Saturday, November 2, 2013

Arsenal 2 - Liverpool 0

Arsenal have made a great start to the Premier League season, but they haven't played any of the top contenders (among whom I do not count Spurs). But in the last week, Arsenal have lost two home games to top opponents: Dortmund in the Champions League and Chelsea in the League Cup (in the later match Wenger rested several of his starters). So, some fans were understandably nervous ahead of today's home match against a quality Liverpool squad.

They needn't have worried. Although Arsenal only occasionally hit their fluid best on a few occasions throughout the match, they pretty thoroughly dominated Liverpool. Santi Cazorla scored in the first half half-volleying a rebound off the crossbar of his own header from about 10 yards out. In the second half, Aaron Ramsey settled everyone's nerves with a second goal created from almost nothing. Ozil picked him out with a short cross just outside the box. Ramsey took one touch then calmly stoked the ball with the outside of his foot, curling it past the diving Liverpool goalkeeper. Such is his scoring form that just about anything Ramsey tries seems to fly in the net.

Arsenal's defense created a few nervy moments as time wound down, but Liverpool never seemed likely to climb back into the match. It was just what the Gunners needed: a good solid win against a quality opponent. Right now, Arsenal's midfield looks so strong that very few teams (either in the Premier League or the Champion's League) will be able to cope with them. In particular, Ozil seems to be improving his underestanding with Cazorla, Ramsey, Rosicky, and the others from one week to the next.

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