Another massive three points, especially with Chelsea losing away at WBA, and a big result at a ground we have struggled at over the years. Any Arsenal fan not satisfied after today's showing must ask themselves some serious questions about their own mental state. There were many positives, some negatives, and a lot of big talking points, certainly the absolutely pathetic behaviour of several Liverpool players has again shamed this once mighty and classy club, it was as bad as I have seen from any side in recent years.
The first half was generally dominated by Liverpool, but they needed to cheat to get their penalty, Suarez going to ground theatrically (yet again) after the slightest of touches from Szczcesny, justice was done with a great double save. The Liverpool pressure did result in an opener and it was an own goal from the boot of Koscielny, he completely miss-hit his attempted clearance and it gave Szczesny zero chance, apart from that Koscielny was outstanding for the rest of the game.
Liverpool could have extended their lead, Szczesny was forced into one excellent low save from Henderson's side footed shot, while the disgraceful Suarez hit a post with the goal at his mercy. However as the half wore on, Liverpool's threat seemed to gradually die and we came more into the game, this was cemented by RVP's fine headed finish from Sagna's outstanding cross, this header came despite the cynical Carragher doing his best to push RVP over in the box.
Strangely Liverpool just didn't really threaten us as one would have expected in the second half, there was the odd moment, one brilliant Koscielny clearance saved us from a dangerous low cross from the right wing, but other than that they lacked ideas, imagination and quality. We had the best chance of the half with Walcott's low side footed effort being deflected onto Reina's legs, a good save from the Spaniard. Arteta had gone off with concussion, Diaby came on and did well before going off injured, Benayoun came off to be replaced by Gervinho, the Ox replaced Diaby and did well in a deep midfield role.
Then the moment of brilliance, Song took the ball on in the midfield, a solid first touch and then a great chipped through ball for RVP who ran off the shoulder of Carragher, he side footed the ball home with amazing control from a tight angle, Reina's little near post gap was small but RVP found it with such precision, 2-1 right at the end of normal time. There were 8 minutes added on but Liverpool had gone flat, we easily held out and we looked far more likely to score another than Liverpool. 2-1, a cracking away win at Anfield.
There are two things I have not mentioned until the end of this piece and if we had lost today, I would be accused of being a moaning sore loser, but with us winning I can point them out pretty objectively. Firstly the referee was utterly useless, Halsey needs to be retired. He was so one sided with the little decisions, he let Liverpool get away with numerous fouls, some small, some nasty and some cynical with virtually no punishment. Spearing's disgraceful straight legged studs up lunge on Rosicky's shin didn't even merit a free kick, whether it was a yellow or red is open to debate, a red would not have been harsh. Halsey also missed a nasty Kuyt lunge with studs through Arteta, it was right in front of the referee and he did nothing. The failure to book Adam for his cynical second half trip of Rosicky was another good example of his awful decision making.
The behaviour of the Liverpool players as a whole and the Liverpool manager was beneath contempt for the most part. They questioned every single decision, they intimidated the referee and linesmen persistently from the first minute to the very last. The dissent shown was quite breathtaking and it was so persistent it beggared belief, the referee just let it go, let it go and let it go, it was just amazing. The most blatant bit of dissent was when Kuyt aggressively confronted the linesman and swore at him, amazingly Halsey showed his complete bias or lack of balls and did precisely nothing, yet again. Dalglish was constantly swearing and moaning on the touchline. Adam, Kelly, Suarez, Downing and Kuyt were all guilty of the most blatant of dissent and their antics represent the real 'scum' of modern football for me. It was quite disgraceful and an utterly pathetic example for grown men to be setting to the viewing public which includes a lot of kids.
There were a lot of solid shifts put in today, Szczesny and RVP were the stand out performers, the centre backs and full backs were excellent, Song solid, Rosicky good again, Arteta struggled as did Benayoun, Theo did reasonably well. Whatever one thinks we certainly showed a lot of character today to come from a goal down and to win at such a tough away venue. Also spare a thought for the luckless Diaby, such a talented player but his ankle has been buggered by the reckless Neanderthal negligence of others. Well done the lads and Arsene.