FA Cup

Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Live Player Ratings for the Gunners and the Reds

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Raheem Sterling (R) of Liverpool holds off the challenge of Mathieu Flamini (L) of Arsenal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2014

Arsenal and Liverpool fought out a pulsating FA Cup fifth round clash at the Emirates on Sunday, with the home side winning 2-1.

Arsenal led 1-0 at the break after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain swept home from close range. Daniel Sturridge missed two great chances in the first five minutes for Liverpool.

Luis Suarez went close within seconds of the restart, before Arsenal broke down the other end to double their lead through Lukas Podolski. The German then gave away a penalty which Steven Gerrard scored and Liverpool should have had another minutes later, but they could not find an equaliser.

Arsenal Player Ratings
Liverpool Player Ratings


Quick first-half analysis:

The early stages of the game repeated the Anfield fixture: Liverpool countering swiftly to create scoring chances. Arsenal worked themselves back into the game though and although their lead is not exactly merited, have certainly found a game-plan to keep the away team at bay for spells.

Luis Suarez is looking a little on the periphery of the game stationed on the right flank, with Raheem Sterling looking his side's biggest threat once again.

Midfield has been littered with strong challenges from both sides, resulting in five yellow cards already, while not too many central midfield players on each team are committing to running ahead of play—Joe Allen is perhaps the only one bucking that trend.

Arsenal have utilised the pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski down the flanks to break behind Liverpool's back four, something they have failed to do in recent domestic games.


Quick second-half analysis:

What a day for Sturridge to lose his shooting boots. He could have had a hat-trick, but found only the side netting at best.

In truth there was little between the sides over 90 minutes, indeed with the away side edging it overall, but this time around it was Arsenal who made the most of their chances while the Reds only scored a penalty.

A bold move from Rodgers saw Sterling operate from right-back after substitutions were made, which gave Liverpool great thrust down that side, but after the Gunners weathered a storm they made changes of their own to hold onto the ball far better in the last 15 minutes.

Playing on the counter it was imperative that their attacking midfielders got beyond the forward and Podolski and, in particular, Oxlade-Chamberlain did this very well indeed.


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