Liverpool vs. Arsenal: Live Blog Commentary with Goals, News, Analysis and Recap
Live English Premier League football commentary
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Carragher, Jose Enrique, Spearing, Kuyt, Henderson, Adam, Downing, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Maxi, Coates, Shelvey, Flanagan, Bellamy.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Song, Walcott, Rosicky, Benayoun, van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Gervinho, Chamakh, Miquel.
Dirk Kuyt misses penalty, 18 mins, 0-0
Laurent Koscielny, own goal, 22 mins, 1-0
Robin van Persie, 30 mins, 1-1
Robin van Persie, 92 mins, 1-2
Welcome back everybody to another fantastic-looking round of live Premier League text coverage, with a massive clash ahead of us which could spell hope or disaster for two teams aiming for a top four finish, as Liverpool play hosts to Arsenal at Anfield.
Last week we witnessed Liverpool making history with an eighth League Cup triumph at Wembley, while Arsenal were busy having their own celebrations having cemented a famous 5-2 win over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, after being two goals down inside half an hour.
This time out the two sides meet with three big points at stake in the race for a Champions League place; Arsenal currently hold that much-coveted fourth spot, as well as a seven-point lead over Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
A win today will see the Reds right back in amongst the challengers for fourth, while a defeat would likely spell the end of their league ambitions.
Arsenal will hope to string back-to-back wins together for only the second time since November as they look to find some sort of consistency.
Stay right here over the next 24 hours for all the best and latest build-up, team news, pre-match statistics and chat, followed by the live commentary itself and plenty of post-match reaction and analysis!
Don't forget to get involved as always by leaving your comments below.
That's it for the live text commentary for today, I hope you have enjoyed it—though probably not too much, if you are a Red—and thanks for joining me and for your comments.
There is plenty of post-match reaction to follow of course, so stay tuned to my Bleacher Report feed over the next few hours for all the best analysis for today's game.
Until next time, goodbye!
What about Arsenal?
They created next to nothing, with only Theo Walcott having a low shot on goal in the first half and Diaby and Oxlade-Chamberlain from range in the second half, and barely controlled any portion of the match at all.
They defended in numbers, broke when they could, and suffered yet another injury problem when they lost Mikel Arteta with concussion in the second half. His replacement, the returning Abou Diaby, also went off later on.
But they have Robin van Persie.
What more can be said about their goal-machine captain?
Two chances, two goals.
He hardly played a part in the game, yet single-handedly won the three points for the Gunners to keep them in the driving seat in fourth place and fend off one of the challengers for that spot.
Dirk Kuyt missed a penalty, and an open-goal rebound from the spot-kick, and hit the post in the first half.
Luis Suarez struck the woodwork for Liverpool too and saw Wojciech Szczesny make a good save from his low effort after a solo run inside the box. Martin Kelly missed two great chances from close range, while Jordan Henderson also had a shot saved—and the only time the Reds did manage to score, it came as a result of Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny putting through his own net.
Yet again, Liverpool's failings in the final third are laid bare.
This time, however, the result means that a top four finish, and with it Champions League football for 2012-13, is pretty much out of the window.
Well that was a really incredible finish to a fantastic game of football at Anfield.
Liverpool were the better side, created a multitude of good chances to not only win the game but even to put Arsenal out of sight—but Robin van Persie has won the game on his own for the Gunners yet again.
Full time at Anfield
Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2
Arsenal have the ball in Liverpool's half, they are seconds away from victory.
With one minute of stoppage time remaining, Liverpool have another corner.
Arsenal keeping hold of the ball now as Liverpool get frustrated, and Oxlade-Chamberlain fires a shot from distance just wide of Reina's far post.
Gibbs breaks clear down the left and cuts in to shoot with his right foot, but Reina saves easily.
Have Liverpool, who have missed a penalty, hit the post twice and missed several presentable opportunities in open play, got enough in their locker to break through Arsenal's defence to rescue a late home point?
They have not yet been beaten at Anfield this season, remember.
Andy Carroll on for Jay Spearing.
van Persie has touched the ball about twice in the whole of today's game, and he's scored two goals.
Song flights a deep ball over the Liverpool defence and Robin van Persie volleys it first time, inside the near post and beyond Pepe Reina.
Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2
Robin van Persie, 92 mins
Kelly tries to get in behind Gibbs inside the Arsenal penalty box, but he has his hands up and the assistant signals for a Gunners free kick.
Time for one big push then from the home side who are still pretty much dominating proceedings, though no clear chances created recently.
Dirk Kuyt is furious at yet another offside flag being shown against him and berates the assistant most voraciously, leading the referee to speak to him about his conduct. No card though.
Eight minutes of injury time will be played.
Two minutes plus injury time to go. We are expecting about eight minutes or so of added time.
Craig Bellamy comes on for Stewart Downing.
That's the Reds' first change today.
Szczesny has to race out and clear the ball from outside the penalty area for about the fifth time today, as Kuyt looks to pounce.
Adam bursts forward through the centre and has the chance to release Henderson into acres of space, but delays and delays and eventually loses the ball.
Very poor decision making from Adam there.
Liverpool win another couple of corners, but neither clear the first man. Everybody in a blue shirt was back for the Gunners there.
Lots of injury time to come of course, but we have ten minutes left from the normal 90.
Can one team or the other push through and take a late lead? Liverpool are certainly still the far more adventurous and attack-minded of the two teams but have missed a host of chances.
Final Arsenal sub:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Abou Diaby, who has only been on the pitch for 20 minutes or so after coming on for Arteta.
Arsenal try to break for the first time in quite some time, but Walcott can't take the ball in mid-air and it runs through to Reina.
Moments later the same forward glances a header goalward but Reina takes the catch easily.
Still no subs from Liverpool yet, with Carroll, Maxi and Bellamy all on the bench.
Liverpool come forward again but Arsenal are defending in numbers.
Henderson's cross from deep is headed out by Koscielny and Downing, volleying the ball first time on the run, sends the ball skidding wide of the far post.
15 minutes to go and it's another big, big chance for Liverpool.
Downing breaks down the left and simply has to cross the ball for Suarez to poke home, but the pass is dreadful and goes straight to the keeper.
Liverpool cannot keep wasting these openings if they want the three points.
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