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September 2, 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 44932
L. Podolski 31'
Full time at Anfield and Arsenal have won 2-0 thanks to goals from Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla in a comfortable victory for Arsene Wenger's men. Liverpool were poor and couldn't match the Gunners clinical edge in front of goal and succumbed to their second defeat of the season. It's now a great start for Arsenal as they've taken five points for their first three games and are yet to concede a goal this season.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Jonjo Shelvey
It's too little too late for Liverpool to be threatening the Arsenal goal, they should have played like this a lot earlier and forced Mannone to do more as he's done very little today.
CHANCE!!! Another good effort from Shelvey forces a good save from Mannone it's a vicious 25-yard effort which was zooming towards the top corner but the keeper got across to his right quickly and made the stop palming the ball behind for a corner.
CHANCE!!! Suarez has missed a sitter as he fires over from two yards after being played behind the Arsenal defence. He really should have hit the target with only Mannone to beat.
CHANCE!!!! A great individual effort from Jonjo Shelvey nearly gets Liverpool back into the game. He beat the challenge of Diaby and turned inside and fired a left-footed shot at goal which was well saved by Mannone and Vermaelen was on hand to clear the danger with Suarez lurking. Good play all round.
The game is slowly petering out now as Arsenal are looking to slow it down to their pace to see out the clock. Cazorla has been magnificent today and is continuing to pull all the strings in midfield.
CHANCE!!! Finally an opening for Liverpool as Suarez finds Downing on the edge of the area, he takes the ball onto his left-foot and fires an effort at goal which takes a slight deflection and goes a whisker over the bar.
Time and again Liverpool have had the ball in promising positions on the wings but just haven't been able to create that chance they need to get back into this game.
Arsenal have been on their game on the counter attack today, as shown by Ramsey as he broke with speed and precision up-field and found Podolski, this time though Liverpool get numbers back and eventually crowd out the attack.
Anfield is starting to get restless now that Liverpool are struggling to break Arsenal down. It's been a good performance by the Gunners and they look comfortable in possession and defensively.
Liverpool were well and truly dissected there. They've played better football in the second-half but didn't have that cutting edge needed to get back into the game when they were on top. Arsenal have shown it with two good finishes to break their scoring duck for the season in style.
Assist Lukas Podolski
Goal Santi Cazorla
GOALL!!!!! Liverpool have been hit on the sucker punch and Arsenal have doubled their lead through Santi Cazorla. It's a great move from the Gunners to be fair, as the Spaniard is played down the left by Podolski and fired a powerful shot at the near post past Reina and into the net. It's poor keeping from Reina who got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out.
A cross from Steven Gerrard causes Mannone to leap from his line to punch the ball clear, from the follow-up Sterling does well to beat Oxlade-Chamberlain and lift a cross into the area but Downing just can't get high enough to make good contact with the ball and his header goes wide.
Stewart Downing almost finds a way thought the Arsenal defence but as soon as he pulls the trigger both Vermaelen and Mertesacker are on hand to block his shot, great defending.
Chance! Jenkinson makes a run forward into the Liverpool half and shoots from distance with his left-foot, it tests Reina who can't gather at the first attempt and has to scramble to gather the ball. Decent effort from the former Charlton man.
Arsenal look solid defensively and strong on the counter attack and not just in terms of quality as Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain out muscles Steven Gerrard on the ball and launches another attacking move.
Another penalty claim by Liverpool an Suarez and this one is more out of hope than expectation as Vermaelen falls on the ball after tangling with Suarez again Howard Webb waves play on.
The Reds just can't get it going in the final third, again they find themselves in a good position but no-one can find a way through the Arsenal back-line and eventually Enrique's frustration shows as he shoots from range and blasts the ball over the bar.
CHANCE!!! Arsenal show again their threat on the counter attack as they break in numbers, Cazorla finds Podolski who in turn finds Gibbs on the outside but his shot is well saved by Reina who gets down well to his right to make the stop.
Better from Liverpool going forward as Gerrard finds himself in a good position on the right and he hit a dangerous ball into the box for Suarez to attack but the striker goes down in the box, looking for a penalty after a collision with Mertesacker but his claims are waved away by referee Webb.
Everything Giroud seems to be doing at the moment isn't working, this time he has all the time in the world to find Podolski with a deft flick but can't quite get enough on it and gives the ball away to Skrtel.
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Arsenal on the attack straight away and Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski exchange neat passes on the edge of the area but neither can force the issue and breakthrough the Liverpool defence and eventually the Gunners attack peters out.
We're back underway at Anfield.
Half time at Anfield and Arsenal take a deserved lead into the break thanks to a goal from Lukas Podolski his first for the Gunners and their first this season. It could have been better for them had Olivier Giroud taken his chance but he fired wide so his goal drought continues. Liverpool haven't been at their best, they've been sloppy in the final third and will need to improve if they want to get back into this game.
45' + 1'
Solid defending from the Gunners first stops Sterling from getting through then Gerrard moments later, it's been a hallmark of Arsenal's play this season their resolute defending something which you can't say they have been in recent years.
After a manic few minutes the game has settled down and Arsenal are trying to play the game at their own pace which appears to have stifled Liverpool for now.
CHANCE!!! Giroud's missed an absolute sitter as he fires wide from10 yards out. Diaby raided forward unchallenged and slipped a through ball to the Frenchman he took the ball on his left-footed but never got his foot around it and his shot went wide of the post. Will Arsenal rue that opportunity.
PENALTY CLAIM!!! Sterling goes down under the challenge of Mertesacker, the German may have just got a bit of the ball and the benefit of the doubt from Howard Webb. It was close though.
OFF THE POST!!! Arsenal don't deal with a cross launched into the box by Borini and the ball falls to Sterling who turns his man before firing a left-footed shot at goal which rattles the post and goes out for a goal-kick. Close for Liverpool!
Arsenal are still not firing on all cylinders as they're still giving the ball away regularly this time Arteta gifts possession to Sahin who finds Sterling but Jenkinson does well to get back to make a good tackle.
Liverpool are struggling at the moment going forward, they're picking the wrong pass at the critical time and the Gunners are picking them off on the counter, this time Podolski raids forward on his own but still manages to get a a shot away but Reina saves comfortably.
Assist Santi Cazorla
Goal Lukas Podolski
GOALLLL!!!!! After saying they weren't clicking Arsenal go and score and it's Podolski with the goal with a great left-footed finish. The Gunners broke up-field on a counter attack with Cazorla he found the run of the German with a lovely through ball and he made no mistake firing past Reina, great goal.
There is something very disjointed about Arsenal going forward, as soon as the get into the final third of the pitch they just aren't clicking.
Disappointingly for Liverpool Gerrard's free-kick hits straight off the wall and almost presents the Gunners with a chance to break as Gibbs advanced but he couldn't find Podolski with his through ball as he and German weren't on the same wavelength.
Yellow Card Mikel Amatrian Arteta
Another booking for the Gunners as Mikel Arteta is carded for bringing down Raheem Sterling who beat the Spaniard with skill and pace, resulting in a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area.
Poor play from Steven Gerrard almost allows Arsenal in as the Liverpool skipper somehow failed to intercept an awful pass from Jenkinson and the ball found Diaby who raided forward. Fortunately for the England man Gibbs' ball into the area was too high for Giroud and claimed by Reina.
Arsenal are using the ball well but as soon as they try to get to the final third the ball isn't sticking with Giroud. The Frenchman needs to do a better job of keeping the ball when his team-mates find him on the edge of the box.
Sanit Cazorla's had an impressive start to life in the Premier League and today is no different as he's been the focal point of all the Gunners attacks so far today.
Arsenal are coming into the game a bit more and are getting some joy down the wings. This time Gibbs is felled by Borini in a dangerous area and is awarded a free-kick. However a poor delivery from Arteta stops the attacking momentum.
A nice move down the right by Arsenal is spoiled by a poor cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain who over-hits his ball into the middle. Gibbs collected the ball but was hounded out by good defending from Borini and Johnson.
A poor pass from Jenkinson presents a golden chance to Borini to break forward, he drives into the box but can't beat the first man when trying to find Suarez with a cross.
Dangerous stuff from Arsenal on the edge of the Reds box as the string several passes together but can't find a way through the defence eventually the ball comes out to Cazorla who hits a tame effort straight at Reina.
End to end game at the moment, first the Gunners attack and Agger had to be at his best to clear with Diaby pursuing the ball in the box. From that clearance Liverpool counter attacked and Gerrard found Borini put his shot wide.
Liverpool's turn to piece some passes together and Joe Allen finds Glen Johnson in an advanced position but he's flagged offside just as he was about to raid further forward.
From the resulting free-kick Suarez fires the ball miles over the bar much to the delight of the travelling Arsenal fans.
Yellow Card Per Mertesacker
First card of the game now as Per Mertesacker enters the book for hauling down Suarez as he looked to turn the German and push on to the penalty area.
First attempt at goal and it's from Liverpool and Fabio Borini as he drove at the Gunners defence and fired a tame 30-yard effort wide of the post. Not the best effort.
Arsenal are looking to get into their passing game straight away as Sanit Cazorla, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta exchange passes in central midfield but as soon as they look to bring Olivier Giroud into the game they lose possession. Cagey start so far.
Not a great start to the game as both sides lose possession cheaply via the long ball as Skrtel looked for the run of Suarez and couldn't find him while Vermaelen hit long straight to Pepe Reina.
We're underway at Anfield.
It's not all rosy for the Gunners though as they've failed to hit the target this season, however, they're yet to concede so far, so something's got to give today. Surely?
Here's a stat that will blow your mind, Liverpool have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games against Arsenal. That win came last season at the Emirates in a 2-0 win for then Kenny Dalglish's side.
Arsene Wenger meanwhile has made one change from his team that drew 0-0 with Stoke last week with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Gervinho. While Vito Mannone contiues for the again absent Wojciech Szczesny who is still out with a rib injury.
The big news for Liverpool is that midfielder Nuri Sahin makes his debut after joining the club on loan from Real Madrid. Brendan Rodgers has made three changes from his side that drew 2-2 with Manchester last time out in the Premier League as Jose Enrique, Daniel Agger and Sahin all start in place of Lucas, Sebastien Coates and Martin Kelly.
Team News: Arsenal: Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Cazorla, Arteta, Diaby; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski. Subs: Koscielny, Martinez, Santos, Ramsey, Coquelin, Gervinho, Walcott.
Team News: Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Allen, Sahin, Gerrard; Sterling, Borini, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Carragher, Shelvey, Downing, Henderson, Kelly, Coates.
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! Commentary of today's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield. I'm Simon Sinclair and I'll be taking you though all the build-up and action as it happens on Merseyside.
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