Arsenal vs. Liverpool  1 - 1

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Premier League preview: Arsenal v Liverpool

18 August 2011 12:44

Arsenal and Liverpool will be aiming for their first win of the Premier League season when they meet at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Both sides could only gain a point on the opening day, with Arsenal held to a goalless draw by Newcastle United while Liverpool - despite a brilliant first half - could only draw 1-1 with Sunderland.

With the Cesc Fabregas transfer saga finally over after the Spanish midfielder's 29.7-million-pound move to Barcelona, Arsenal will look to strengthen their squad immediately, especially with fellow midfielder Samir Nasri's expected departure.

But injuries to Abou Diaby (ankle) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) have left the Gunners incredibly short in midfield and there may not be enough time for Arsene Wenger to add to his squad before Liverpool visit North London.

That gives the Merseysiders the upper hand and Arsenal's problems are in stark contrast to their opponents, who added Jordan Henderson (Sunderland), Charlie Adam (Blackpool) and Stewart Downing (Aston Villa) to their range of midfielders in the transfer window.

Liverpool are slightly weakened by the injuries to captain Steven Gerrard (groin) and defenders Glen Johnson (hamstring) and Martin Skrtel (calf) but they have significantly more cover than their opponents.

Downing impressed on his Anfield debut on Saturday and was only denied what would have been an early contender for goal of the season by the crossbar.

Luis Suarez found the back of the net in the match and looked threatening in partnership with Andy Carroll, meaning a torrid time is expected for Arsenal defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal also have good attacking options of their own at their disposal, with Theo Walcott, who scored on Tuesday against Udinese in a UEFA Champions League qualifier, and new captain Robin Van Persie sure to cause Liverpool problems.

Both of the fixtures between the two sides last season ended in 1-1 draws, with their clash in April famous for a spat between Kenny Dalglish and Wenger on the touchline after the match, in the wake of Dirk Kuyt's 102nd-minute equaliser from the penalty spot.

Another exciting match is in store on Saturday, with both sides keen not to lose any further ground on title rivals Manchester United and Manchester City by gaining all three points.

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Dalglish: Wenger clash not ´relevant´

17 April 2011 22:20

Kenny Dalglish played down a touchline spat with a fuming Arsene Wenger following Liverpool's heart-stopping 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Sunday.

Arsenal had all but reignited their English Premier League title challenge after Robin van Persie put the Gunners ahead with an injury-time penalty.

But Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt had the last laugh, equalling the Dutchman's effort from the penalty spot in the 100th minute after Emmanuel Eboue inexplicably fouled Lucas Leiva just as the referee was about to reach for his whistle.

An incensed Wenger could scarcely believe the events unfolding around him and exchanged angry words with Dalglish on the touchline once Kuyt buried his spot kick past Wojciech Szczesny.

The Liverpool manager was less than amused with Wenger's antics, but was reticent to reveal his choice of words in his post-match press conference.

"I'd rather not repeat what was said," Dalglish told Sky Sports.

"I don't know why a conversation between two managers on the bench is relevant after a game like that. It's not worth the time of day."

Dalglish was clearly delighted at the Reds' performance, which came despite losing skipper Jamie Carragher after he was knocked out in a head clash, Fabio Aurelio to a hamstring injury and record signing Andy Carroll to a knee complaint.

"I think what we did at the end epitomised the performance," Dalglish said.

"We lost two players (Carragher and Andy Carroll) and we had two teenagers (Jack Robinson and John Flanagan) at right- and left-back playing against a side looking to win the league."

“We’ve had to throw Jonjo (Shelvey) on and lost our centre forward - everything was battling against us but they’ve remained convinced and committed to getting something back from the game and I think that’s fantastic credit to them."

Wenger was still steaming after seeing a crucial two points slip at the Emirates, but refused to concede the title is now Manchester United's for the taking.

"Extra time was only (supposed to be) eight minutes,” the Gunners boss said.

“I wanted to get the players away from the referee and after having watched it again I don't think it was a penalty at all. But the referee saw a penalty, so it was a penalty. What can you do?"

“We have to continue to play and fight until the last minute. That's what we are about and that's what we want to show."

“We have players who are ambitious and want to do as well as we can. We had disappointments in August and we had to bounce back. That's what we will do.”

Article

Premier League: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

17 April 2011 19:47

Arsenal's English Premier League title dream appears over after a last-gasp penalty from Dirk Kuyt denied them victory against Liverpool.

The Dutchman scored from the penalty spot in the 100th minute of play to make the scores 1-1, just seconds after his international team-mate Robin van Persie thought he had won the game for Arsenal and heaped pressure on leaders Manchester United.

Van Persie stroked home his spot-kick, given for a foul by Jay Spearing on Cesc Fabregas in injury time, to seemingly end what had be another frustrating match for Arsene Wenger's men on Sunday.

But then, with barely 30 seconds left on the clock, Liverpool were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area.

The danger seemed to be over when Luis Suarez's effort was blocked.

But Emmanuel Eboue inexplicably shoved over Liverpool midfielder Luicas Leiva as he chased the ball away from goal towards the touchline.

Kuty took full advantage to earn Liverpool a point and leave Arsenal six points behind Manchester United, with both teams having six games left to play this season.

It was a dramatic end to a match that had looked to be heading for a goalless draw until the final moments.

Liverpool had Jamie Carragher, Fabio Aurelio and Andy Carroll all taken off injured during the game, but Arsenal still could not find a way through.

And the result was no doubt a massive fillip for Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, who exited the FA Cup to bitter rivals Manchester City on Saturday but now go to Newcastle on Tuesday in pole position in the league.

Arsenal have endured so many similar matches during the course of the season and, despite all the focus on their shaky defence, the problem has often been finding a breakthrough against defensive-minded opponents.

The same was true against Liverpool.

The first half at least showed promise but never quite got going, as Arsenal attempted to play at pace but nevertheless created few clear-cut chances.

The first opportunity came after 13 minutes when winger Theo Walcott saw his shot badly fumbled by Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

But Liverpool survived that scare and were fortunate again when Laurent Koscielny’s header from a 17th-minute corner cannoned back off the crossbar.

Kuyt blocked Walcott’s follow-up with his shoulder - not, as Walcott claimed, with his hand.

There was another decent chance for the hosts after 29 minutes when Suarez gave the ball away and Cesc Fagregas combined well with van Persie, only for him to shoot wastefully wide.

Liverpool were so quiet in the opening 45 minutes, with Suarez particularly off colour, that Arsenal really should have taken advantage - especially after defender Fabio Aurelio limped off after only 22 minutes to be replaced by 17-year-old Jake Robinson.

With teenager John Flanagan at right-back and former youth teamer Jay Spearing in midfield, it left Liverpool with a lack of experience in such a big game.

Even so, Suarez had the first real opportunity of the second half, drifting past his marker to send a shot narrowly wide.

But Liverpool’s ambition was quickly halted by a series of further injures, in particular a nasty one for Jamie Carragher, who clashed heads with teammate Flanagan and had to be attended to for some time before being carried off on a stretcher.

Fortunately, the defender was soon reported to be awake and talking to staff in the dressing room. But it left Liverpool thin on the ground.

Striker Carroll soon limped off too with an ankle problem while the arrival of Andriy Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner gave Arsenal renewed momentum.

They finally forced Reina into a meaningful save in the 85th minute when he stopped well from van Persie, but Liverpool also had an opportunity through Suarez on the break and held out during the first eight minutes of injury time.

It all looked to be heading for a goalless draw, until the dramatic final moments.

Article

Premier League preview: Arsenal v Liverpool

15 April 2011 11:03

Arsenal could be boosted by the return of up to four players when they host Liverpool in a Premier League blockbuster on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger is hopeful that young goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Johan Djourou will make a return to first-team action from finger and shoulder problems respectively, while midfield pair Denilson and Alex Song could also feature at the Emirates Stadium.

Szczesny made a bright start to his Arsenal career with a string of impressive performances and could end Jens Lehmann's brief return to the Gunners' starting side if selected.

"Djourou and Wojciech are question marks," Wenger told Arsenal TV online.

"It could be a possibility that they could be available. It's difficult to say what their chances are. Denilson and Song have a chance to be available as well."

Bacary Sagna is unlikely to play due to a knee problem while long-term absentee Thomas Vermaelen will not be risked despite returning to training after an Achilles injury saw him spend seven months on the sidelines.

Arsenal's last fixture saw them post a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Blackpool on Sunday, a victory that was much-needed and broke a string of five matches without a win in all competitions.

The Gunners will need to make the most of their chances against a Liverpool outfit who impressively disposed of Manchester City 3-0 at Anfield which has improved the club's chances of qualifying for European competition.

While a Manchester United or a Manchester City FA Cup victory would allow Liverpool to qualify for the Europa League if they finish sixth, they want to make sure of that spot and not leave it up to chance by finishing fifth.

Andy Carroll's brace against Manchester City were his first goals for the club and if he and strike partner Luis Suarez can form a potent partnership in the last few matches of the season, Kenny Dalglish's side have every chance of earning a European berth.

However, Liverpool also have a lengthy injury list, with defenders Daniel Agger, Martin Kelly, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Glen Johnson all sidelined while inspirational captain Steven Gerrard has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a groin problem.

The last time these two sides met, a Pepe Reina own goal in injury time gave Arsenal a point in a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the season.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +41 80
2 38 +36 71
3 38 +27 71
4 38 +29 68
5 38 +9 62
6 38 +15 58
7 38 +6 54
8 38 +6 49
9 38 -11 48
10 38 -11 47
11 38 -15 47
12 38 -1 46
13 38 -2 46
14 38 -4 46
15 38 -13 43
16 38 -21 42
17 38 -20 40
18 38 -21 39
19 38 -23 39
20 38 -27 33