Friday, August 19, 2011

Arsenal v Liverpool: Classic encounters

Plenty of great clashes down the years between Arsenal and Liverpool
By Emdad Rahman

Championship decider
May 26 1989: Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal
The title showdown is considered by many to be the greatest game ever seen in the top flight. Liverpool had experienced the horror of Hillsborough and were in pole position to win the double in front of home fans.

George Graham's young Gunners had completed an admirable season at the top of the First Division. Astonishingly they had made it to the last game of the season and were still in with a chance of winning the title.

Nobody in their right mind thought that the Gunners could pull of a shock 2-0 win at Anfield. They did just that with Alan Smith nodding Arsenal ahead after half time before Michael Thomas sprung the Liverpool defence in the last few seconds of the game to score a heart stopping winner and take the League to north London.

Magic of the F.A Cup
May 12 2001: Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal
It was the year Gerard Houllier's Liverpool won three domestic trophies, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that Arsenal were hard done by during this Millennium Stadium F.A Cup Final clash.

Freddie Ljungberg rewarded Arsenal domination with a goal and it looked very much like the famous trophy would be heading to north London.
However young Michael Owen had other ideas, latching onto Patrick Berger’s exquisite through ball to complete the coup de grace and a clinical eight minute brace to mug the Gunners at the death.

Champagne Charlie breaks Rushie’s record
April 5 1987: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool had never lost a match in any competition when Ian Rush had scored. Rushie duly scored the first during a Littlewoods Cup Final watched by 96,000 at Wembley. Charlie Nicholas had other ideas.

As Arsenal ramped up the pressure, Champagne Charlie turned the screw by scoring two goals to win the match for George Graham’s team and take the Cup back to Highbury.

'Invincibles' run riot
April 9 2004: Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool

This mouth-watering clash took place during the 2003/04 'Invincibles' season.
Arsenal had a rocky run up to the game after being knocked out of the Champions League and F.A Cup by Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Gunners trailed 2-1 at half time and something special was needed to put things back on track. Enter Thierry Henry. Arsenal's greatest player took centre stage and completed a second half hat trick, whilst Robert Pires scored the other to complete a memorable 4-2 win.

Champions League magic
April 8 2008: Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal (5-3 agg)
Liverpool booked a Champions League last four showdown with Chelsea after a stunning late win.

Rafa Benitez's men had drawn 1-1 at the Emirates and were favourites to book their passage into the semis. Arsene Wenger's side refused to buckle and Frenchman Abou Diaby put the Gunners into an early lead. Sami Hyypia then allowed Phillipe Senderos to nod an equaliser.

Fernando Torres looked to have wrapped the tie up but Emmanuel Adebayor struck after a mesmerising run from Theo Walcott. Steven Gerrard added from the spot after Kolo Toure upended Ryan Babel, before Babel himself rounded off a scintillating night of European football at Anfield.

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