By Rob Deyzel
Same old Arsenal, always cheating, could be heard from the Liverpool terraces after Joe Cole was sent off on his Liverpool debut due to a lunging tackle on fellow debutant Koscielny of Arsenal. A bit harsh on the Arsenal defender to be called a cheat, but also harsh on Joe Cole who would have expected a yellow card.
The game itself has its fair share of excitement, but certainly did not live up to the billing of the 4-4 draw between these two sides at Anfield tow seasons back. Liverpool got off to a fairly good start with Kuyt and Joe Cole sending some testing crosses into the box. Surprisingly Almunia had a solid game and mopped up anything sent into the box. Milan Jovanovic had an impressive first half, bursting through the Arsenal defense on a number of occasions, although without much end product. Arsenal mean while were happy to sit back and use any possession they had to quietly break down the patience of the Liverpool defense. The first key moment then came in the game with an admittedly bad lunging tackle left Koscielny in agony on the sidelines and saw Cole heading for the dressing room early on his debut.
The second half started somewhat unexpectedly with Ngog at the 48th (photo) continuing his good form and smashing the ball into the roof of the net after Jack Wilshere poor pass in midfield. We all know what that meant now from Liverpool. Sit back and hope Arsenal couldn’t find a way through. The introduction of Walcott and Rosicky made a difference to Arsenal’s mentality and Finally Arsenal were creating some half chances. Yet it seemed if anyone was going to score it was going to be the ten men of Liverpool. The final minute approached and the reds seemed as if they were going to hang on. But then Rosicky sent in a telling cross which Chamakh headed against the post and Reina bundled the ball into his own net. Gerrard nearly nicked it for Liverpool late on form a free kick, but Almunia made a solid save. The final whistle went, 1-1 and both teams quietly satisfied.
I reckon Wenger must have been fairly happy with an away draw at Anfield. Certainly a defeat is no way to start a new league campaign. What still annoys me though is how lackluster Arsenal were going forward. Without Fabregas in the starting eleven they look average, and average teams don’t win the premiership. But saying that there is a long way to go and surely we can only see an improvement from the north London Team. But look to see Wenger strengthen his team before the transfer window closes.