ARSENAL WERE DESPERATE to avenge their 5-1 hammering by Liverpool in the league last weekend as the FA Cup quarter final awaited.
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Final scoreline below
15.37 – Good afternoon y’all. Let us get you started with the two teams for today’s clash:
Liverpool: Jones, Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Cissokho, Gerrard, Allen, Coutinho, Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge.
Rare start in goal for Brad Jones there. The triple ‘S’ attack force remains in place for the visitors.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Podolski, Sanogo.
15.39 – Liverpool fans, you can take in the glory of your side’s 5-1 thumping over the Gunners last weekend. Arsenal fans, go make yourselves a cup of tea:
15.42 – Draw made there for the FA Cup quarter finals. Here is how it looks:
Arsenal/Liverpool v Everton
Brighton/Hull v Sunderland
Sheffield United/Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday/Charlton
Manchester City v Wigan
16.02 – Liverpool hug it out before regrouping on the halfway line to pay tribute to the late, great footballer Tom Finney. Arsenal are already there. warm applause breaks out before heads are bowed:
16.04 – KICK-OFF
Everton await the winners. Guess who is commentating on BT Sports? Andy Gray. Goodness. Gracious. Me.
16.05 – 2 mins - We almost have an early Liverpool lead, again. Gerrard slides Sturridge in but his effort is turned away for a corner.
16.06 – 3 mins - Arsenal clear and earn a corner of their own but Oxlade Clamberlain puts too much pepper on his whipped cross.
16.08 – This man is on the bench for Arsenal today. He was busy on Twitter this morning:
16.09 – 5 mins - Sturridge in behind the Gunners defence again. He skips around Fabianski but thrashes his effort into the side netting from a tight angle.
16.12 – 8 mins - Play settling down now after Liverpool’s lightning start. Arsenal shadow-boxing at present but not making passes stick in the final third.
16.16 – 11 mins - Yaya Sanogo has a dash at goal but is blocked down and the ball brushes back off his leg. Arsenal plucked him from second division football.
16.18 – 14 mins - Brad Jones doesn’t fancy making a clean catch of a cross and gifts Arsenal a corner. Ozil’s cross is headed clear, Flanagan then earns a yellow card for chopping down Monreal.
16.21 – GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool (Oxlade Chamberlain ’16)
Pinball wizard stuff in the box as Ozil whips in a cross. The ball eventually falls to The Ox, who slots home from 10 yards out.
16.23 – 19 mins - Yellow card now for Coutinho, who hacks down Oxlade-Chamberlain. Home crowd getting into the game now too.
16.24 – Here is that opening goal:
Source: BT Sport
16.25 – 21 mins - Head tennis in the Arsenal box before Suarez fouls Koscielny after he was outmuscled out on the left flank.
16.27 – 24 mins - Great ball into the box by Suarez but Sterling is slow to react and only gets his studs to the ball.
16.31 – 27 mins - Flamini doing what he does best and shutting down an attacking team by slightly illegal means. He is whistled on this occasion. Quick free is played out to the right but Flanagan’s cross is off cue.
16.35 – 30 mins - Sanogo runs into a brick, Arsenal wall. Gerrard concedes a corner after tracking back on Podolski. It is headed clear before Gerrard clatters into the German in the centre circle.
16.36 – 33 mins - Podolkski rattles into Flanagan but is not booked. Away fans not happy about that. Sterling makes a mug out of Jenkinson as he weaves into the box before unwisely trying to score from a 6 degree angle when Allen was waiting for a tap-in.
16.38 – 35 mins – Another swipe from Flamini, this time on Gerrard, earns him a yellow card.
16.39 – 36 mins - Ozil jigs through the Liverpool defence but his effort is blocked. The ball falls to Podolski but his effort is high and wide.
16.44 – 40 mins - Suarez is stuck out on the right wing in the first half. Not were Liverpool fans would really want him but he is making in-roads. Sturridge is in the central role.
16.46 – 42 mins – Sterling finds Joe Allen this time but he has the ball nicked away from him. Gerrard then earns a yellow card for hauling down Oxlade-Chamberlain.
16.48 – 44 mins - Sanogo has an effort on goal blocked by Agger and it loops harmlessly up for Jones.
16.50 – 45 mins - Arsenal finish on the attack to end a positive half of football for them. That should calm the nerves of the Gunners fans.
16.50 – HALF-TIME
Source: EMPICS Sport
17.05 – The second half KICKS OFF
17.06 – 46 mins - Stealthy start by the Reds and Suarez is denied by the outstetched boot of Fabianski in the Arsenal goal. Great save.
17.08 – GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool (Podolski ’47)
Oxlade Chamberlain with a great cut back and the German can’t miss from 8 yards out.
17.09 – Here is that Fabianski save, which may prove very crucial after that second goal.
17.10 – 49 mins - Arsenal with another corner but Sanogo can’t get enough on the cross and the danger passes.
17.11 – This is the Podolski goal, his sixth of the season:
17.13 – 52 mins - Podolski will take a trip into Howard Webb’s black book of boldness for his foul on Coutinho.
17.14 – 53 mins - Ping! Suarez takes a touch to glide past Koscielny before unloading a volley that dips too late and goes a yard over Fabianski’s bar.
Liverpool fans decide to keep the ball after the Suarez volley, prompting some cat-calls from the Arsenal legions.
17.16 – 55 mins - Great save from Jones there as he gets a left arm down to stop Ozil’s low drive.Sterling then tries to find Suarez on the back post but the chance comes to nothing.
17.17 – 57 mins - Frantic football st present as both sides stream forward. Jones has to punch clear after a lovely diagonal ball is played into the Reds’ box. Sturridge then stings Fabianski’s paws.
17.18 – PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL…
17.20 – GOAL! Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (Gerrard ’59)
Podolski was very clumsy there but Suarez needs little encouragement. He drops, Webb points to the spot and Gerrard sends the goalkeeper the wrong way.
17.22 – Here is that Suarez fall/Podolski foul:
17.23 – 62 mins - Fabianski to the rescue again as he goes to ground and swipes the ball away from Sturridge, who was through on goal. Flanagan then chopped outside his box by Arteta. Suarez or Gerrard with the 22-yard free?
17.26 – 64 mins - It’s Suarez. It’s off the wall. He goes in for a second bite and is cleaved by Oxlade-Chamberlain. Should be a penalty but Webb, 10 yards away, waves play on. Horrible decision.
Source: BT Sports
17.29 – 68 mins - Cazorla comes on for Podolski as Wenger tries to wrest control of the midfield back. Jenkinson slides in brilliantly to steal the ball from the charging Flanagan. Sterling whips in a cross that Koscielny heads clear.
17.32 – 71 mins - Cazorla has a chance to kill off Liverpool as Skrtel fails to clear properly. He sends the ball back to Highbury. It may well have cleared the Emirates towering roof.
17.35 – 75 mins - Another defensive change as Gibbs replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain. Into the final quarter now.
17.37 – 76 mins - Sub Henderson finds Suarez but he is closed down and his shot is comfortably saved by Fabianski.
17.38 – 78 mins - Great Gerrard pass finds Coutinho on the left wing but his cross is snatched by Fabianski.
17.42 – 81 mins - Skrtel with an extremely high boot but he just about gets enough on the ball as Cazorla spirals to the turf. The Arsenal subs have taken the sting out of the visitors.
17.44 – 84 mins - Jenkinson wants a corner but his claims are waved off. He turns on his heels and sprints back to his right-back position.
17.49 – 87 mins - Sanogo gets a warm round of applause as Giroud — who apologised for some personal, nocturnal indiscretions this morning — comes on.
Liverpool were claiming another penalty a moment ago as Fabianski took Skrtel out when coming to claim a cross. He got none of the ball but had his eyes on it. Would have been harsh.
17.51 – 89 mins - Gerrard to whip in a free kick from 40 yards out. Dangerous cross but Fabianski is fouled while claiming the ball.
17.52 – 90 +1 mins - Cazorla wastes possession with a poor cross for Giroud. He may have been wiser heading for the corner flag.
17.52 – 90 +2 mins - One minute left. Liverpool throw-in. Henderson almost wins a corner but Koscielny hacks clear.
17.53 – 90 +3 mins - Foul by Suarez and arsenal will win this one. Fabianski pumps the ball long and Webb blows the whistle. Another Arsenal crisis averted.
17.54 – FULL-TIME
17.57 – Gary McAllister says, on BT Sports, that Suarez reputation may have went against him for that Oxlade-Chamberlain hack. What do you think?
Final score: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool