Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool: challenge accepted

Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0 in a comprehensive victory at the Emirates stadium, to stay at the top of the table and setting the Gunners on course for their first Premier League title challenge since the 2007-2008 season when they finished just four points behind Manchester United.

Arsenal supporters have been told time and again this season that the Gunners are pretenders, that the team hadn’t been tested, despite beating Napoli and Tottenham, and that they have been playing football at an unrealistically high level and were due for a correction. Gooners have been told that Liverpool, with their 3-5-2 formation straight out of the old George Graham/Terry Venables playbook, were the real threat. And if the pundits are correct, this match was a test of Arsenal’s title credentials, the Gunners took those credentials, balled them up, and shoved them down the throats of their critics.

Both teams started nervously with Mignolet nearly gifting Arsenal two chances from blown clearances in the opening 20 minutes and Sagna making a back pass that caused panic. Liverpool seemed to get the most of those opening minutes and Cazorla was caught out by Jordan Henderson who then drove unmolested straight into the Arsenal box. Fortunately, Henderson is still Henderson and his scuffed shot dribbled wide.

That seemed to be the wakeup call that the Gunners needed. Bacary Sagna and Tomas Rosicky started piling pressure on Liverpool’s left back, Aly Cissokho, beating him easily and getting in dangerous crosses aimed toward Olivier Giroud. Liverpool’s center back, Squirtle, was called upon time and again and did very well to head away crosss after cross against the very physical Giroud.

The goal was almost inevitable even if the finish was a surprise. Sagna pumped in what seemed like his 10th cross of the opening 20 minutes and it was slightly behind Giroud. This time,  however, Squirtle was busy with Giroud and instead of finding his head or no one, Cazorla ghosted in and hit a powerful header from 10 yards that hit the upright. The tireless Spaniard then followed the ricochet and lashed home a powerful shot to the rapture of the Emirates faithful.

Barely 20 minutes had expired but with the nerves on the field and in the stands, combined with the end-to-end play from both teams, it felt more like 20 days had passed.

Getting the early goal and holding on to the lead has been the hallmark of Arsenal’s great run of form since the win over Bayern Munich last season. They have scored first against their opposition in the first 30 minutes of matches 16 times since then and they have won 14, drawn 1, and lost just 1. If you knew that fact, you might have viewed the last 70 minutes of the game with an air of inevitability. If not, you might have been prone to worry. Or perhaps you just like a good worry. But once they had the lead, Arsenal weren’t going to give it up.

With the ball, Özil and Cazorla were simply unstoppable. Their passes in to Giroud who would find a midfield run of Ramsey had Liverpool chasing ghosts. Ramsey had a shot saved well by Mignolet from exactly that kind of interplay as Rosicky nicked the ball back, passed to Cazorla, to Giroud, and Ramsey made a run.

When they didn’t have the ball Arsenal swarmed the Liverpool players to win it back. Ramsey and Arteta combined for 13/17 tackles while Arteta and Cazorla combined for 24 ball recoveries — nearly half of Arsenal’s total of 56. Which isn’t to say that it was all perfectly timed tackles and interceptions: Sagna got the first caution of the game for a professional foul that stopped a breakaway by Suarez and the Gunners were more than willing to simply end the Liverpool threat from open play and make them take a free kick..

From the free kicks Arsenal were playing a high line and leaving loads of space between Szcz and the defenders. This gave Liverpool their best shot of the half as Toure rose up and forced a kick save from Szczesny which was ruled offside.

At the start of the second half, Brentan Rodgers opened his envelopes and found out that it was Aly Cissokho who had in fact let him down. So, he subbed the defender and put on through-ball specialist Coutinho.

The change worked a bit as Liverpool started getting the ball in to Suarez behind the Arsenal line.  The Uruguayan had zero shots in the first half and three in the second. But Suarez never got a shot on goal as he was smothered time and again by the Arsenal defense who were keen to avoid his bite.

Despite their defensive stance, Arsenal had the best chance of the 2nd half when Kolo Toure gave the ball away to Giroud who was clear through on goal. The big Frenchman got Mignolet to commit low and tried a chip over which rippled the net. The side net. The outside of the side net. It just wasn’t meant to be for Giroud as minutes later, Giroud had another shot saved. He wins the clearance in defence, plays to rosicky, who cleverly plays across to Cazorla. The Spaniard’s little cross between Kolo’s legs was just in front of Giroud and his shot was tamely at Mignolet.

After that, the game settled in to a rhythm from which it looked like neither team would score. But with not much happening, Özil played a square ball to Ramsey who just stuck a foot through the half-volley, from distance, between two large-assed defenders, and curled it past the grasp of Mignolet. It was the kind of goal that an “in-form” player hits and was Ramsey’s 6th in 7.

Wenger looked to shore up the defense and brought in two fullbacks (for Rosicky and Cazorla) and Vermaelen (for Gibbs who picked up some knock) to close the game out. Still despite Arsenal having 8 defenders on the pitch, Liverpool had a real chance through Sturridge which was smothered by Szczesny. That was followed by a brilliant Szczesny moment where he cleared a back pass off Sturridge so that he could collect in his hands and then Mertesacker gifted the ball to Suarez whose shot was just inches wide.  It was a nervy final few minutes but the Arsenal of the last few years who might have crumbled in this position kept the clean sheets and almost piled on a third goal for Özil, whose shot from inside the box was well saved.

It might seem early to start crowing about the Gunner’s title chances but after playing the second best team in the league, scoring two goals, getting the lion’s share of the big chances, and keeping a clean sheet you might indulge Arsenal supporters. After all the Gunners just did that with a team who have played five more games than Liverpool and who are suffering injuries to no less than four to major players.

It may be too soon to call it a title charge, but at the very least it was a shot across the bow.


PS — I was going to do a By the Numbers post as well but this is what you get.

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Is Hansen going to be on MOTD tonight? 🙂 🙂 🙂


Watch and laugh my friends, watch and laugh!


Why would you thumb that down? Are you Anal Hansen?


Hansen is a fucking cunt!


He is indeed. I’m paltered, but I’m staying up to watch MOTD so that I can see what negative spin he will put on our win!


“Paltered”? Christ I am drunk…..


Alan Hansen not on MOTD? must be helping the entire kop team find a certain steven gerrard. he’s been missing since 5.30pm


Well we sure shoved all his words right up his arse today, didn’t we? Can’t WAIT to hear that cunt’s next talk about us! Fuck you, Hansen!


Not just today; remember how the Fenerbahce then Fullham then Fenerbahce then the Spuds games were as tough as that northern cunt said they’d be? Scored 9 conceded 1!


I just read that E-Bay donated 40k to charity for doing something shit and disappointing. Rogers should really donate himself now also.


While Scotland is obviously very North, I have never seen a Jock described as a “northerner”.


The F.A has written to Arsenal football club instructing that one if its players name: laurent koscienly must release suarez from his pocket or face a fine.


That’s one hell of a picture btw. Arsene looking down on big talk brenda.


Nah, it’s Wenger giving him lessons, and like all good freshmen Brenda taking notes of all what the Master says.


Well, its a human rights issue! Imagine the vicious bites all the others strikers must have suffered by now, in Laurent’s pocket.

Runcorn Gooner

Mug smashers EPL contenders…..I don’t think so.
Well done AFC Great performance


“But Arteta is too slow to handle the pace of Suarez..”
“But Arsenal’s defense is too shaky…”
“But Giroud is not a world class striker…”
“But Carzola can’t compare to Mata…”
“But Arsenal need to prove themselves against stronger opposition…”
“But other teams are not playing that well…”

Fuck you. We’re top of the league. By 5 fucking points.


What I really love about this result is that when AFC go to Trafford next week the pressure is going be much, MUCH heavier on Moyes’ team than Wenger’s. It’s been a long time since you could last say that.
Make no mistake, Liverpool are a quality side and this was a BIG BIG win. Hansen’s ilk will concentrate solely on Liverpool’s weaknesses, rather than Arsenal’s strengths, and I think that’s dead wrong.


You watching Hansen??


We are now


Fair play to David Brentan Rogers, he said, after the game, that the best team won and that they had to focus on their own priorities from here (top 4 I would guess).

North Bank Gooner

Brilliant! Great goals, totally dominated them, 5 points clear. Ooh to be a gooner!!!


Against GODZILLA looked like SAS needed

Arsene nose

The team as well as the Fans were oustanding today.. More of the same please COYG!


Top top win. Now onto Dortmund and then the Theatre of No Dreams.


The Theatre of LIES

Szczesny's left thumb

Live in the moment.

van Jordan

Very matured display by the players today and all round excellent performance. I know its still early in the season, but it doesn’t hurt to be at the top of the league! Keep it up!




Special mention to John W (Wanker) Henry. Just a mention to all our fans back home(bin dipping land) we will win at Arsenal. Just what are you smoking over there.


Rambo’s goal should be on the shortlist for Goal of the Season. You can tell his confidence is through the roof right now. Good to see the whole team put in a shift and put pundits like Hansen in their place (“title pretenders” my eye).
And Squirtle? Really? Why sully the name of such a great Pokemon with a Mugsmasher’s image?


It would be a contender if it weren’t for his and Wilshere’s against Norwich and the 8 Begovic impression’s he’s gonna do against United next weekend taking up all the space


I was worried about this fixture, so glad to have been proved wrong. A very impressive performance, with Cazorla and Ramsey, Ozil is just another player in the squad. Giroud really super all around play, though he might have scored when clean through. With they way we opened them up at times it could have been 4 or 5.

Roll on Dortmund and United.

The league table is crazy, although we sit in front there are so many teams that remain in contention and little difference between 2nd and sixth.

Keep it up, keep it up.


5 points clear!!


Big difference between first and second, though.


It could have been 4 or 5-0 nil. There was a moment when Giroud knocked the ball to Ramsey on the edge of the box and ran into space expecting a repeat of the goal against Norwich, only for Ramsey to dawdle and it fizzled out.

Ramsey kinda made amends after that though!


“Challenge Accomplished”

My gf cheated on me, told me today, this win by the boys is the only thing keeping me a little up today!!

Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Sagna, love you guys COYG!!!!


And Koscielny shoves suarez back into his pocket to join the other strikers


Yeah we’ve got to keep Bosscielny at whatever cost he is just getting better and better.

Mikel Artekkers

If we assume that’s a four year contract, we should be good to go with him, in contract until July 2016. Besides that, he showed his loyalty by turning down Bayern, and by signing that contract when we were in the mire.


Kos did shove into Suarez. Suarez fell clutching his back and then decided he had hurt his head after he hit the turf. The cheating bell end.

Tenacious Defence

Much prefer our toothy little guy to theirs – class goal Santi!

The Artist formerly known as DangerMouse

Magnificent. Shut the doubters up once and for all. No ones saying we’re gonna run away with the title but we’re definitely in the fucking race. And that feels good. Beautiful result.

Eric Irish gunner

Great fucking win, stick that up your bollox Hansen, back four played great, kos and mert had the so called SAS in their pockets, arteta /rosicky my choice for motm, we won without giroud/ ozil playing at their best witch is good for the team, Ramsey just gets better, bring on the Manc cunts next week and end their season


To hell with the Capital One Cup.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No, no, the League Cup is going to keep a few of our competitors busy in midweek in December while our team hopefully gets a nice rest. From here on in the League Cup is going to be our friend and work for our benefit.

I Miss Bergkamp

Wonderful game. 2-0, 5 points clear, tension in the pub from kickoff to final whistle. Great team play outside the first 10 minutes of each half. I can'[t wait to reintegrate Walcott (or even Ox) to get some speed on the wings. Way to go Arse!


If you really think of it, apart from winning 4/5 th of our matches, there’s absolutely no reason for us to be 5 points clear on top of the table. FACT! What happens if Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil Giroud and Rosicky get injured? Exactly. They don’t tell you that. Need 18 more players. #Wagner out


#Wagner out.

I laughed.


Is he trying to out-do me on crap comments?!


It is disappointing that such a blatant display of sarcasm has not been picked up by so many fine gentlemen (and some ladies).


need the irony font


The irony is strong with this one.

TR7 > CR7

63 opera fans.

Can't hold his ale

The Ring Cycle is too fucking long. #WagnerOut

with the left and the right

Arteta MOTFM!


Fucking best game tonight. Brilliant.


Mikel ‘Lego’ Arteta HOTFM

Francis johnson

Steve Bould


Come to think of it, Liverpool have got a poor midfield. Except for SAS, our team’s way better than theirs. Journos need to stop spewing shit. Loved our passing….i wish Rosicky was 25…i never want him to leaveu


ah but your not taking into account his footballing age 😉


Its called the Rosicky coefficient.


If Rosicky was 25, he’d be injured.


Completely agree. TR7 is just pure awesome.

2013-2014 = 2003-2004

Tomas Rosicky on his swan song? He may be 33 but tonight he was like one of those ‘agents’ from The Matrix movie, popping up everywhere with lethal intent.

I hope Rosicky signs da ting (ugh, Gazidis offer da ting), and Sagna too.

with the left and the right

i completely agree on Rosicky, i feel like we’ve been robbed of this player in his prime. he’s truly a remarkable talent, i fall in love with football again every time i watch him play.

Good Omens

Remember when he was 25 , and he scored twice at Anfield in the FA cup, one an absolute belter ? After all this time and the taking into consideration the injuries he has had to contend with, I think he is better than he was then, and that’s going some. I think he is by a country mile the most under-rated player in our squad. I hope for so many different reasons that we can achieve something special this season, and Rosicky winning something with us, is right up there. Roll on Salford and Van Puerile. Oh and here’s… Read more »


Winning something this season, just for TR7 and Sagna. God it would be so awesome.


Yesterday I was so delighted to see TR7 put in a 70 minute shift like that, in part because of the pure quality, but also because for so long I thought we’d never get to see that guy again.

Better was seeing him pissed off at being substituted, which suggests there is more to come.


Sometimes I think of what could have been with TR7 but for injuries…

Henry's Right Foot

Truthfully he might have left with the others. Not saying he would have but you never know. I’m glad things worked out the way they did because currently it is paying dividends.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

SAS better than our strike-force? You fell for the hype.

S.A.S. = Shit and Shat

We had a great example of their telepathic understanding when the bitey racist had a crap shot near the end when Sturridge was wide open (or so he thought). Sturridge opened his arms wide (which improves the telepathic reception) and telepathised “Why did you shoot when I was waiting for the pass you greedy man-eating cunt? It’s because I’m [Insert old Lenny Henry joke here], innit?. You bastard!!!!!”

TR7 > CR7

I love him, he never puts in a bad shift, even in the games we’ve lost vs Dortmund, Chelsea and Villa. He also came on against West Brom and completely lifted the team.

He’s really underrated, and as much as I love Jack, I think he should start ahead of him.


Great performance, real purpose in attack, excellent passing and interchanges. The defence was solid and Arteta was outstanding, he makes do many tackles and is always in the right area of the pitch.

Tonight we were missing Wilshere, Flamini, Walcott, Podolski and Chamberlain. But apparently we don’t have a squad? Fuck off.

Sure Chelsea have 3 CF’s but they are all shite. So what difference does it make. COYG.


I was very impressed again by Giroud’s hold-up play. Very nearly MOTD for me


Giroud is always the Man Of The Day. *Swoon*

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

And I still have no idea how the fuck Ramsey scored…5 points cleared, bring on manure and the dutch skunk. it will be delicious.


Hahahaha. (David) Brentan!


What an enjoyable match to watch! Ramsey’s goal was amazing, Cazorla’s even more so. The determination to get on the end of your own header off the bar and smash it home is incredible.

If we take this form to Germany and then on to Manchester, we will be sitting pretty on the top of both the Champions league group, and retain our position in the Premier league! What will they say once we’ve overcome the “top quality” teams? How many do we need to peg back in order to gain some kind of respect.

Up the gunners!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Well, we’ll have to peg them all back, and if we win the league they will tell us we only won it because of the failures of other teams, not through our own hard work.

That’s OK though. Haters gonna hate. Winners gonna win.

Bitter Pill

On top by five points. The view from up here… Fantastic.


I am Soooo happy about the win, but our defence still give me the jitters sometimes. Sczezny should stop his playful attitude at the back. He almost gifted sturridge a goal today, though in fairness he made a couple of very good saves.
top of the league, onwards n upwards


epic photo


Arteta for MOTM, he kept possession effortlessly and made a lot of well-timed interception as well as tackles, a dominant and committed display by him, brilliant!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He’s been watching Flamini and added a bit of what he’s learned to his own game. That’s how the great players and the great teams do things.


How impressive has Monreal been everytime he has come on as a sub??..Works his socks off and makes us really solid and contributes going forward as well


Can’t remember when I last saw either of our two first team left backs put a foot wrong. If anything, we look more lethal going forward when they are both on the pitch.


Just a brilliant performance from the team, the whole team was playing for the shirt tonight. Even though Giroud missed a sitter he still kept going, never dropped his head and his hold up play was incredible. It was hard to pick out an individual performer tonight because everyone was brilliant but that has to be without a doubt Arteta’s best performance in a Arsenal shirt. He really lead by example he’s such an intelligent footballer and his reading of the game is second to none and as for Aaron Ramsey well…


Arteta was unreal today! In total beast mode!

I reckon his performance 2 years back against Man City (when he scored THAT screamer) was his best game though.


Brilliant game today! Massively entertaining to watch, especially since I watched it with my flatmate who’s a ‘Pool-supporter. During the last 5 minutes of the match he was rolling on the floor in anger. Utterly brilliant match!


Absolutely brilliant all round performance from the Arsenal tonight. Mesut was very quiet tonight. Isn’t it great knowing there is so much more to come from this team.


Might have been quiet but he still got the assist on Ramsey’s goal … about thirty seconds after that twat of an announcer said “Ozil hasn’t had an assist in four games now.”


so much for the SAS thingy , more like the A$S


Does SAS stand for suck as shit?

Giroud led the line better than this two combined. Brilliant performance!


Scousers Are Shit I think.


Girouds trademark world class flick for Ramsey. Ah!


Any of you guys notice Wenger wearing the new bespoke team suit? He’s finally got a more tastefully tailored suit to wear! Nice little badge on the lapel.

Won’t look out of place playing in Napoli soon.


Arteta bossed it today MOTM for me


Alan Parry is a Fucking CUNT. Even when we were 2-0 up he kept on inventing negative things to say about the Arsenal.
He must have been going crazy inside, I can’t believe someone pays that fool to come up with that Shit.


Squirtle! Henderson is still Henderson.. Hahaaha Nice 1. We are 5Points ahead, Now to oldtraford to school them cunts


Really happy with the win but most of all from our performance.We showed today that when the players are focused positionally we can win any pl team.Arteta ,Koz and Santi are my Motm but you ve got to love Ramsey & Sagna they give their all in every game.COYG


Great performance kos was motm for me kept that bitey racist right in his pocket


Arteta was MOTM for me. Great to see him back to this level. He and Rosicky were immense.

But many great performances around the park. Make no mistake, Liverpool have one of the best attacks in the PL. They blew a couple of chances, but generally were kept quiet. I doubt many teams will keep them off the scoresheet this season.

Suarez is a real player. A genuine threat almost every time he turns with the ball.

Ramsey was having a mixed bag until that strike. What technique. I hope defenders keep staying off him like that.


Seconded! Areta was an absolute beast!

One of my favorite moments was right after Gerrard clatters (I think it was) Ozil on a challenge for a header. Areta just about chins him five seconds later during another header challenge. Left Gerrard rolling on the holding his head.

Looked like he had an merseyside derby flashback.

Absolutely priceless!


Gutsy,Committed and Technically brilliant. What a performance from the lads and what a way to silence the critics. Sturridge and Suarez must have enjoyed the fine backpockets of Messrs Mertesacker and Koss the Boss. This team is developing into such a solid group of players. You could see it on the pitch and off it. Even Arsene seems to have got his swagger back. Rarely have you seen him bellowing instructions at the team irrespective of the scoreline. He was imploring them to pressure them from the front and cut out the space which was followed diligently by our midfield… Read more »


Re: Robson, 7am had a nice piece on this a while back:

Sad how biased he is.


I try to not bring it up too much because it’s already been so well tread, but Robson really drives me up the wall. I don’t get (well, I guess I do) why he is constantly calling our games with his pathetic biases and unashamedly pithy attitude towards the club, namely towards Arsene. It’s one thing when he does it on his b-grade TV appearances and columns, but when we have to sit through it game after game, it is rather sickening. He was actually a little more tolerable today that in most games, namely because we played so f’ing… Read more »


I turned the commentary off after 2 minutes.

Ak 47

Incredible performance, and with all the pre-game talk about SAS, I am glad they ended up empty handed and in dispute over Suarez selfishness.

petits handbag

Yeah go back to your brothers and do a follow up to “mmmbop” Hansen


Is Bloggs OK, 7am? Normally he posts the reports 22 seconds after the final whistle…


went to London to see the game live with the mugsmasher, I guess there will be some mug smashing tonight

Edu's Braces

Looked at last year’s table. A team could have lost 7 games and drawn 7 and still won it. Highly irrelevant but we have it in us! #COYG


Imagine the face of Robin van Persie if we beat ManU. We´ll be 11 points ahead of them after 11 games.


I will fucking love it!


Mugs Smashed.

Lovely jubbly.


INCREDIBLE TEAM EFFORT. Buuuut….lets not get carried away, its a marathon not a sprint

Aussie gooner

Not too sure what commentary you lads were getting, but here in sydney that cunt Stewart Robson had the mike, and he’s a fucking germ. Clean sheet, 3 points, top of the league and he still berated arsenal for 90 mins. I guess anti arsenal mentalities are all you need to be a pundit these days! I know he’s always been like this, I just wish I didn’t have to hear him at 4:30am.

Fuck him. We won. COYG!


Someone please get Suarez and Sturridge out of Kos’s pocket

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