Arsenal is in search of her first 2012/2013 Premier League match victory and will at lunch time tomorrow make a trip to Anfield to take on wounded Liverpool. Liverpool, last Sunday gave defending champions, Manchester City some troubles, but lost their lead twice to Roberto Mancini’s men and ended the encounter in a draw in a game they had no business settling for a draw.
Liverpool did not play like true contenders and demonstrated a clear case of carelessness and defensive lapses.
Liverpool fans were filled with disbelief and dismay at a couple of mistakes committed by their defenders. Martin Kelly’s touch allowed Yaya Touré to level Martin Skrtel’s thunderous header. And after Luis Suárez restored Liverpool’s lead with a majestic free-kick, again Skrtel’s misguided pass gifted the excellent Carlos Tévez the chance to equalise with his 100th goal in English football.
According to a report, it was Brendan Rodgers’ insistence that his defenders did not launch the ball wildly forward when under pressure that eventually cost them the three points. Such was the price to pay for adhering religiously to a new doctrine, to the possession game, to rebuilding Liverpool.
Much faith was placed on Rodger after the sacking of Kenny Dalglish at the end of last season to return the Anfield outfit to the summit of English and European football. But things have not started well for the Irish man as his first Premier League game as Liverpool manager turned into a nightmare when Nigerian international, Osaze Odemwingie led West Bromwich Albion’s attack to inflict a heavy defeat on his side at the Hawthorns.
And on Sunday at Liverpool’s natural home, he watched his players’ gift away two quick goals on two different occasions after being on the lead twice. The search for his first his premier league game victory therefore continues.
The Reds are up against the Gunners, who are also looking for their victory in the new season. This makes the encounter a potential explosive one for both sides seeking nothing less than the three maximum points at stake. Arsenal has gone two matches in this new season without scoring, nor conceding any goal.
This has made life after Robin van Persie’s exit miserable for many Arsenal supporters. It is more hurting seeing the Dutchman open his Manchester United account with an exquisite strike against Fulham.
Arsène Wenger’s new team after the exit of Van persie to Premier League rivals, Manchester United and Alex Song to Spanish giants, Barcelona continues to lack a cutting edge. That was also glaring in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland in the league opener at home. Without running from facts, it is clearly difficult to look beyond the absence of the Dutchman who almost single-handedly dragged Arsenal to a top-three finish last season.
Arsene Wenger has said his new striking formation involving German goal banger, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Sarti Gazorla is yet to produce results because they have not blend in understanding with each other.
Arsenal like in last weekend’s game will miss its first choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny, who was ruled out with a rib injury. The 24-year-old Italian, Mannone who handled Stoke City’s aerial threat from set pieces last weekend and made a couple of routine saves will also most likely mount the post for Arsene Wengers’ side tomorrow at Anfield.
Liverpool despite its 2-2 draw with the league champions on Sunday, have shown they want to put behind them the shock opening day defeat to West Brom and take something out of this encounter.
Since Arsenal’s new look squad lacks what it takes to score goals, Brendan Rodger may not have to worry about his napping defence.
Though, the Gunners despite lack of cutting edge upfront are solid in defence and this is where Rodger may have to worry ahead of tomorrow’s crunch game. But his ability to score quick goals on the counter and from set pieces may help them.