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April 17, 2011
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 60029
R. van Persie 90'+
D. Kuijt 90'+
Shots on Target
90' + 14'
Just to clarify...that goal was scored in the 12th minute of injury time.
90' + 13'
Here are Greg's final thoughts: The whole Liverpool team – including Pepe Reina – are celebrating in the corner after that equaliser with the last kick of the game. My hands are literally trembling after the incredible late drama following a poor quality game.
90' + 12'
Assist Lucas Leiva
90' + 12'
Penalty Goal Dirk Kuyt
90' + 11'
GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL AND FULL TIME! It's in and it's all over at the Emirates. Arsenal have blown it and Arsene Wenger is going mad. He tells Kenny Dalglish it's not a penalty and I don't think i'm able to write what Dalgish responds with. What a finish to the game!
90' + 10'
Yellow Card Emmanuel Eboue
90' + 10'
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
90' + 10'
Sensational end to the game. PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL. Suarez's free kick hits the wall and comes out to Kuyt who is taken down clumsily by Eboue. Kuyt to take!
90' + 9'
We're still going here and Liverpool have a free kick on the line of the penalty area - dead centre!
90' + 8'
GOAL FOR ARSENAL! Robin Van Persie sends Pepe Reina the wrong way to send the remaining fans at the Emirates delirious! Surely all over now.
90' + 7'
Yellow Card Robin van Persie
90' + 7'
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
90' + 7'
Penalty Goal Robin van Persie
90' + 7'
PENALTY TO ARSENAL! Nasri clumsily taken down by young Jay Spearing. What a chance of Van Persie now!
90' + 6'
But it's easily caught by Reina and not for the first time this match.
90' + 5'
Corner to Arsenal
90' + 3'
Five minutes left for Arsenal here who seem to be either over or underhitting every crossing chance they get.
EIGHT minutes added time here at the Emirates for Arsenal to keep their title hopes alive. A near full house of 60,029 have been there to see a fairly ordinary game so far.
Suarez gets played in at a tight angle by Kuyt, the Liverpool striker takes a touch before firing at goal from a similar position where he scored at Sunderland a few weeks ago. However, this time his shot was high and wide. Both Jonjo Shelvey and Kyrgiakos has held out and could have been played in.
That could have been Arsenal's chance! Fabregas into Nasri who flicks one round the corner for Van Persie. Instead of putting his foot through it, the Dutch striker tries to slot it past Reina who saves well. Bendtner eventually hits a follow-up volley that is caught with ease.
More from Greg: Now the locals are getting twitchy. Every misplaced pass, every backwards movement, is met by groans of frustration from three-quarters of the ground. There is a real fear that Arsenal are going to draw 0-0 at home for the second game in a row as Liverpool continue to defend reasonably comfortably.
Like for like as Song comes on to replace Diaby.
Liverpool starting to assert themselves here. Suarez has just had a 20-yard shot saved. However, you would think that Liverpool would be more than happy with four points from their two games against Manchester City and Arsenal. But, Arsenal surely know how important this game is in regards to their title chances. They have to win!
Yellow Card Jonjo Shelvey
Here's Greg: That double substitution had to come for Arsenal. They have had no ideas in the second-half and need something different to keep their title hopes alive. Some of the punters didn't seem too happy to see Theo Walcott taken off but restrained from booing Arsene Wenger's decision.
Another ball from Fabregas to Van Persie. Reina rushes off his line and Van Persie sees his chance - he looks to lob the Spaniard but Skrtel is across to deflect it wide for a corner. From the corner, Van Persie's glancing header goes into the side netting.
Sky Sports are reporting that Jamie Carragher is sitting up and talking in the dressing room. Andy Carroll has now been replaced and has headed straight off down the tunnel.
Here's an update from Greg: Very classy from the Arsenal fans to rise to their feet and applaud Carragher as he was taken off on a stretcher. A worry sight for Liverpool fans to see their vice-captain receiving oxygen and in a neck brace – their back four now will inspire little confidence.
Meanwhile...an update on Andy Carroll is that one of the Liverpool physios went into the dressing room after he went back to the pitch to view the injury close-up. After doing so, the physio called Carroll over duing the break in play and gave him more intense treatment. Technology at its best!
Carrager has been stretchered off and the whole stadium applauds his departure. We had a good six-minute stoppage there.
This looks serious for Jamie Carragher. He went up for a header and clashed with Flanagan who jumped below him. Spearing turned Carragher straight onto his side and the medics came on. The former England defender is now receiving oxygen on the pitch. His neck is in a brace and Kyrgiakos is stripped and ready to come on to replace him.
Liverpool and England fans fear not! Your number nine is back on the pitch and looks to be ok for now.
Andy Carroll looks in trouble here. He was chasing a through ball and whilst streching his boot looked to slip on the turf beneath him. If I was a doctor (which I'm not) I'd hazard a guess at knee ligaments. He's just walking off the pitch now. We'll see whether he continues.
Suarez picks up the ball in midfield and drives at the Arsenal defence. Forced onto his weaker, left foot, the Uruguay international arrows his shot a few yards wide.
We're back underway at the Emirates. Hoping for some goal action in the second half.
Greg Stobart: Arsenal have been the better side and have come closest to scoring through Laurent Koscielny's header that hit the crossbar – but it's been a poor game so far. Liverpool have defended resolutely but are lacking a spark in attack, where Luis Suarez is having a rare off-day and may consider changing his boots at the break. Arsenal's best attacking avenue looks to be to get Theo Walcott running at Jack Robinson, Liverpool's 17-year-old left-back. The problem for the Gunners is that there never seems to be anyone in the box to get on the end of crosses.
45' + 2'
45' + 1'
Great chance for Arsenal right at the end of the half there. Walcott chased a loose ball down the right before setting it for Fabregas who slid a pass into Eboue and his shot was deflected wide of goal - good defending.
2 minutes added time being played at the end of this first half.
First half petering out slowly here with neither team looking like they are going to score. I get the feeling Liverpool are just trying to stay in the game at the moment and have a real go in the second half.
Arsenal could do with getting a goal that their pressure has deserved here before they are punished on the counter attack by Liverpool. Theo Walcott is being pressed when he has the ball making it difficult for him to do much when he receives a pass.
Luis Suarez has been largely anonymous in this first half for Liverpool. Due to Arsenal's dominance, Much of Liverpool's play has been aimed at Andy Carroll. However, Liverpool's £35million striker has failed to hold the ball much so far.
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
It's been an okay game so far but we've only had two shots on target. Liverpool haven't carried on from where they left off on Monday night.
Yellow Card Jon Flanagan
Goal.com's Greg Stobart from the Emirates: This will be a real test for Liverpool now they have two rookie full-backs on the pitch. The Arsenal coaching staff are already screaming at Theo Walcott to huge the touchline and run at 17-year-old Jack Robinson, who looked incredibly nervous as he came on to replace the injured Fabio Aurelio. The atmosphere is still rather flat at the Emirates, with the home fans waiting for a spark of inspiration – or a touch of luck – to ease the tension.
Goal ruled out for Arsenal. A feature we saw at Blackpool last week has been re-ignited today as Fabregas plays a ball over the top for Van Persie. The Dutchman cushioned a volley into the bottom corner past Pepe Reina but he was a couple of yards offside.
Arsenal really starting to dominate this game and are getting in some good wide positions. However, the final ball is lacking at the moment. Surely Arsenal will target Liverpool's new left back with Walcott's pace.
It looks like a pulled hamstring for Fabio Aurelio and he has been replaced by Jack Robinson. He made his debut against Hull on the last day of last season.
Alex Ferguson has taken his place in the crowd alongside England manager Fabio Capello. Manchester United face Arsenal in a fornight's time.
That's the closest we've come to a goal so far. Van Persie's inswinging corner was met by Koscielny whose header rebounded off the bar! From the resulting play Walcott fired a shot against the arm of Kuyt but referee Andre Marriner waved away appeals.
The game seems to have finally settled and there's some good passing from both sides. When they haven't got the ball, Liverpool are looking to get eight behind the ball as quickly as possible. Corner to Arsenal...
Liverpool have won the game's first corner after good work from Suarez down the left. Meireles' corner was long and meant for Andy Carroll. The ball reached him but he was stretching slightly and his header went into the side netting.
Here's the latest from Greg: The early signs are that Arsenal are going to struggle against the size, strength and aerial ability of Andy Carroll – just as he did when Newcastle won here in November. Most of the noise in the early stages is coming from the away end, where Liverpool supporters sing for manager Kenny Dalglish to be awarded a knighthood.
Liverpool win a free kick around 30 yards from goal. Aurelio and Suarez stand over it. Aurelio made a dummy run and Saurez's curling effort was gathered easily by Szczesny in the Arsenal goal.
Arsenal seem to have started the better side here with an early spell of pressure. Nasri's wide free kick has been narrowly flicked wide by Abou Diaby.
The game is underway with Liverpool wearing their alternative strip of Black shirts and black shorts with yellow trim. Looks like a gorgeous day in north London.
The teams are out on the pitch with the Barclays Premier League anthem playing and the normal handshakes taking place.
Here's more from Greg: The players have completed their warm-up and we're just under 10 minutes from kick-off here before a match that Arsenal fans feel could yet define their season. Before we start this afternoon, there will be an undoubtedly poignant minute's silence in memory of Arsenal director Danny Fiszman, who died on Wednesday, and the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at Hillsborough 22 years ago on Friday.
Here is our man at the Emirates, Greg Stobart, with some details on Wenger's view on the much speculated possible takeover of Stan Kroenke of Arsenal: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger uses his programme notes to insist the Gunners can still achieve a 'massive' Premier League title victory. The Frenchman also responds to Stan Kroenke's takeover of the club, saying he has a 'responsibility' to bring success to north London. He writes: “We have cup final after cup final now; I'm confident we will be in good shape and produce good performances. I takes some time to recover from the disappointments we had not long ago – but then you focus again on what you can achieve, and that's what is important now. We can achieve something massive, so let's concentrate on that. “There has been plenty written about the pending takeover. I made the statement I wanted to when the news broke. Above anything else, I have a responsibility to bring success to the team, to be consistent at the top, and to manage the club well. It is important that everyone inside the club does what they are responsible for.”
Liverpool under Dalglish have won seven of their 12 games with the Anfield legend in charge, but they haven't won away at Arsenal since 2000. Also, to add extra spice, if Liverpool do win they will be basically handing the title to their arch rivals United to win their 19th Championship, one more than Liverpool's tally of 18. Do Liverpool fans want the three points today then? Europa League, and possibly even Champions League, qualification isn't out of the question and their other rivals Everton are pushing them all the way aswell. So yes, I'd imagine.
Arsenal's main objective is, of course, to keep the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. After five seasons without a trophy, this is Wenger's last chance to stop making that six years. They currently lie seven points behind United, with this being their game in hand. A win today is a must to keep an ever-unlikely title win dream from completely fading.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are unchanged from the impressive 3-0 victory over Manchester City last Monday with Suarez and Carroll starting up front and youngster Flanagan making his second-ever appearance for the team.
So Szczesny comes back from injury to take Lehmann's place between the sticks. Walcott and Djourou also return, two players that many an Arsenal fan will confirm their team is weaker without.
Liverpool: Reina; Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio; Kuyt, Spearing, Lucas, Meireles; Suarez, Carroll. Subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Ngog, Shelvey, Robinson.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Diaby, Wilshere, Walcott, Fabregas, Nasri; van Persie. Subs: Lehmann, Song, Squillaci, Arshavin, Gibbs, Chamakh, Bendtner.
So then, first things first, the line-ups...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool from the Emirates. My name is James Fielden and I will be taking you through the game's ups and downs.
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