Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Superlatives from the EPL's First Titanic Match

Michael ThomasCorrespondent IIIAugust 20, 2011

Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Superlatives from the EPL's First Titanic Match

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    In the wake of of several disappointingly boring matches during the opening weekend of the English Premier League (EPL), Liverpool and Arsenal sure did their part to spice things up with a hotly-contested match reminiscent of the thrilling 4-4 draw of 2009.

    Brilliantly demonstrating his acute tactical acumen, Arsène Wenger once again reminded supporters why they should rejoice that he is still their club's boss.  Completely overwhelmed by the riveting action, they remained cemented in front of their seats long after the final whistle had blown.  This was not a victory they would soon...

    Oops—I think I picked the wrong script!

    In actual news, Arsenal's 2-0 home defeat to an ascendant Liverpool side seems to mark the demise of one of England's finest clubs.  Yet, instead of lamenting the Wenger's tragic demise, I figured we could lighten the mood by rewarding the key players for their inspirational performances.

    While I can't promise that the recipients will appreciate their superlatives, I do sincerely hope they at least make you laugh.


Best Transfer Market Move: Samir Nasri

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    Fielding a side loaded with new additions Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish would appear to have out-shopped the stingy Frenchman.

    Yet Wenger opened up his bag of surprises and suggested that he will at least hold on to Samir Nasri, regardless of the "bitterness and anger in his heart."

    Nasri probably already completed his not-so-secret move to Manchester City for around £25 million.  However, after manager Roberto Mancini realized that he already had 47 offensive players on the books and wouldn't be able to offer the Frenchman sufficient playing time, he secretly returned him to Arsenal on loan for the season. 

    In accordance with the official Manchester City transfer policy, "A dollar saved is a dollar wasted."

Biggest Surprise: Mario Balotelli?

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    One of my first thoughts after tuning into the game was, "How did Arsenal acquire Mario Balotelli?"  While I soon discovered that the imposter was young Emmanuel Frimpong, I learned the pair share not only share a hideous mohawk, but an awful attitude as well.

    After earning a yellow only eight minutes into the contest for senselessly squabbling with Jordan Henderson, Frimpong earned his second yellow for carelessly driving his tackle right into Lucas' shin. 

    Hoping that the 19-year-old would complete his near perfect rendition of Balotelli, I was horribly disappointed when he did not receive his red card by storming off of the pitch and raising his middle finger to salute the home fans.

Second Biggest Surprise: Not Robin Van Persie

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    As expected, an Arsenal player was injured.

    However, that player was not Robin van Persie.

    In fact, the Dutchman has now remained healthy for two consecutive 90-minute games—a feat he has not accomplished since age 10 when he played his first 90-minute game.

Most Unfortunate Absence: Gervinho

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    Arsenal fans are surely ruminating over how star summer signing Gervinho could have single-handedly changed the outcome of the game.

    Just kidding.

    Anyway, my bet is that Gunners would have finished with nine players.

Top Goal: Aaron Ramsey

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    Since the two teams only mustered two goals, I didn't have much to choose from. 

    Nevertheless, I'm confident with my selection as Aaron Ramsey provided Gunners with their most clinical finish of the season.

    Despite his surprised appearance as 12-year-old defender Ignasi Miquel rocketed a clearance directly toward him, the Welshman kept his composure and finished calmly past an otherwise impenetrable Wojciech Szczęsny.

    The goal would have been even better if he had directed his effort toward Liverpool's net.

Worst Disappointment: Pepe Reina

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    For one of the world's top keepers, Pepe Reina commits an unusual amount of howlers.  My favorite moment from his supposedly distinguished career came in last season's early season match against Arsenal when he gifted Arsenal with a late equalizer.

    Too bad he couldn't produce a similar performance this year.

Greatest Relief: Luis Suárez

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    Along with millions of other fantasy football fans around the world, I was devastated to learn that Andy Carroll made the starting eleven over Uruguayan Luis Suárez.

    As the captain of my fantasy team (meaning his point total would be doubled), I could not afford to have him to ride the substitute's bench.

    Fortunately, he entered late in the second half and picked up an immensely helpful 90th-minute goal.

Most Likely to Play a Villain in an Upcoming James Bond Movie: José Enrique

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    With his generally sinister appearance, José Enrique looks set to beat out former Liverpool attacker Milan Jovanović in the race to become the chief villain in the next installment of James Bond.

    However, Jovanović would make a fine henchman as he is all too accustomed to being considered disposable.

Best Celebrity Lookalike: Carl Jenkinson

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    This selection might surprise you, but Arsenal youngster Carl Jenkinson draws a striking comparison to Australian actor Keir O'Donnell who played the creepy younger brother in Wedding Crashers.

    Nevertheless, Jenkinson looked fairly comfortable in his EPL debut and very well might become one of the key players in Arsenal's 2012-2013 quest to win the nPower Football Championship.

Funniest Moment: Ian Darke

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    After Arsenal had conceded their first goal, ESPN commentator Ian Darke rhetorically wondered, "Could things get any worse for Arsene Wenger?"

    As he was uttering this statement, the camera panned to the Arsenal bench where Nicklas Bendtner was preparing to make a substitute's appearance.

    Now that's great journalism!