You are viewing the content for Wednesday 15 February 2006

Luis leaves it late as Reds edge Gunners

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 0
By Paul Walker
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger wrote off his side’s chances of claiming the top-two finish in the Premiership required to give them automatic qualification for the Champions League after their 1-0 defeat at Liverpool last night.

The balance of power has finally swung the way of the Merseysiders with this victory, which cements their place in third spot and gives them a 10-point lead over the Gunners.

And with Arsenal now four points behind Spurs in fourth spot, Wenger knows his faltering side are in a desperate battle to qualify for the Champions League next term.

A goal from Luis Garcia three minutes from the end secured Liverpool only their second victory over Arsenal in the last 11 attempts.

"Automatic qualification in the top two, certainly not, but qualification is still possible. But it will be hard," said the Arsenal boss.

"The Champions League is important, the reality is there so we just have to fight harder next time.

"At the moment we are struggling for confidence and that can effect the senior players as well as the younger ones."

For Liverpool it was a second win in four days to haul themselves back on track after a poor run threatened their own Champions League ambitions.

Boss Rafael Benitez said: "It is not easy to produce performances like this when we have so many players who are tired after so many games.

"But we deserved to win with the number of chances that we created, even if it was unbelievable to see the saves that Lehmann made.

"It is too soon to write off Arsenal, they still have a lot of games left.

"If we finish in the top two fantastic. If we don’t we at least have shown a lot of fight trying to make it happen.

"We showed we wanted this and worked hard for it. If you play well and don’t win then you start having doubts, but at the moment we have great confidence in what we are doing."

The turning point in a tense, critical game was the introduction of substitutes Dietmar Hamann, Djibril Cisse and Luis Garcia in the closing stages.

Steven Gerrard had missed a first-half penalty and Liverpool had toiled to make the most of their possession and overall dominance.

"It was a very difficult match, when it is level you are always worried about a breakaway," Benitez added.

"But we were able to bring on new players and they made a difference. Luis Garcia is a player with an instinct for goals, I told him to play on the right and attack.

"And the change in the game arrived when these three were brought into the game."

Arsenal wanted to sit and wait, defend and contain, and hope. But they did not possess the bravery to really attack Liverpool.

Arsenal went close in the first-half when Toure rose to head just wide from a Cesc Fabregas corner, before Jens Lehmann scooped a cross from Fowler’s toes.

Lehmann had to make a fantastic save when Philippe Senderos deflected a cross seemingly over the ‘keeper, but the German made an outstanding intervention.

Liverpool wasted a glorious chance to take control on 31 minutes.

Morientes was nudged off the ball by Eboue as he went for a Kewell chip, and Graham Poll pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Steven Gerrard for the penalty, but Lehmann flung himself to his right to turn away the right-footed effort.

The second period saw little change in the balance of play and possession, with Liverpool still searching for the genuine openings with Lehmann denying Kewell and Fowler.

Just when it looked like finishing scoreless, substitute Garcia pounced to send Anfield wild.

LIVERPOOL: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Gerrard, Sissoko (Luis Garcia 84), Alonso (Hamann 72), Kewell, Morientes, Fowler (Cisse 80).

ARSENAL: Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Senderos, Flamini, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Silva, Pires (Hleb 79), Adebayor, Henry.

Referee: G Poll.

 

Luis leaves it late as Reds edge Gunners

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 0
By Paul Walker
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger wrote off his side’s chances of claiming the top-two finish in the Premiership required to give them automatic qualification for the Champions League after their 1-0 defeat at Liverpool last night.

The balance of power has finally swung the way of the Merseysiders with this victory, which cements their place in third spot and gives them a 10-point lead over the Gunners.

And with Arsenal now four points behind Spurs in fourth spot, Wenger knows his faltering side are in a desperate battle to qualify for the Champions League next term.

A goal from Luis Garcia three minutes from the end secured Liverpool only their second victory over Arsenal in the last 11 attempts.

"Automatic qualification in the top two, certainly not, but qualification is still possible. But it will be hard," said the Arsenal boss.

"The Champions League is important, the reality is there so we just have to fight harder next time.

"At the moment we are struggling for confidence and that can effect the senior players as well as the younger ones."

For Liverpool it was a second win in four days to haul themselves back on track after a poor run threatened their own Champions League ambitions.

Boss Rafael Benitez said: "It is not easy to produce performances like this when we have so many players who are tired after so many games.

"But we deserved to win with the number of chances that we created, even if it was unbelievable to see the saves that Lehmann made.

"It is too soon to write off Arsenal, they still have a lot of games left.

"If we finish in the top two fantastic. If we don’t we at least have shown a lot of fight trying to make it happen.

"We showed we wanted this and worked hard for it. If you play well and don’t win then you start having doubts, but at the moment we have great confidence in what we are doing."

The turning point in a tense, critical game was the introduction of substitutes Dietmar Hamann, Djibril Cisse and Luis Garcia in the closing stages.

Steven Gerrard had missed a first-half penalty and Liverpool had toiled to make the most of their possession and overall dominance.

"It was a very difficult match, when it is level you are always worried about a breakaway," Benitez added.

"But we were able to bring on new players and they made a difference. Luis Garcia is a player with an instinct for goals, I told him to play on the right and attack.

"And the change in the game arrived when these three were brought into the game."

Arsenal wanted to sit and wait, defend and contain, and hope. But they did not possess the bravery to really attack Liverpool.

Arsenal went close in the first-half when Toure rose to head just wide from a Cesc Fabregas corner, before Jens Lehmann scooped a cross from Fowler’s toes.

Lehmann had to make a fantastic save when Philippe Senderos deflected a cross seemingly over the ‘keeper, but the German made an outstanding intervention.

Liverpool wasted a glorious chance to take control on 31 minutes.

Morientes was nudged off the ball by Eboue as he went for a Kewell chip, and Graham Poll pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Steven Gerrard for the penalty, but Lehmann flung himself to his right to turn away the right-footed effort.

The second period saw little change in the balance of play and possession, with Liverpool still searching for the genuine openings with Lehmann denying Kewell and Fowler.

Just when it looked like finishing scoreless, substitute Garcia pounced to send Anfield wild.

LIVERPOOL: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Gerrard, Sissoko (Luis Garcia 84), Alonso (Hamann 72), Kewell, Morientes, Fowler (Cisse 80).

ARSENAL: Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Senderos, Flamini, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Silva, Pires (Hleb 79), Adebayor, Henry.

Referee: G Poll.