Arsenal put Liverpool in their place.

Scintillating, absolutely scintillating football: it finally happened, the kind of Wengerball we expected when Sanchez and Welbeck were added to the world class Özil and the gifted Cazorla at the beginning of the season.

It’s been a long time coming; we have had glimpses of it; we have been teased with short periods of it but yesterday Arsenal played what was probably the best football since Henry, Pires and Bergkamp donned the glorious red and white. 3-0 up after forty five minutes and the Emirates was rocking. Yes, there were a few scares early on but lets not forget Liverpool are a good side; they were just made to look ordinary by our very dominate display.

To focus solely on the silky interplay in the final third would obviously be wrong as that would miss the stand out performance of my MOTM: Francis Coquelin; the French enforcer was immense. I know nothing about statistics, give me first hand anecdotal evidence any time but I am sure they would show that his rate of successful interceptions were off the scale.

coq v liverpool

An early chance fell to Ramsey who looked slightly fatigued compared to the rest of his team mates who were running around and closing down with all the athleticism of butchers’ dogs. No matter, chances continued coming and it was the other new found first team regular who cut inside, weaved his way through the Liverpool defense before curling the ball into the corner. I think it hit the hapless Toure on the way. Oh how the mighty have fallen? Playing Kolo in central defence should be reported to the RSPCA nobody should be put through that kind of cruelty; he was so out of his depth it was embarrassing.

bellerin scores

Back to Bellerin, I expect this young man to have a long a fruitful career at Arsenal; he has earned his status as first team starter; but, that said, I want Debuchy in there, standing strong against Manu and Chelsea.

ozil

Hector got the party started but it was Özil and Sanchez who sent everyone on the dance floor into a state of ecstasy. Oooooohh that free kick, oooooohh that thunderous strike, you just know that Chas is going to have these two goals playing on a loop that’s if he hasn’t already done so already. Class, pure class the both of them. There was no way that Giroud was going to miss this bash and true to form he scored a powerful left footed pile driver to make it four.

I know that it is wrong to have let a negative thought stray into my mind but I confess I did, I couldn’t help thinking: if only, if only, if only we hadn’t played so badly in that first game against Monaco; when you consider how well we are playing now I am sure we would have gone so much further in that competition; still, I suppose, we shall just have to settle for beating Blackburn in the FA cup final, onwards and upwards.

Written by LB

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65 Responses to Arsenal put Liverpool in their place.

  1. Malaysian gunner says:

    The next step is to beat Chelsea and MU. Wenger has a poor record against Mourino. He has not beaten him in the epl since the Portuguese came in 2005.It’s about time this record is consigned to the dustbin.
    As for MU,Rooney has been the scourge of the gunners defence. He is a flat track bully.That;s why he goes awol in the internationals and cl.Nothing will please me more than for wenger to have a defence to shackle the ugly Brit bulldog.
    He will be 30 this year and if I aint wrong is on the downhill. It’s a matter of time.

  2. Eddie says:

    OMG LB, that is exactly what I was thinking – why did we not deliver against Monaco? Guys sitting next to me said it was a shame we didn’t score the 3rd in Monaco, but for me it was the defeat at the Ems that sank us.

    Thanks for the report, we clearly watched the same game. I thought we played very deep in the second half, which was fine by me as I was at the Clock end so had best view of both halves 🙂

    The dreadful scoucer team allowed us to play the beautiful football. Monaco didn’t, they stopped and disorganized the team. I am probably wrong, but who cares – excellent game, great day out and fat 3 points taking us to the 2nd 🙂

  3. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Lovely read and it is always good to have a first hand account.

    How I wish I had been at the stadium instead of stuck in front of an electric box. Thinking of positives – at least the beer is better at my place than the Ems, cheaper too.

    Monaco is history, it wasn’t to be, proven by the fact that over 2 legs they scored 3 goals from 5 shots whereas we got 3 from 30+.

    As I said in yesterday’s post, clinical finishing is vital. Ramsey has yet to find his shooting boots and as you said, looked atired.

    But every-man-jack played well yesterday.

  4. Pat7 says:

    Great report and glad you thought the same as me re Le Coq – he was immense. We need a back up of his standard next year or better – no going backward now!

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    The ‘if only’s’ extend to Hull (h), Leicester (a) and United (h) if you ask me. Little errors make a massive difference come the end of the season, and that’s why it’s so important for the players to be tuned in every time they play. That can be analysed at the end of the season though.

    Yesterday’s performance was outstanding (from what I’ve seen and read). Great pressing from the first whistle which Liverpool’s ponderous players couldn’t deal with. What I love about Coquelin is he manages to protect the back 4 whilst also keeping a high midfield line, something Flamini hasnt managed in all his years playing football. He often drops too deep towards the back 4 which offers little protection. I saw a stat yesterday which said Coquelin has more tackles and interceptions than Flamini and Arteta combined, even though he’s played 6 HOURS less football! Amazing.

    The team is on top form at the moment and in really good shape to finish top 3 or better. If we can carry this form to the end of the season then it could easily be an FA Cup and 2nd place finish, which considering where we were in October would be an excellent achievement.

  6. ‘morning all,

    Today is most definitely not the time for “if onlys”.

    Let’s just enjoy the feeling of beating Liverpool, not just beating them, humiliating them. 4 – 1. How many of us dared predict that scoreline?

    I thought the referee was in a particularly benign mood yesterday, he could easily have given young Bellerin a second yellow, for the foul that occasioned the penalty, and shown Can a straight red card for the spiteful scissor tackle on Welbeck.

    Thanks LB, that’s a great match report about a great match.

    Now we have a week off before a trip to Turf Moor next Saturday evening to face Burnley and young scoring sensation Danny Ings. We have the chance to assess the threat by watching some minor club from down the road play them this lunchtime. Could be interesting.

  7. RA says:

    A fine match report and I agree with all you say, LB.

    It is impossible for any of us to step back from our partisan support, of course, but at the end of the game, apart from the delight at a very good win, my reaction was that it was a thrilling end to end match, with the lads just being too good for ‘Pool.

    A number of friends who watched the game (not Gooners or Scousers) said the same – and that all games should be played the Arsenal way.

    Classy, open play – cannot beat it.

  8. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    The referee lived down to the current standards expected of them, and was no better or worse than we have come to expect.

    Taking the two fouls you referred to – there was a clear difference between them.

    Belli showed enthusiasm and inexperience when he fell for Sterlings invitation to tackle him, and did so trying to get the ball. It was a foul but it was not deliberate as he did not want to give away a penalty, just stop a score.

    Can on the other hand launched into a scissors tackle for no -good reason other than he was frustrated and wanted to take out his temper on someone – Welly, in this case.

    ‘Intent’ is a big factor in deciding if a foul has been made, and deciding the resultant punishment — Belli did not intend to foul – Can do did.

    I am not arguing with you just for the sake of it this time – I smiply disagree with your assertion that there was not a difference betwixt the two. 🙂

  9. RA says:

    ‘smiply’ is a new word I have coined, just for you, NG, as ‘simply’ was boring me. 🙂

  10. kelsey says:

    Lovely report LB and it was the first game I have watched in real time these past 10 weeks.

    I am in remission, so long may that continue.

    In a perfect scenario the Coq becomes our back up to the beast who we haven’t as yet bought. Flamini and Arteta have served well, but this Summer we need to say goodbye to them. I wonder if Walcott and Szsney will join them and then of course can Wilshere be injury free and force himself back into the team.

    Good point about the Monaco first game and despite the odds after an international break, we came out with all guns firing,why can’t we do that more often.

    This has been a very good season and small margins have decided many a game and yet only one point from those down the road.
    I really think the momentum is there finally and though the run in isn’t easy we really could finish second and with the FA Cup.

    As I said yesterday all four goals were not tippy tappy and the commentators said Ozil had been practising his free kick all week.

    We have a far stronger squad than Liverpool and it showed.Bellerin is a star of the future so most probably AW was right to let Jenkinson go out on loan and he won’t return.

    A keeper and an enforcer and we have a really good squad.

    Oh RA: 7 games + 2 cup games makes 9 🙂

  11. RA says:

    Hi, Kelsey,

    In fairness GIE said, yesterday, that was what you meant — but I could sense his grin as he typed it. 🙂

    Anyway, I am more than happy to accept your clarification, but if we go out in the semi-final to Reading because you and your crystal jinglers have jinxed it I will never forgive you!!

    Good to hear you are in remission, and will think of you as you recover your health — and when you come on to AA to give us your notorious pre/post forecasts. We all have missed them. 🙂

  12. RA, I wasn’t comparing the two fouls, smiply saying that Bellerin could easily have been booked for conceding a penalty, as is so often the case. I thought Can’s tackle was worthy of a straight red card. So I disagree with you too. So there! 😀

  13. LB says:

    We don’t need Sterling.

    One of the things that I was most looking forward too yesterday was to chance to see Sterling in the flesh. In view of the midweek post which asked people to vote which of the two players Walcott or Sterling they would prefer at THOF. I voted for Sterling by the way but as I was watching the game it occurred to me that the wrong comparison had been made, it should really have been between Sterling and Sanchez: they are the two comparable players as both play in the same position and I have to say that there was no competition at all.

    Alexis Sanchez is head and shoulders better, he was on fire, you just couldn’t tell what he was going to do next or which way he was going to turn. Sterling on the other hand looked like a detached player from that team; he got a bit better in the second half when he went slightly wider but Mertesacker had him in his pocket for the whole of the first half and goodness if you are that quick, as Sterling is, and you can’t get past the giant redwood that is the BFG then you really do have things to work on.

    Nope, no thank you, we do not need Sterling at THOF, the money could be better spent in other areas.

  14. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    So, you reckon you did not say what I was disagreeing with, and you think I did not think Can should have had a red – which I did, and voila in a roundabout Norfolk way we are in agreement all round! 😀

    Are you in any way related to that nutty GoonerB Wormed? 🙂

  15. Rasp says:

    All is good with the world, Arsenal play mesmerising football, LB writes a match report and Kelsey is back 🙂

    Coquelin and Bellerin – 2 players who we’d have expected little from at the start of the season. I wrote a post about Le Coq a few weeks ago and said ‘if he can keep playing at his current level we don’t need to buy in a top quality DM’ at the moment, he’s winning that argument.

    I feel sorry for Gibbs and Sz, but they both seem to have hit a wall in their development, Monreal and Ospina deserve their No.1 status.

  16. wally says:

    Not worried about next year yet.

    Let’s just finish out the season in second, Citeh and chavs seem to be sliding (how long is the butcher out after having done his hammy?). Although I wouldn’t mind seeing a minor rebound for each in the next two weeks.

    Let’s add another cup to go top of the list there.

  17. Having entered into an argument with RA, I’m now not sure what I was talking about in the first place. Consequently I can’t tell if I’m still disagreeing with him or not. Or if he’s disagreeing with me now.

    I don’t think I’m related to GoonerB Wormed, although I am partial to nuts, Hazels and Cashews in particular.

    Any-way who said anything about roundabouts? There’s one about four miles away, very pretty with daffodils in flower.

    ni m’I nips taht gnivol, nips a ni m’I

  18. RA says:

    Uoy ekil tsuj, eidlo nedlog a si taht.

    Isn’t ‘nips’ a short version of turnips, NG — what are you doing in there?
    [walks off twiddling an index finger at temple and growling ‘NG, geta grip, boyh – gotta geta grip!]

  19. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    You’m dursn’t want to end up like Rasper do ‘ee? 🙂

  20. arnie says:

    wow, lovely report LB. 🙂 My favourite comes right at the end: “we shall just have to settle for beating Blackburn in the FA cup final, onwards and upwards”. ha ha ha 🙂 ha ha ha ha ha ha ha 🙂

    As Norfolk says, not a day to hunt negatives. Which reminds me, where the heck is/are the troll? 🙂

    Largely as I saw the game. But I have two minor quibbles. 🙂

    First, “Sanchez and Welbeck were added to the world class Özil and the gifted Cazorla at the beginning of the season”. hmmm. I would have said: “Sanchez was added to the world class Özil, the gifted Cazorla and the hard-working Giro at the beginning of the season”

    Let us not forget. Both Barclays player of the month and Arsenal’s Vitality player of the month for March. The only Arsenal player in the honours list this season. Let us not be so disrespectful. IMO.

    Second, the first goal is always crucial. For this reason, I would still offer the MOTM to Bellerin. Despite the penalty.

    COYG. Onwards and upwards. 🙂

  21. Big Raddy says:

    sad to see the decline in Kolo. How rubbish must Lovgren be? Another £20m thrown away by Rodgers

  22. Bayonne Jean says:

    Kelsey, haven’t been posting here since you went on the “Arsenal 3 weeks” injury list; great to have you back. Agree with you on the need for another DM, as le Coq is unquestionably the most indispensable player in the squad. Don’t necessarily agree that it be a destroyer — just someone who has le Coq’s skill set.
    Late news: on Easter Sunday, Spurs’ saviour Harry Kane, given the captain’s armband to help resurrect Spuds hopes of catching Arsenal, leads his side to a turgid 0-0 draw at Turf Moor. Spuds supporters claim that had the match been last Friday, he’d have surely scored on a cross.

  23. arnie says:

    May I add. The last Arsenal player to win the award was Rmbo in Sept 2013. hmmm. 🙂

    Raddy. agreed about Kolo. sad.

  24. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Nice one LB, no not not just nice, Blinding mate, a great result and an even better performance. I hope this is a glimpse of the future, but lets not run before we can walk, but blinding so far.

  25. RockyLives says:

    Passionate report for a passionate performance – well done LB.

    I agree with your choice of MOTM – Le Coq was outstanding. One of the things I really noticed about him was his “football intelligence” (or what we used to call his “reading of the game”). He was so often in the right place to snuff out a threat or break up a Liverpool move that it was almost uncanny.

    As Rasp says, he is making a very good case for being our No 1 in that role and people saying they think we can buy in better are (I feel) just basing that on the old notion of “familiarity breed contempt.” They remember him as a young player trying to break into the team and haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that he has grown up.

    If Le Coq had been a new January signing from somewhere in the French League people would be hailing him as the new Vieira by now.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Earlier this afternoon I watched the Burnley game in order to check out the opposition before my next PM. My research is above and beyond the call of duty

    Turgid is not the word. How we lost to Spurs is a complete mystery.

  27. RockyLives says:

    Spuds’ form since they beat us at the toilet and hailed the latest “shift in the balance of power in North London” is:
    LDWWLWD – 11 pts

    Our form since:

    WWWWWWW – 21 pts

    Shift in the balance my arse.

  28. chas says:

    Cheers, LB.
    A fine report for a fine performance.

  29. chas says:

  30. chas says:

    Sanchez

  31. chas says:

    Giroud

  32. chas says:

    Happy Easter

  33. arnie says:

    wow. thank u Chas. 🙂

  34. arnie says:

    Regarding Kolo. Any numpty that chooses cash over class and moves to one of the also-rans in the EPL is dead for me. Good riddance. Now, if it were moving to another league, that is different. 🙂

  35. Just let a load of posts from Chad out of mod without checking if they’re all the same. Sorry

  36. RA says:

    Rocky,

    ‘The shift in the balance of your arse’? Explain – fats! 🙂

  37. chas says:

    The spuddies simply raised their game against us – which is often what small teams do when they face bigger ones.

  38. arnie says:

    which is what teams are supposed to do in a derby. sorry, I am always in support of the good guys who put the shirt on. But on that occasion, I felt let down. 😦

  39. Big Raddy says:

    True chas.

    Let’s hope Burnley and MU don’t do the same 🙂

  40. Eddie says:

    Rizzle Kicks are Gunners, I saw them outside the royalty entry

  41. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I’ll have less of your cheek.

    Although, come to think of it, that was how my imbalanced arse started…

  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, cracking report LB of a cracking performance, can’t wait to see us in the next game.

    Coquelin has been great since his run in the side, I think he would be very hard to dislodge, by all means sign a player of similar ability to cover/share duties. But I think he has earned the shirt now.

    Interesting take on Gibbs and Szczesny, I still think Szczesny will come good, and I’d still keep Gibbs in the squad, however Nacho provides a little more cover defensively and with a more attacking and “able to do it on their own” front 4/5 they don’t need Gibbs careering down the left wing to add a body. So the shift in formation/tactics has led to his omission.

  43. Malaysian gunner says:

    Finally Wenger has finally realized there must be a balance between defence and attack. How then can you explain such a winning run?If not for the whole team attacking and defending,I doubt Arsenal could have won 8 games in a arrow.
    At 3-0 ,I was casting my mind back to the 4-4 draw with NU.This time the gunners did not leave so many gaps at the back.Hopefully this will go in the games against Chelsea and MU.
    Then we will see how Costa and the ugly Brit bull dog are capable of. The latter was expected to set the cl on fire but his goal return in the competition shows he is small fish in a big pond.

  44. arnie says:

    yes, I like the current balance between defence and attack. 🙂

  45. arnie says:

    some sitar music. 😛

  46. chas says:

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Here’s a question.

    Do you think Bobby would get into the current side and if so, where?

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Hahahaha Raddy……anywhere he bloody well liked.

  49. Gööner In Exile says:

    That’s a good basis for a post though….would any of our current squad improve the Invincibles first XI of Lehman, Lauren, Sol, Kolo, Cashley, Gilberto, PV4, Bobby, Freddie, DB10, Thierry.

  50. Gööner In Exile says:

    Koscielny might get in ahead of Kolo, and Sanchez ahead of Freddie. Ozil and Pires would be the really close one.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. You are right. I will write one for later in the week because it is not a simple Yes or No

    I see Alexis as our Bobby and Mesut as DB10

  52. Eddie says:

    you don’t mean it Raddy – DB10 could never be replaced.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. You misunderstand. I mean positionally and influence upon the team.

    I have just booked a trip to Krakow – have you ever been there?

  54. Eddie says:

    aha, good, I thought you were losing the plot 🙂

    Yes, I have been to Krakow, a truly beautiful place, you will love it. I am mailing you

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    “Eddie says:
    April 6, 2015 at 8:41 am (Edit)

    Yes, I have been to Krakow, a truly beautiful place, you will love it. I am mailing you.”

    I think Raddy prefers a seat on a plane 😀

  56. Eddie says:

    GiE 🙂 How many chocolate eggs did your lads scoff? I was a bad grandma yesterday and delivered the chocs before the dinner, woops 😦 I was badly told off, but it was too late. My Godson would not touch his food until his little gob was full of sweets, bless him 🙂

  57. Difficult question for many reasons Raddy! It also depends on which team structure you start with. Could Pires hold a place today? Would Sanchez be a better option in the old team? I would probably say no in both cases.

    Complex game, football…

    In form Pires would obviously be impossible to leave out of any team. I mean, the class in every move, combined with his goals/assists, I dont think there’s a lot of midfielders who can compete – and also he is a team player, not someone to put in center of attention.

  58. ………………… New Post everyone …………………..

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