12 man Liverpool totally fail against 10 man Arsenal.



“There’s so much fight in this team and it showed today. We dug deep and got the result we needed … It’s not easy to play like that, especially against a team like Liverpool … It was tough, you have to concentrate all game. It’s nice to defend like that asa as defender and keep a clean sheet. “

Ben White.

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By Tony Attwood

Liverpool, as we well know, always play with 12 men at home.  We’ve been told it so many thousand times it hardly needs repeating: the Liverpool crowd is the 12th man.   In fact we could say that it was actually the 13th given the way the referee was playing, and maybe the 14th given that Arsenal had a man sent off.   but let’s leave it at 12.  I don’t want to overplay this.

And Arsenal certainly did have 10 men, as we had the inevitable sending off at the field of anne, but even so got a superb draw.

But even the media couldn’t really deal with Arsenal in yet another semi-final as the Guardian offered us a 12 man starting 11 (Martinelli being listed twice).

Was it divine intervention against a club that counts being at home as having a 12th man, given the way referees behave at Anfield?  Certainly the Liverpool 12 failed abjectly to do anything against the Arsenal 10.

As Paul Merson said at the end of the game, everyone put a shift in, saying that Arsenal were outstanding.  I am not sure that he is right in saying that Liverpool made it easy, since Liverpool pulled every trick in the book, and still couldn’t make it work.  But I take the point.

It is of course a bad night for the media with TV ending the game saying “many people would not have expected this”, but the reality was that it was the TV coverage that did not expect it to happen this way.  Those of us who watch Arsenal, had an idea.

In fact for the TV coverage this was an utter and total disaster.  They set it up for a Liverpool win, with the excuses afterwards on the TV discussion the fact that football players no longer think for themselves.  Doh!

What we certainly had was no discussion of the fact that Liverpool had the most extraordinary event of more false positive Covid test results than seen anywhere else in the country at any time through the whole year.  But still, that’s what they do.

Indeed I think there was even one more strange comment in which the commentary team started quoting Pulis with admiration.  I was so amazed I stopped making notes.

At the end Ben White said, “There’s so much fight in this team and it showed today. We dug deep and got the result we needed … It’s not easy to play like that, especially against a team like Liverpool … It was tough, you have to concentrate all game. It’s nice to defend like that as a defender and keep a clean sheet.”

It was pretty good stuff – indeed to be fair better than I dared hope.  I’m lucky, I have a ticket for what should have been the first leg but is now the second leg.  And I’ll bet that result tonight gives the team quite a boost for whatever match we have this weekend.

Mindless gibberish of the night: commentary post match with some Liverpudlian commentator: “More often than not they go down to ten men.”   Arsenal have had two red cards this season in the league – the same as six other teams.

18 Replies to “12 man Liverpool totally fail against 10 man Arsenal.”

  1. Really gutsy and gritty performance by our team, and to have kept Liverpool at bay with 10 men for such a long time speaks volumes about our fighting spirit and determination. it’s mind-boggling that given the manner with which Liverpool handled the whole reporting of COVID and injury cases, just to get a postponement, is not considered well worth investigating. This season will prove to be another full of inconsistencies with decisions and policies by referees, EFL, and the FA. Certainly leaves a bad taste when it appears that some teams are being given a lot of leeway, while others don’t get a break.

  2. Unfortunately I think our opponents will be really up for it this weekend and I can see the entire team to a man doing everything they can the make sure the home team gets a result.

    Spurs may even put in a shift as well.

  3. I’m sure that Klopp just said that it was difficult when you have so many players recovering.

    From what ? They were negative

  4. Sorry Tony, we have had 3 red cards. Dhaka twice v Liverpool and Gabriel v Man City.

    Of course that says more about the referees than about Arsenal

  5. Following what was a magnificent goalless draw played out with 10 men for over an hour, this is how The Sun rated our players.

    Ramsdale 6

    White 8

    Lokonga 6

    Tierney 7

    Lacazette 5

    Saka 7

    Martinelli 7

    Holding 7

    Chambers 6

    Gabriel 7

    Really ? Any of those players getting under an 8 is a joke. Lacazette 5 ? That’s just taking the p!$$

    Just shows the contempt with which that rag holds us in.

  6. @ Nitram

    I’m just surprised that you’re surprised. How many times does UA need to tell you what the media agenda is?!

    I take that back! You keep telling us lol. And rightly so….your Sun, “expose” merely confirms everything you and UA continually tell us. Keep it up. Exposing these bigots for the frauds they are is our mission!!

  7. What an earth were The Sun watching!! I thought that in amongst a team where everyone played really well that Lacazette was a real contender for Man of the Match. I agree that everyone deserved at least 8!

  8. Thepicture of the foul in the Guardian is interesting. It shows the Pool! player visibly in a position where his arms must be touching/orienting the ball, does it no ?

  9. Good point about the arm usage from Chris, looked as if there was enough cause to check a possible offside in the play before any contact was made as well and VAR were just having a cuppa and seeing what was on the other channel at the time it would seem. How many games have we had this dubious official in charge so far this season?
    Well done to the team playing against the 17 man set up we encountered. ( 4 officials in the field of Anne and VAR)

  10. Chris

    I must admit I have slightly altered my view on this the more I have seen it. In real time I thought Xhaka was in big trouble. On first seeing the replays I still erred on the side of a red. Last man and all that. But when you look at it closely, as the VAR person should of done and obviously didn’t as it took them zero seconds to agree with Oliver, you can see it is nothing like as clear cut as it first appears. Because as I said yesterday:

    “I believe it was given because the foul denied a clear goal scoring opportunity. And if that’s the case that’s where I have my doubts about it being a red.

    For it to be classed as a clear goal scoring opportunity surely the attacker has to have the ball under control ? Jota clearly did not, and irrespective of the contact from Xhaka would not of done so as the ball hit him on the shoulder (Possibly even arm) and ran away from him straight to the keeper”.

    And as you say it could well even of hit his arm.

    Whatever part of his body the ball hit, one thing is absolutely clear, Jota did NOT have the ball under control.

    So my revised view is I can see why Oliver gave it, but VAR should of seen the ball was not in Jotas possession and overturned it to a yellow.

    It’s not the worst call I’ve ever seen but I now think it is a harsh red.

  11. There is one fascinating stat out of this game.

    Arsenal, down to 10 men most of the game, just commited 7 (SEVEN) fouls to Pool!’s 4.

    I mean…wow.

    This team is learning at high speed, the hard way and their coaching is starting to show a level I’d consider fantastic.
    And succeeding in learning they are.

    As for VAR making an impact, well, if they had any competence….or will to be really neutral and not let their personal preferences and bias interere, it would work. when I remember how long some of the VAR checks take – interstingly mostly with some outcome against Arsenal – I just wonder why this one was just expedited so fast.

  12. Chris

    Last night on Arsenal.com both the commentators and studio analysts agreed with the Xhaka red card. Not only agreed but never doubted it at all. Now even though I erred on a red, at least initially, I always find it a tad frustrating when our own TV channel seems so reluctant to ever even suggest a referee has made a mistake. Surely we could expect a little partisanship on our own channel ?

    That being said, when I watched the highlights on Arsenal.com this morning (different commentators to the live broadcast as is usual) I was pleased to hear David Hillier take an almost identical view to us saying about the incident:

    “I don’t think there’s a lot in that……..I can’t see that’s a red card. He certainly hasn’t got the ball under control. It’s not a dangerous challenge”

    Very much what we, Mikey and a couple of others have pointed out.

    Nice to hear. We should get more of this on our own channel. I mean if they cant be partisan on there what the hell ??

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