22
Apr
09

Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal; the Quad, Quad, and Silvestre

Match Reports

ESPNSoccernet: Arshavin hits four

Telegraph: Liverpool’s title dreams suffer setback as Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin stuns Anfield

Match Video

See four of the sweetest goals and four of the worst goals you will ever see over at the Arsenalist.

Man of the Match

There’s no question that Arshavin gets the Champagne here.  He put Arsenal ahead three times only to be outdone at the back. He worked every minute of that game, defending his ass off up front, tracking back all night and even sprinting forward at to 90th minute to score an absolutely brilliant left footer that should have seen Arsenal bag all three points.

Yesterday, I wondered if Andrei might do something to show Arsene the error of benching him in the FA cup on Saturday but I never expected him to come out and put in the performance of a lifetime.

And as for scoring four goals in a league match, well, that makes him the first player to score four this season, only the second Arsenal player to ever score four, the sixth player to ever score four in an away match, and in the long history of the Premier League only the 19th player to ever score four.  Oh yeah, and to take a huge dump on all that he’s the first player ever to score four in a game and not get a win, which sucks.

The Good

I believe it was a game, not only with goals but with technical quality at a high speed and for me it was top, top level tonight. Did that provoke the mistakes at the back? I don’t know but it was at a frenetic pace and it was enjoyable to watch and it’s a credit to the Premier League tonight.Arsene Wenger on Arsenal’s 4-4 draw with Liverpool.

I shudder to think how many goals Arsenal would have let in had Song not been back there to shield Silvestre from himself. Which is my way of giving a shout out to Song.

The Bad

silvestre denilson sagna

Conclusion

If I told you before the game that Arsenal were guaranteed to get a draw at Anfield you probably would have taken it. Similarly, if I told you before the match that Andrei Arshavin would score 4 goals, you certainly would have taken it. But if I told you that Arsenal’s makeshift back four would gift Liverpool 4 goals you would have ripped me a new one.

Overwhelmingly, it seems, most Arsenal supporters are upset about that last bit but for me, as I was watching the game, I just felt that Liverpool were not going to be denied and that the Arsenal defense was not going to be able to hold the door shut against them. So, I just kind of let go and just let the game happen. I put aside my partisanship for a bit and just watched as both teams poured on the goals. I mean, Arsenal was going for a 5th goal at the end there, and if not for a poor decision by the linesman would have had it. Liverpool too, had at least one good shot at a 5th goal. And it was really enjoyable to watch two teams play that hard for 90 minutes.

I’m not forgiving Silvestre his multiple transgressions, in fact I’ll be the first to point out that this is his second nightmare match in a row, but what I have done with this player is just take a step back and look at it as objectively as I can: he sucks but he’s all we’ve got. I guess I could bitch and moan about it and complain about how Wenger not only didn’t bring anyone in but let Senderos go (maybe forever) but that’s not going to change the frightening fact that he’s pretty much all we got going into a Champions League match against Man U next week.

He’s all we got back there and you have to laugh. Because if you don’t laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, it might drive you mad.

The only thing I feel bad about is that we saw what is in all likelihood Arshavin’s finest ever game and it was in a 4-4 draw.

Oh, and by the way… Arsenal are unbeaten in 19 consecutive league matches now. Which is something else to laugh about.


24 Responses to “Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal; the Quad, Quad, and Silvestre”


  1. 1 nycgunner
    April 22, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Silvestre is a nightmare and a half, not that Toure was much better yesterday against Torres. It was like watching two Toyotas trying to chase down a Ferrari. I thought the addition of Sagna would help us out in defence but I didn’t realize he has a new hobby and its called “clear the ball with your eyes closed”. The game itself was a bit apathetic because we need these fools to keep up the pressure on the mancs in the league. I am being very realistic when I say that I do know see us getting past those sh*theads in the CL with Silvestre in there. Fergusson must be patting himself in the back right now with his tail as he drinks the blood of a new born. If Silvestre makes a mistake in those games that leads to them scoring, then that old hag will have achieved exactly what he wanted to when he sold that sorry excuse for a defender to us for 750K. I just hope the others around him can raise their game and take some of the pressure off him because in all honesty, I dont see him keeping the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney and Berbatov at bay for 180 minutes. Is there any word on Djourou? He’s been out for a week now but I still haven’t heard any word on when he will be back. The knee injury looked pretty bad. Is it safe to assume he’s done for the season as well? God help us.

  2. 2 Tim
    April 22, 2009 at 8:51 am

    “Fergusson must be patting himself in the back right now with his tail as he drinks the blood of a new born.”

    Best.comment.evar.

  3. 3 Edu,Kenya
    April 22, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Well said,you 4got to mention this waste of space Bendtner Boy. The gaffer should off load him and get Barbel and/or Kalou. Check out my Arsenal X1 for Next Yr, ALMUNIA,SAGNA,CLICHY,GALLAS,TOURE,SONG,VAN PERSIE,CESC,EDUARDO,ARSHAVIN,NASRI subs.NEW GOALIE,NEW CB,EBOUE,BABEL,VELA

  4. 4 Tim
    April 22, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Oh god, Bendtenr was so miserable, I nearly forgot that he existed. THANKS FOR REMINDING ME EDU!

  5. 5 nycgunner
    April 22, 2009 at 9:33 am

    @ Tim,

    I found out last night that I will pretty soon be joining the glorified ranks of the unemployed in NYC so my imagination is running a little wild since then

    @ Edu,

    I would be a little worried if our team showed up with 5 subs on the bench on game day instead of the stipulated 7 :)

  6. 6 Reece
    April 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

    fabregas was just as poor as denilson, apart from his assist, all he did was lose the ball, passes not hard enough, not aware of people around him

  7. 7 Reece
    April 22, 2009 at 11:01 am

    oh and toure had a poor game

  8. 8 ditemi
    April 22, 2009 at 11:18 am

    silvestre is d biggest GOAT in arsenal.i dont blame him,i blame wenger for buyin a waste product.lets hope djourou comes before our cl tie with man.utd.silvestre and bendtner are not needed at arsenal.UP ARSENAL,ARSHAVIN,SONG AND OUR YOUNG SKIPPER{YOUNG SKIPPO-FABREGAS}AND EDUARDO though he’s not fully fit.i’ld like to see eduardo against ferdinand and vidic even if its 4 15mins.if only arshavin was eligible……………

  9. 9 Tim
    April 22, 2009 at 11:26 am

    my condolences on your impending unemployment nycgunner.

    I think we’re all hoping things turn around quickly here.

  10. 10 Nis
    April 22, 2009 at 11:33 am

    It was an awful performance imo. We were horrible creatively and even though liverpool made mistakes, if we didnt have someone of arshavin’s ability, we’d never have pounced on them. The only other arsenal players who gave a decent account of themselves on the night were song and nasri. Everyone else was poor or average. Arshavin is godsend!

  11. 11 T-Town Alex
    April 22, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Shame on you all for not mentioning Fabianski who despite the 4 goals conceded had a monster game. He was clearly the #2 man of the match. At least a dozen UNCREDIBLE saves.

  12. 12 T-Town Alex
    April 22, 2009 at 11:39 am

    for those of you who don’t know ‘uncredible’ is french :-)

  13. 13 pang
    April 22, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Also, has anyone noticed Fabregas clearly isn’t as effective that far up the field? just thought that he would be better operating deeper and dictating the play. he’s not that great at shooting and dribbling anyways.

  14. April 22, 2009 at 11:49 am

    get out of my head, pang!

    i mentioned this exact thing to t-town alex yesterday and he responded “mon dieu, brie, frites, oui, non, salope!”

    Which I think meant he agreed.

  15. 15 barnaby
    April 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    A match were you just have to sit back and gaze at the wonder of it. It’s not every day you see two top sides at a vital juncture in the campaign stop defending and just go for a winner. Silvestre was called to do a job that was only ever going to be next to impossible as pool have options going forward and when isolated he would be troubled. That said, Diaby came on to be a defensive presence in the most exhilirating game in a long spell and still managed to appear utterly bored.

    Beyond Arshavin, i wasn’t impressed with our play, despite song and nasri covering everywhere which did little for our overall shape we capitulated in midfield just as we did against chels. Pool took control of the match and if not for Arshavin who to my view is the only AFC player with the pace, technique, motivation/ambition and savvy to score two of those goals we could easily have lost. I normally don’t single out individual players but Arshavin was our beacon of hope in another sea of mediocrity.

  16. 16 nycgunner
    April 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks Tim. Yes I think a lot of us are in the same boat here.

    As far as the issue of Cesc playing out of position, I think Wenger had a little bit of success with that in one game(I believe it was the Wigan game), but it has been quite ineffective since then. Teams are quick to realize that when Cesc plays up higher, it is easier to shut him down. This is a recurring problem with Arsene. He has a habit of playing players out of position. I never understood this because I dont see how you can get the best out of your players when you play them out of position (playing RVP out wide is another prime example). I believe what he is thinking right now is that our threadbare defense needs greater protection so he plays two defensive midfielders in front of them. That isolates Cesc further up the field and makes it easier to teams to mark him and shut him down. What I dont understand is why he cant play both Cesc and Song in that defensive position. Cesc hasn’t been bad defensively this year and I am 100% certain he can do it better than Diaby or Denilson. He can also utilize his full range of passing from that position and thus play a role similar to how Pirlo plays with Milan and Italy. This would leave Nasri to play the attacking MF role. We already know that he can play this role quiet well from what we have seen during Cesc’s absence. I guess one could argue that this would mean our midfield lacks size but I think having Song in there ensures that we have someone who is not going to be bullied. I hope Arsene get its right vs. the mancs. I would hate to see us lose because he failed to pick the right team. Well… I would hate it no matter what but Wenger failing would make it that much worse.

  17. April 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I have to agree with pretty much everything you just said nycgunner.

  18. 18 WC
    April 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    High paced game, brilliant finishing from Arshavin who incidentally scored 2 of the goals outside of the box – an area I have preached religiously that we need to make better use of. There’s hardly any shooting from outside the 18 for Arsenal anymore and for me that has to change because realistically that’s an area where many goals can come from and we’re not exploiting that enough.

    It’s been 13 years and Wenger still hasn’t swallowed his pride and admits he’s lost on the art of the ugly long ball. Since losing the likes of Sol Campbell and Tony Adams, we’ve lost alot of aerial defense over the past few years and the Liverpool game only served to highlight that since the Torres header and Benayoun’s scrambled ball over the line were both from balls passed in the air. Maybe Arsene will finally drop some coin on a Hangeland or Sakho in the summer to deal with the much used long ball. Additionally a strong defender could also go a long way to solve our Drogba problem because it’s no coincidence that he’s scored 8 times in 9 games against us now and most from simply outmuscling our central defenders. There’s quite a bit of those types of strikers in the league – Beattie, Davies, Fellaini, Cousin etc who can just overwhelm us on crosses and balls booted up to the front and it’s about time we either train our current crop or buy new stock that can nullify those threats because they are not going away any time soon and one of the big weaknesses of Arsenal’s defense.

    Perhaps Cesc is tired already? You have to admit he’s been playing alot since his comeback and that’s essentially a game every 3-4 days. Or perhaps he’s dipping – who knows. This weekend is Boro and they’ve been on a slide since McClaren left. they’ll be desperate for points but their team just flat out isn’t that good so perhaps a good game for Cesc to either rest, play for only an hour or boost his confidence.

  19. 19 Matt
    April 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    @nycgunner

    Welcome to the Laid-Off Collective, I just joined last Friday. Got get yourself a t-shirt, I will pour you a beer.

    It’s not so bad, I am sitting here in my boxers sending out resumes, and watching Chelsea-Everton do their best impression of paint drying.

  20. 20 keith
    April 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I have said this a 100 times

  21. 21 CaribKid
    April 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Condolences to both Matt and NYC Gunner on your lay offs. Keep up the chin, things will have to get better. If not, we are all fucked.

    Not much more to add here, it’s all been said.

    But F##K it, can’t Arsene just play the best available team, which means sans Denilson, and give us a chance to win. It almost seems we are winning in spite of Arsene’s continued blunders in team selection, formation and player placement.

    Reminds me of his last 3-4 seasons at Monaco when he almost got them relegated with his youth program and was fired because of his miserable record.

  22. 22 WC
    April 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    So I’m a little bit annoyed because here I am reading about 500 articles on the game yesterday bcause it just had that many talking points and relevances to the title. Oviously Arshavin is the meat of most articles but in a somewhat close second is Torres and rightfully so he’s an exquisite forward. I remember a few years back Wenger had a desire to swoop him from the clutches of a Mediocre Madrid but the asking price was too much. I’m a bit distraught now that the frugality allowed one of the best strikers in the world to slip from us. I know Wenger admitted the other day he could have signed Drogba but didn’t but Torres is different because I think he’d be a much better fit for Arsenal than Drogba. I think Arshavin also is showing uss that some times you just have to bite the bullet and pony up the cash. I’m not asking to abandon our youth policy because it’s the best in the world, however I’m also not asking to break the bank every transfer window as if we’re trying to make Arsenal Galacticos. What I would like to see though is Wenger using his extensive scouting network and pinpointing those name brand players he really wants/needs and make an honest effort to put at least one of them into a red and white shirt. If he feels that there’s some defender or forward that could all but guarantee footballing success at the cost of 20M then please do oblige at the very least 16-17M or some honest negotiations, not short change them at 10M and say take it or leave it. I’m a strong proponent of “You get what you pay for” and a smart manager like Wenger has done his research so his choices are usually spot on. We know he doesn’t go home to watch Britain’s Got Talent or Ashes To Ashes, but instead some DVD from a game on the weekend that wasn’t from any of the major football leagues so he can find a player that will enhance the team. We’re not a poor club, neither are we flowing with luxurious wealth but we can live above most clubs’ means and we should indulge every so often.

  23. 23 barnaby
    April 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    CK, we are definitely missing a physical presence, the biggest difference between us and the other top teams is power, particularly in midfield as the last two games have shown. We are playing with a makeshift defense but there are some long term issues there as well.

    WC, you’re right torres was an absolute steal at 20 mil. He made our central defense appear very ordinary, but he’s done that to many teams this season. This summer wenger still needs to make some moves as i don’t see us as having youngsters ready for a starting eleven that will challenge for honours(ramsey, bischoff have vanished?). I thing all our players have gotten valuable experience but i’m skeptical that this same squad can win the epl next year without some additions. It’s been a season of growth and discovery but improving the squad is still necessary.

  24. 24 CaribKid
    April 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I concur Barnaby, we are still at least 2 experienced, capable bodies short of title aspirations.

    Ramsey, Hoyte, Nordveidt are all at least at least 2-3 years away.


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