andrei arshavin: player of the month

Tuesday night saw one of the most remarkable games in the history of the Premier League. The match between Liverpool and Arsenal, played at Anfield, produced a thrilling 4-4 draw. This is the second time in a week that Liverpool have taken part in a 4-4 draw (the previous being against Chelsea in an equally amazing Champions League match) and the third game in a row where they have scored four goals. With Arsene Wenger admitting before the game that Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie would be unavailable for the game, Arsenal's attacking options looked bleak. However, Andrei Arshavin proved the doubters wrong by becoming the first player in over 60 years to score four goals at Anfield in a league game. Liverpool arguably started the stronger of the two teams looking dangerous in attack; however, they fell behind to Arshavin’s first goal just after the half hour mark. Liverpool duly responded through Torres and 10 minutes after the interval found themselves 2-1 up through Yossi Benayoun with help from more suspect defending from Arsenal. The emphasis was definitely on attack throughout the match. Some evidence of this can be seen from the eight goals on show along with two disallowed goals for Arsenal (both marginal offsides), and Lukasz Fabianski and Pepe Reina will both admit that they we’re busier than they would have liked.

Statistics show that Arshavin touched the ball a mere 20 times, with four of those touches resulting in goals. The second and the fourth of the Russians goals showed his impressive technical ability with the ball at his feet. For Arsenal’s second goal Arshavin shrewdly pinched the ball off of a lax Arbeloa, cut inside and smashed a venomous swerving shot past a helpless Reina. Arshavin later admitted that he does not view himself as being at full potential because he was so quiet during the opening periods of the match. “I don't think I have adapted yet because in the first half I was quiet except for the one moment when I scored. It's difficult but I will try—I need time…and then everything will be better.”

Liverpool, who have shown when they attack, can be one of the most entertaining teams in the league, went ahead 2-1, but then found themselves trailing three times before finally leveling the score for good at four all. To nobody’s surprise it came in injury time after Arsenal went up 4-3 in the 90th minute. It was the sixth goal of the second half. Arshavin, who the genius Arsene Wenger left to rot on the bench for 75 minutes in Arsenal’s FA Cup loss to Chelsea on the weekend, was deadly in his finishing, while Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun scored twice for Liverpool. And when you throw in two goals that were ruled offside by Arsenal, the ball hit the back of the net 10 times. Well actually nine, as one of Benayoun’s just managed to cross the goal line. Benayoun impresses me every time out. I think he’s a very underrated player and has been a key in Liverpool’s push for the title. While Liverpool have one point more than they had yesterday, and have temporarily moved into first place in the EPL on goal difference, they actually dropped two points in the race for the title. While Liverpool fans no doubt witnessed a match of epic proportions, this will soon sink in and it will be Man United and Chelsea fans who will actually benefit most from this game. It just goes to show how exciting a football match can be when both teams go for goals as mistakes are usually forced. Every manager in the league should be forced to watch the tape of this match.

(source: tribal, goal, William Hill Tennis Betting)


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