough'. By the look of things tonight, we can safely say we're pretty far away from the standards of Arsenal and all the summer signings have not made the impact they're supposed to make as predicted. To make things worst, our usually reliable defence has let us down big time in big games and we're here licking our own wound.
Seeing Gerrard and Riise blaming each other for the William Gallas goal hurts the most and I think all Liverpool fans felt the same too.
After such a disappointing start to the season, it seemed as though the momentum of the team is getting back as they've gone 5 straight wins but all at Anfield. Now we're brought back down to earth with yet another Jekyll and Hyde performance. Such were the gulf between Liverpool and Arsenal that it just baffles me and putting Liverpool in the 'Big4' is just an overstatement.
The Arsenal players were quicker, faster and sharper than everyone in the hideous yellow jersey. They're always one step ahead of everyone and there's really no way to stop them. The speed of their runs and the precision of their passes were just a totally different gravy to us and hats off to them, they took their chances and showed us how football should be played.
It's not as if we're pinned back for the entire game and didn't do anything. In fact, we started off well and created an open competition. It's daring on Liverpool's part as we all know what Arsenal are about and their prowess on counter attacks. Crouch did put the ball in the net, but was ruled offside.
Then worst came to worst, Arsenal scored when Liverpool went to sleep. Zenden let his marker go and Flamini was on hand to slid in. One could question whether he's offside. But to me, it was a perfectly crafted goal and they deserve it.
Half time and Rafa decided not to change anyone. Mark Gonzalez was playing an active role, but squandered chances and there were several occasions where he made some bad decisions. Zenden, although hardworking and willing to try, is not good enough.
Again Liverpool started pretty well, but then didn't get on any sort of momentum. Another defensive mistake let Kolo Toure through to score the goal that breaks Liverpool heart. Carragher was forced out of position while Hyypia and Finnan totally left Toure alone. Their indecisiveness and lack of mobility means Toure is through on goal and he shot through Reina's leg without much hassle.
Rafa sensed the lack of width especially on the right and sent on Jermaine Pennant. The so called solution to our right sided midfield is yet another player who doesn't seemed good enough and the 6.7million paid for him looked like it's going down the drain.
The killer blow was Gallas' free header right in the middle of the penalty box, unmarked. I'm totally speechless as to how they have left him all by himself right in the thick of action. It epitomises the term 'abysmal defending' and now there will again be questions asked about Rafa's staunch belief in the zonal marking system.
Adebayor should've added icing on the cake, but his poor finishing lets him down. By then, even the most determined player would've given up and hoping for the time to run out.
The loss once again shows that we should not delude ourselves thinking that we're a complete package. In fact, we're still only halfway there in order to actually be in the same echelon as ManYoo or Chelsea. It's a sad fact that we're a good cup team but when it comes to consistency, we're poor and so far this season, it has been absolutely disastrous.
We're alright with the home form, but what about the away? How the hell do you explain such indifference in form and what's going through the player's mind? Why are they so afraid to play away games? Are they mentally prepared?
Now on the defending. Where has the record breaking defence gone? Same players, totally different results in just over a year. We used to catch people offside so very often last season and now looking at it, we couldn't even create an effective offside trap. Finnan the ever reliable right back has gone down a little and looked suspect with his positioning at times. Carragher was lucky not to have been sent off with that rash tackle on Farbregas and this season, he hasn't found his form at all.
Midfield's in a mess. It's a fact. There's no cohesion and I sensed we missed Momo Sissoko a lot in this game. His constant pressurising and tracking are missed and the partnership between Zenden and Alonso looked out of place. The wingers we've bought in still have yet to justify their place in the squad and Gerrard's form is still a major concern.
Strikers? Without the supply, they're just chasing shadows and feeding off scrapes.
I have looked through the fixtures list for the next 10 games and honestly, if we want to finish at least 4th, we must NOT drop any more points. I've been saying this time and again this season till I'm sick and tired of it already, but we must really start to kick into gear and find some momentum.
I wouldn't blame anyone directly. But I think everyone on the pitch today need to carry their responsibilty with that sort of performance. You've let us down and you must show what you're made off and why you deserve the endless surport you've received for years.