I was pleased to see Bendtner start, having a focus up front is so important, we had really lacked this in recent games with both Eduardo and Bendtner out. Having Diaby and Song in tandem in the midfield also filled me with confidence, we look a better side with these two breaking things up and getting stuck into the opposition. Liverpool lined up as predicted, two holding players and a lone striker in Ngog.
There was just a real drive to our game that was not there against United, we played with more tempo and pace, there was far more pressure on the ball and despite no breakthrough coming in the fist half, there was just something different in the air, the pressure seemed to be building and the chances started to flow a little more freely. Bendtner came close, Arshavin was finding space off the big Dane, Rosicky was probing the inside channels. When it came, the goal was a thumper, Bendtner held the ball up well and played it to the overlapping Rosicky, a perfect cross then found Diaby storming in at the back stick, his header tumped home, one nil to the Arsenal it was.
Nasri had been replaced by Rosicky, Walcott came on for Arshavin and then finally the excellent Bendtner was off for Bacary Sagna. The game became a touch nervy as one would have expected, Liverpool looked long and direct, Gerrard threw himself to ground expectantly as he loves to do. Cesc almost scored with a majestic volley, it flew rapidly over the bar. Almunia then produced a fantastic tip over from a stinging Babel twenty five yarder.
Liverpool were an utter disgrace in the last few minutes, a ridiculous Gerrard dive was followed by a theatrical Kuyt dive, the compliant referee gave Liverpool the free kick they didn't deserve, they moved the ball forward and forward from where the 'foul' was committed, the weak Webb then booked Cesc as he had been told to do this by the pathetic Liverpool players who seemed to think that they were born to officiate games themselves. The free kick then struck Cesc's uplifted arm, Webb missed it, in the end justice was done.
Overall it's four points out of twelve, not great but not a complete write off. All in all the only game that really disappointed me was the loss to Manu, not just the fact that we lost but the manner of the capitulation. Tonight was so much better, Liverpool fought hard and were worthy opponents but in the end the we deserved the three points, we played the better football, opened up their defence far more freely than they opened ours and created the better chances.
It was a particularly satisfying win given the way the Liverpool players behaved throughout, there is a real niggling undercurrent of cheating in the way that their players were constantly trying to tell the referee what to do at every turn, this was epitomised by their thuggish cheat of a captain, Steven Gerrard, if ever a man deserved to be desribed as a c*nt then he is that man. Their reaction at the final whistle said it all really, embarrassing stuff. I cannot stand teams who appeal for every ball to hand in the box as if it should be a penalty. With Chelsea and Manu dropping points it was a fantastic evening for us, add to that the mighty Wolves sinking 'Arry's hapless spuds. Great stuff Gunners, keep that going and you never know what may happen.