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As it happened: Liverpool v Arsenal

by Josh Powell | September 2, 2012

Brendan Rodgers

The Paddy Power Blog brings you live text commentary from Anfield where Liverpool face Arsenal

Full Time
Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal – Podolski 30, Cazorla 67

3.24pm: A tough week for Liverpool ends in defeat and Liverpool have had their worst start to a league campaign for 50 years. Just one point from nine and today’s performance will do nothing to lift the mood at Anfield. As for Arsenal, they are yet to taste defeat in the league, haven’t conceded a goal and two of their new boys found the back of the net today. Suddenly life without RVP doesn’t seem so bad.

3.22pm: FULL TIME LIVERPOOL 0-2 ARSENAL

3.20pm: Two minutes of added time remaining and Arsenal deserve the win here. A very good performance from the Gunners. But where does this leave Liverpool?

3.20pm: Shelvey who has been at the thick of it since coming on, now picks up a YELLOW CARD for bundling over Aaron Ramsey. That was clumsy more than anything.

3.19pm: GREAT SAVE! Shelvey drives a ferocious effort from outside the area which Mannone does fantastically well to tip around the post. From the corner Glenn Johnson gets his header all wrong and ends up heading it across goal rather than at goal.

3.18pm: Arsenal fans cheering every pass now. The trip back down South won’t seem so long after this result.

3.16pm: Gerrard slips in Suarez who tries to spin past Vermaelen. The defender does enough to challenge the South American as he puts his shot over the bar.

3.15pm: Great work from Shelvey who works room for the shot from the edge of the box. Mannone parries it back into the danger zone but Vermaelen reacts quickest to hack it away before Gerrard or Suarez can pounce. Great save and then excellent defending.

3.14pm: Arsenal have been very strong at the back despite Liverpool not offering much going forward. Wenger won’t be complaining about three clean sheets on the spin.

3.12pm: After putting up Podolski’s missus after he scored it seems only fair I do the same for Santi Cazorla. Here we go.

3.09pm: Podolski makes his way off for Andre Santos. It’s been a good day for the German who got his first goal for Arsenal and is given a huge ovation from the Arsenal end as he leaves.

3.08pm: Here’s the Cazorla goal for you. Reina fans look away now!

3.07pm: 12 minutes to go. Can Liverpool get anything from this game? They are 125/1 to win or 18/1 to draw.

3.05pm: Proof that Vermaelen is well hard. Gerrard slides in fairly but sends the defender clattering off the pitch and into the advertising hoardings. Most men would be out for the count but the Arsenal captain shrugs it off like it’s nothing. That lad is tough.

3.03pm: Selling Andy Carroll and not replacing him looks an even stranger decision now.

3.02pm: Downing was the most attacking player on the Liverpool bench this afternoon. That’s Downing who didn’t score or assist a goal all season in the league last year. That is worrying for Liverpool fans.

3.00pm: The Ox is coming off with Aaron Ramsey coming on in his place. Sensible from Wenger who knows Arsenal just have to see the last 20 minutes out with no silly errors.

2.58pm: How many ‘uncharacteristic’ mistakes does Reina have to make before we can class them as a normal part of his game? He really is racking them up now to be honest.

2.57pm: Two goals for two of Arsenal’s new men. It has been a good day so far for Arsene Wenger.

2.55pm: GOAL!! Cazorla scores! And Reina is at fault again. Lovely football from Arsenal, Cazorla plays a one-two with Podolski and his shot is driven at goal. Reina gets down quickly enough but it squirms off his body and into the net. 2-0 Arsenal.

2.54pm: CHANCE! Cazorla drags a shot just wide of Reina’s far post. Quick change for Liverpool and Sahin comes off for Jonjo Shelvey. Not the most inspiring debut from Sahin but certainly not an easy stage to start on. Diaby has been class today.

2.53pm: Downing is 11/1 to score the next goal and Sterling who has been Liverpool’s biggest threat and is giving Jenkins a horrible time is 17/2.

2.51pm: Downing looks like he has a point to prove to the gaffer. He cuts inside from the flank and his shot is blocked. From the corner there’s a bit of a scramble but Arsenal survive. Nervy moments for Mannone who flapped at the ball a few times there.

2.50pm: Arteta does well to win the ball of Downing and then uses his expereince to win a free-kick. He’s had a good game today Arteta, breaking up play and covering a lot of ground for his team.

2.49pm: Jenkinson cuts in from the right flank and drives an effort at goal that Reina does well to push away. The game definitely feels like it has another goal in it. Liverpool are evens to score next with Arsenal at 5/2.

2.48pm: Suarez is put through after a nice backheel from Downing but his drive is tipped over quite easily by Mannone.

2.44pm: PENALTY APPEAL AGAIN! Vermaelen tumbles over in the box after a challenge with Suarez and the ball hits his harm as he falls. That would have been very harsh and despite Suarez appealing ferociously, Howard Webb is not convinced.

2.42pm: Liverpool need a goal and they turn to Mr Prolific Stewart Downing! The winger is on in place Borini.

2.40pm: Great football from Arsenal and a smart stop from Pepe Reina. Gibbs is released by Podolski and Reina gets down to block his low drive. A good save by the Spaniard.

2.39pm: ANOTHER PENALTY APPEAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Again Mertesacker is involved as he appears to pull down Suarez in the box. Once again Howard Webb is unmoved by the protests.

2.37pm: Unfortunately in the excitement of Arsenal scoring their first Premier League goal I forgot to jump on the fact that Podolski scored! That means we can put up a picture of his lovely missus Monika. Happy days.

2.36pm: Skrtel picks up a YELLOW CARD for a terribly timed sliding tackle.

2.35pm: Arsenal start the half better and Cazorla has a shot well blocked. The Gunners are 21/10 to score next.

2.33pm: Second half about to start but what can Liverpool do to change things. No Andy Carroll on the bench remember and they look short of attacking options.

2.30pm: Joe Allen has once again had a decent game for Liverpool despite Arsenal probably edging the midfield battle. Allen made 39 passes in that half with a 100% success rate. Nicely done lad.

2.27pm: Sterling has been Liverpool’s best player by far in the first half. The youngster is 17/2 to find the onion bag next.

2.25pm: Here’s the goal for you in a beautiful GIF format!

2.21pm: My biggest observation in the first half? Liverpool look threatening coming forward until it reaches Borini. That fella has been terrible once again.

2.19pm: Arsenal are now 5/6 for the win with Liverpool out to 7/2. The draw is 21/10 and I fancy it to end 1-1 to be honest. It was 11/2 before the game and it’s now into 3/1.

2.17pm: HALF-TIME Arsenal lead 1-0 and it could have been even better if Giroud hadn’t missed that great opportunity. Mertesacker made a great tackle to deny Sterling in the box but Arsenal are good money to be in front.

2.16pm: Into stoppage time in the first hal with Arsenal 1-0 up and playing well. Diaby has had a great 45 minutes in the middle of the park.

2.14pm: Seen the replay and Webb is spot on to be fair to him. Mertesacker slides in and gets his studs on the ball to knock it away from Sterling. A very well timed tackle and an equally good decision from the ref. Well played Howard.

2.12pm: Waiting for a replay of the Sterling challenge and penno appeal. I have to admit watching it in real time I thought it was a penalty but Howard Webb disagreed and he gets paid to ref. I get paid to write this and occasionally come up with something witty or put up a picture of a sexy WAG.

2.11pm: Giroud looks like he’s playing that miss over and over again in his head at the moment. It was a big chance.

2.10pm: MASSIVE PENALTY SHOUT! Suarez slips in Sterling who gets his jink on once again inside the box. A sliding challenge comes in and Sterling goes down but Howard Webb says no. From the break Giroud is put in with a golden opportunity but shoots well wide! This game has exploded!

2.08pm: Arsenal struggle to clear the ball and it eventually falls to Raheem Sterling who crashes a shot off the outside of the POST. Closest Liverpool have come.

2.06pm: Corner for Liverpool and Skrtel and Agger come forward. Vermaelen heads it out but Arsenal can’t break.

2.04pm: Arsenal fans singing the RVP song but with ‘Podolski’ slotted in instead. That’s a bit worrying to be honest. It’s a good three and a bit hours on a train from London to Liverpool – that’s plenty of time to come up with a song.

2.02pm: Arsenal fans loved that goal and rightly so. It was a very accomplished finished. Left-footed, hard and low past the keeper. A solid finish from the striker who opens his account for the season.

2.00pm: GOAL! I told you Arsenal had goals in them! Gerrard gives the ball away in the Arsenal half and they break with pace. Cazorla slips in RVP  Podolski and the German rifles past Reina

2.00pm: Arsenal lacking that little bit of quality in the final third and it is hard to see them scoring on the evidence of the opening half an hour here.

1.58pm: Gerrard looks lively early on and that has got Paddy worried! He’s refunding all the usual markets if Gerrard scores at any time!

1.56pm: Sterling wins the ball and speeds forward riding a couple of challenges before getting clattered by Arteta. It’s a YELLOW CARD for the Spaniard and a free-kick practically central about 25 yards from goal. Suarez rolls it to Gerrard who hits an Arsenal man charging it down.

1.55pm: Giroud goes up to challenge Reina after a mistake from Jose Enrique but is penalised for pushing the keeper over. No complaints there. The atmosphere at Anfield is a touch more subdued then it was 25 minutes ago.

1.53pm: Liverpool are 5/6 to win with Arsenal a whopping 7/2. The draw is 21/10.

1.51pm: Suarez tries to do to much and takes a lot of time trying to get his cross in and Mertesacker makes the tackle. Just before that the Gunners had a decent spell of possession and have started to impose themselves in the middle of the park.

1.50pm: The Ox is winded by Luis Suarez and looks in pain. The camera cuts to Brendan Rodgers who is scribbling down notes on his little pad again.

1.49pm: Reina under pressure from Cazorla boots the ball into play. Reina had a lot of time there but looked nervous. It wouldn’t be a bad plan for Arsenal to test the Liverpool keeper from range in this game.

1.48pm: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has continued to do a great impression of Theo Walcott by running really fast but having no end product.

1.46pm: Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous position but it is well defended by Steven Gerrard.  

1.43pm: CHANCE! It’s for Liverpool from a corner and Agger who rises in plenty of space can’t make contact as the ball flashes past his forehead six yards from goal. Great delivery by Gerrard and if Agger had made contact it would be 1-0 to Liverpool.

1.41pm: Arsenal have half a chance as Cazorla takes a snap shot from the edge of the area. To everyone’s surprise Reina manages to hold it without fumbling so it stays 0-0. Cazorla is 14/1 to score first.

1.40pm: Liverpool come forward again and some lovely footwork from the 17-year-old Sterling opens up some room for Borini. Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, in particular the ones sat behind the goal, the ball is not on target and is going into the crowd and a decent rate of knots.

1.38pm: Arsenal haven’t lost in the league here since 2007. The double result of Arsenal or a draw is a tasty looking 5/6.

1.36pm: Suarez gets hauled down by Mertesacker who picks up a YELLOW CARD for his troubles. Free kick in a dangerous position about 25 yards out. Suarez wellies it into the stand.

1.35pm: The Arsenal defence invites Borini to run at them and shoot and that tactic seems to be working. Borini does shoot and, as expected if you’d seen him in the opening two games, it went well well wide.

1.33pm: Opening five minutes and Arsenal have settled down and seen plenty of the ball early on.

1.32pm: Will today be the day that Arsenal score? They’re business in the transfer window was arguably a touch better than Liverpools and Brendan Rodgers was clearly annoyed that he wasn’t able to do any more business before Friday.

1.30pm: Liverpool get us underway!

1.29pm: Howard Webb is in charge which is interesting because I just can’t see how Manchester United will win this game.

1.28pm: You’ll Never Walk Alone rings out around the stadium and we’re almost ready for the off. This could be a cracker. I might have jinxed it so the 0-0 is 11/1 but fingers crossed for a belter!

1.26pm: The players make their way out of the tunnel and the Kop is in full voice on today, Bill Shankley’s birthday. Happy Birthday Bill.

1.23pm: If Gerrard scores at anytime Paddy will refund all losing first goalscorer, last goalscorer, scorecast and correct score singles on the match. You’re a good egg Paddy.

1.20pm: A few first goalscorer shouts for you. Suarez is 5/1, Borini is 11/2, and Gerrard is 7/1. New boy Sahin is an appealing 14/1 in the betting. Arsenal hate scoring goals but we’ve priced them up anyway. Podolski and Giroud are both 8/1. The Ox is a 14/1 shout.

1.17pm: Liverpool have only won one of the last 10 fixtures against Arsenal and I fancy this one to end in a draw. 1-1 is appealing and is 11/2 in the market.

1.17pm: There’s a few people here in Power Tower who have backed Liverpool but looking at the prices 3/1 for Arsenal seems massive.

1.16pm: The odds ahead of the game look like this: A Liverpool win is evens, an Arsenal win is 3/1 and the draw is 23/10.

1.15pm: So the star on loan from Real Madrid Nuri Sahin is given a start by Brendan Rodgers and Raheem Sterling, who had a good game against Manchester City, keeps his place. As for Arsenal the Ox is preferred instead of want-away man Theo Walcott and Mannone continues in goal.

1.14pm: Team news:

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Allen, Sahin, Borini, Suarez, Sterling. Subs: Jones, Henderson, Coates, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.

Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Walcott, Ramsey, Coquelin, Gervinho.

1.12pm: A little over quarter of an hour until kick-off with both teams looking for their first win of the season. We’ve done some number crunching for you to inform your betting ahead of the game which you can read here. Team news on the way!

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