In one stroke, Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield, that impregnable citadel Brendan Rodgers has hoped for, altered the narrative that has surrounded Arsenal in the last couple of weeks, weeks during which Arsenal lost Robin van Persie and inexplicably sold Alex Song.
Most of the build-up analyses and opinions about this encounter had a feel of expectation, an expectation for the collapse of a club that had failed to retained its best players (yet again), and not only that, refused to bolster the resultant weak squad, especially as this pertained to the defensive end of the team's midfield.
Everyone with half a brain (at least, that seemed to be the sense of this thinking) knew Song needed to replaced and that the combined strength of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud could not begin to equal the sheer class of Robin van Persie, Arsenal's one remaining legitimate world-class player whom they had the foolishness to let go, and to their main rival no less.
A loss at Anfield would expose Arsene Wenger's madness, a recalcitrant streak that has rendered him blind to the changing times. "Spend some money," echoed the maxim within the cavernous chambers of the footballing world. Spend some quality cash on over-valued stars; that's the recipe for success.
Liverpool had dueled Manchester City with a level of success a week before this encounter with Arsenal. Getty Images.
The expectation that Arsenal might lose at Anfield was founded upon Liverpool's impressive display at the same venue a week earlier, when they dueled Manchester City and emerged from the fray the superior team, even if the result declared both teams equals.
There was a tint of vindictiveness in this narrative: the failure to rob Newcastle United of one of two of their most important squad members (Yohan Cabaye or Cheikh Tiote) seemed to inexplicably leave the pundits fuming.
What audacity not to buy a defensive midfielder, a destroyer!
Who does this Frenchman think he is, presuming to think he could dictate how the culture of transfer and football should be?
Doesn't he know that the thrills and glamour reside in the stars? Who wants to watch average talents (especially in the ranks of an ostensible big club) run around the pitch? Who has the patience to wait for their development?
And so the ink flowed; the breath was bated.
Two “toothless performances” were enough exposure of this madness, and the wisdom of the world would be vindicated when Brendan Rogers' Tiki-taka (in the telling of the Kopites) taught this madman a thing or two.
Wenger and his wards would be taught a lesson by Rodgers and his: That seemed to be the unspoken expectation of "angry" pundits ahead of this match. Getty Images.
This was the prelude to this match as the two teams took to the field, one donned in all red, the other in mostly blue, with purple hoops, what some have declared to be an eye-sore.