2 September 2012

Clinical Arsenal Beat An Uninspiring Liverpool at Anfield

Arsenal produced a disciplined and clinical display to comfortably beat Liverpool at Anfield. Goals from new signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla gave them their first three points of the season in a cagey game of few chances.

A year ago Liverpool travelled to the Emirates and beat an Arsenal side in transition 2-0 and this time it was the other way around as the Gunners disposed of a side lacking in creativity and menace. The game started slowly and besides a couple of Liverpool free-kicks that came to nothing there was little to suggest a goal was coming when Steven Gerrard needlessly gave the ball away deep in the Arsenal half. Podolski found Cazorla who turned into space before picking the perfect moment to slip the ball back to his team-mate, who  in turn, duly slotted in to give his team a 31st minute lead. 

Brendan Rodgers's Liverpool continued to press and push men forward but without much end product, the best moment a Raheem Sterling turn and shot that found the outside of the post. Arsenal could have doubled their lead before half-time but Olivier Giroud spurned a great chance when he shot wide when he should have done better. 

Arsenal came out quickly in the second half and Reina was forced into a smart save from Cazorla. On 68 minutes Cazorla played a neat one-two with Podolski and burst into the left-hand side of the area before shooting low under Reina at the near-post. 

A home come-back never looked like materialising and it was Arsene Wenger's men that nearly scored again when Giroud headed over when in acres of space. The only bright sparks for Rodgers was another virtuoso display by 17-year-old winger Raheem Sterling and a good late cameo by Jonjo Shelvey.

Arsenal answered many questions, especially to the people who thought that they could not score enough goals. Liverpool meanwhile just showed that letting Andy Carroll go to Upton Park leaves them with no Plan B and a lack of fire-power.

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