Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arshavin Hits Reds for Four

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arshavin Hits Reds for Four

Article excerpt

FOUR goals from Andrey Arshavin put a huge dent in Liverpool's Barclays Premier League title hopes as Arsenal drew at Anfield.

The hosts went ahead of Manchester United on goal difference, having come from behind three times, starting with Arshavin's first in the 36th minute.

Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun scored soon after the interval, but three further goals from the Russian Gunner piled the pressure back on Rafael Benitez's side, and even a second from Torres and an injury-time equaliser from Benayoun, were not enough to force victory.

The result hands a huge advantage to United, who have two matches in hand with the first tonight at home to Portsmouth.

Liverpool were architects of their own downfall as the first three Arsenal goals came from mistakes.

It was almost a carbon copy of their Champions League exit against Chelsea a week ago when a 4-4 draw at Stamford Liverpool 4 Arsenal 4

Bridge saw them miss out on the semifinals.

Torres and Albert Riera should have done better with their early efforts to test the fragile confidence of Lucasz Fabianski but both fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Javier Mascherano fired wide after 15 minutes as Arsenal were content to soak up what Liverpool had to offer and swiftly counter-attack when the chance arose.

Referee Howard Webb waved away Liverpool appeals in the 26th minute when Mikael Silvestre appeared to catch Dirk Kuyt on the edge of the area.

Arsenal's first chance came when they broke quickly from a Liverpool corner and Cesc Fabregas volleyed wide after Daniel Agger, making his 50th league appearance, had got in Jose Reina's way as he tried to punch clear.

A smart turn by Torres on Kolo Toure saw the Spain striker fire in a 25-yard shot, which Fabianski could only parry, but Silvestre cleared the danger.

Samir Nasri then had to clear off the line at the far post after Agger flicked on Xabi Alonso's right-wing corner, before the Gunners hit their hosts with a sucker punch in the 36th minute. …

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