We triumphed 2-1 over title rivals Liverpool, thanks to goals from big Nicklas Bendtner and a scorcher from Fran Merida. Emiliano Insua scored a cracker for them to be fair, but the Reds seemed dire without star man Beach Ball, and we prevailed, with a good performance from the reserves.
The game started well for us, some good passing moves from the Gunners. Liverpool had an early opportunity, when right back Phillip Degen (who? I hear you shout) cut in from the right hand side, only to drag his shot wide. It was a let off for us, but thankfully it wasn’t to matter in the end.
In an advanced position down the right hand side, Kerrea Gilbert gave the ball away, and it looked like Liverpool could be on the counter attack – basically just them punting the ball up to Voronin – but alas, Voronin was back defending, and took the ball from Gilbert and played the ball towards Ryan Babel. Craig Eastmond, playing in a defensive midfield role instead of his usual one in defence, got to the ball ahead of Babel, and got it to Fran Merida, who took the ball and blasted a magnificent shot the crashed off of the post and flew into the back of the net, much to the joy of the sell out crowd at the Emirates – except for the Liverpool fans, who were too busy playing with their balls to notice.
Liverpool were then level, when a long ball, surprise surprise, was cushioned by Babel for Insua to run onto. Bendtner let him go on his own, and the Argentine chested it down and hit a sweet dipping volley over Fabianski, who couldn’t do much to stop it.
We kept faith in our passing game, and the best move of the game nearly provided a goal. We looked like we were in trouble, and Nicklas Bendtner seemed to be going nowhere. He dribbled past three players, and gave it to Ramsey, who just got there ahead of the defender to flick it back to Bendtner on the wing. The big Dane chested it down, and gave it back to Ramsey, who found Eduardo. Eddy skinned two players, before releasing the surging Ramsey, who clipped the ball brilliantly past two defenders into the path of Merida, who knocked the ball across goal, but it was knocked out for a corner. A fantastic move, well worthy of a goal I felt.
After half time, we came out a better side, and five minutes in we took advantage of the first chance that came our way. The ball was played into the box by Eduardo I think it was, and Ramsey and Bendtner were both on it. Bendtner took it, and swiftly took the ball past Martin Skrtel, and held off the giant Slovakian to slide the ball powerfully into the roof of the net with his left foot; a great goal by big Nick that turned out to be the winner.
Liverstool were desperate by then, and brought on their £20 million midfielder for his first game in England. He seemed pretty decent, but didn’t do anything of note, except try and score with a bicycle kick – and fail.
Two young guns who I’m friends with on Facebook then came on, ‘MarkBoy’ Randall and Sanchez Watt. Randall was pretty average, but Watt did well to find space and create a chance for himself, only to in my opinion take the wrong option and end up muscled out by Skrtel.
Four minutes of added time were given, and it was a nervy four minutes, with the ball scrambled out of our box a few times after a dangerous passage of play, but we secured quarter-final status late on by keeping possession. Full time, 2-1 to the Gunners, a great performance from a youthful side.
wrote by Theo14Cesc4 @ Goonersworld