Feed on

We came into the game high on hope, buoyed by 7 consecutive wins. At the same time, despite a curiously poor season, Liverpool had only been beaten twice at home all season:  by Leeds, in the league at the end of October, and then by Real Madrid in the Champions League. Over the season they had beaten Citeh and Newcastle in the league and even high-flying Napoli, highly likely to win the Scudetto this season and with huge talents in Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia. Not to mention the absolute humiliation of United recently by 7-0. Yes it was first vs eighth, but it is Liverpool’s away form which has dragged them down.

We started very brightly with a display of controlled possession. On 8 minutes a breakthrough the midfield, WITH Saka running inside off the touchline to receive a pass from White, saw us drive towards goal, Saka attempting a one-two with Odegaard which was knocked into the path of the onrushing Martinelli to nudge into the net, taking it early and catching the keeper off-guard. A super start.

Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Saka and Martinelli were both on the end of rough stuff, indeed perhaps Robertson could have been booked earlier than he was for one particularly late challenge on Saka. This was indicative of the fact that both wingers had their respective full backs on toast.

However, Liverpool, while largely being well marshalled, were not without threat and a smart through ball to Robertson from Fabinho saw the full back running into the penalty area behind Ben White and shooting a foot or two wide. 

Then on twenty-eight, a short pass from Partey to Xhaka on the halfway line in a wide position saw the Swiss put a lovely, chipped pass over the head of Alexander-Arnold for Martinelli to run on to. He checked and saw Jesus had moved onto a position behind Van Dyke in the Liverpool area, with Robertson preoccupied by looking for the run of Saka behind him. Martinelli crossed on his right foot over the head of Van Dyke for Jesus to bury a header, with the hapless Robertson having realised too late what was going on to make a real challenge. The goal was a thing of beauty. 

Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0

We were now playing imperious football and it looked as though we would coast to half time. However, some unnecessary involvement from Xhaka with Alexander-Arnold enabled the Liverpool players to rouse their supporters and the game began to turn. A minute or two later Liverpool progressed the ball down their left, Jones performed a nice back heel into the path of the overlapping Jota who crossed. Henderson, until now only a marginal presence in the game, managed to pull away from Holding and deflect the ball towards the back post. Gabriel was caught out by the deflection and could only manage to knock the ball onto the foot of the onrushing Salah and into the next. It was a real blow towards the end of a first half which we had largely dominated. You could see why Liverpool have been so hard to beat at home.

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

On the half-time whistle, there was some handbags as the players left the field. Robertson grabbed the linesman’s arm, after clearly being ignored while attempting to whine for no apparent reason. The linesman threw his arm out to release the grip and caught Robertson on the chin. Cue the kind of bitching which might usually be reserved for, say, an incorrect penalty decision or maybe a VAR “forgetting” to review an offside call. It is not often I agree with Roy Keane but his summation of Robertson as “a big baby” was spot on. The referee rightly booked him. He had transgressed but then wanted to play the victim as a result. Pitiful. In the light of the minimum 8 match ban on Mitrovic for putting hands on the referee the other week, it will be interesting to see how the PGMOL/PL manage to wriggle their way out of imposing a similar ban on Robertson.

Second Half

Liverpool started the second halfas they had finished the first: aggressive and piling on the pressure.

Then we had another of those unintelligible refereeing and VAR decisions. From a Liverpool corner, the ball dropped in front of a group of players. Jota and Holding both set off towards it and Jota went down. Unhesitatingly the referee gave a penalty. Now all the pundits seem united in saying that was a penalty. I just can’t understand it. There is no foul, just two players tangling legs in running for the ball. Even if the referee gives it, surely VAR can see there is no intent and that the referee has got this clearly and obviously wrong. You wouldn’t get that as a pen in park football so for a group of professional officials all to agree that this is a penalty takes incompetence, or worse, to a higher level in my opinion. Compare and contrast with the penalty not given for the foul on Mitoma on Saturday. Quite honestly, what are the individuals on VAR duty doing? Clearly they are either not watching, not using replays or choosing not to apply the rules. Fortunately, Salah managed to miss the target and justice was done.

Liverpool then really began to press and command the game. At the same time, I think Arteta’s post-match description of it as “chaotic” was pretty much spot on. They didn’t so much control the game as have more aggressive forward-playing intent. We took on the role of the counter attacking side and had some good opportunities. However, the fact that we approached the end of the match still ahead was really down to fine goalkeeping from Ramsdale with 2 or three superb saves to deny Salah and Nunez.

After holding on for 86 minutes, the inevitable happened. Alexander-Arnold, another pretty peripheral player and one whose form, as a full back, has fallen off a cliff, nutmegged the clearly exhausted Zinchenko to float a far-post cross headed in by Firmino.

Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2

Despite the lateness of the goal, the game still wasn’t over. From a Salah shot which deflected off Gabriel and was head to nestle into the inside of the top left side netting of Ramsdale’s goal, the Arsenal keeper made a flying intervention of the kind which some of the best keepers in history would have been proud. And then we had a break which only a relatively poor ball from Martinelli to Saka prevented from turning into a genuine match-winning opportunity

Final Score Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2


Unfortunately, now we see the true impact of the Premier League’s continued use of PGMOL to supervise matches. We should have another 2 points. But due to – well, you tell me: Incompetence? Nipping outside for a crafty smoke during the game and missing the action? “Other”? – we were deprived of the two points against Brentford which by rights would have given us the comfortable cushion our performance to date deserves. “Formed in 2001 to improve refereeing standards…” is the first line from the website. Not the PGMOL website. There isn’t one. This is from a PGMOL page on the Premier League website. That’s right. In 2023, the body responsible for overseeing matches has no public face. Curiously, only the Premier League website itself. Sure, timeserving talent vacuum Lee Mason got The Order of the Boot but that only helps the other clubs who would have had to suffer after under the oversight of this curiouslyincompetent troll. There needs to be a cleaning of the Augean stables; the monument to mediocrity or worse that is PGMOL needs to be jet-washed away with extreme prejudice and an entirely new group of people, perhaps not all from a 20-mile radius of one Northwest city, taking its place. Given the money in the Premier League, it is embarrassing that such an approach is needed, if only so that the watching world can continue to have faith in the integrity of the Premier League as a competition.

We are now 6 points in the lead. However, assuming City win their game in hand the title might well be decided at the Etihad at the end of the month. A draw will be enough for us and on the showing today it’s far from impossible for us to achieve it. We still have to go to Newcastle but then City still have to play Brighton and Brentford away, both tricky games. 

Make no mistake, for around 50 minutes of this game we were absolutely battered. Having worked out that Alexander-Arnold and Robertson were well outmatched by Martinelli and Saka respectively, Klopp’s trump card was to deploy the centre halves, Konate and Van Dyke, on them. The out ball to the wide men was thus negated and much of our threat was curtailed. Other managers will have noted this and may well look to employ it. Of course, they don’t have 2 such high-quality centre halves nor the Anfield crowd so good luck with that. 

We now have to pick ourselves up and go again. The next two games are fortunately against more humble opposition, and we have a week in between to recover. City have an incredibly tough double header against Bayern this week and next with, unfortunately, only doomed Leicester in between, for which they could probably field a mix of their second XI — you know World Cup winner, Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, those types — and their u21s and still win. We have to focus on ourselves and go and do what we can. 

Whatever the outcome to this season, it has been an incredible journey and the manager, players, staff and owners deserve our fulsome praise. With Champions League next season almost guaranteed, let us hope that the team of Garlick, Edu and Arteta can make some more magic happen and get in some more extraordinary talent in the mould of Jesus, Ødegaard, Ramsdale and White. Combined with the maturation of our young stars and possibly the budding of a couple more, we could be witnessing the start of a special period.

78 Drinks to “Nobody Said It Would Be Easy….”

  1. 1
    Countryman100 says:

    A very fair and accurate report CER. Bath described the game in the last drinks as enervating. A very good word. I was absolutely shattered at the end of it. I also saw on Twitter this morning a poll (I think from She Wore) asking was it a point gained or two points lost. My answer was to tweet back, where’s the option for both? A draw was the fair result. We were the best team for 40 minutes, they were the best team for 50. Ramsdale was utterly superb, making save after save. The tactical move of the game was to move TAA into midfield. He was freed from the torture of having Martinelli constantly running at him to a position where he truly influenced the game with his passing. I am also not inclined to join the chorus of condemnation for Xhaka who IMHO was more sinned against than sinning. Now win the next two and by the time we face City we will be nine points and two games ahead of them. It is emphatically still on.

  2. 2
    Sancho Panza says:

    Let’s move on to preparing for West Ham and looking forward to 3 points.
    We didn’t lose anyone to injury or suspension and hopefully we will have William nearer to a come back.
    And MA has probably learnt a lot more about substitutions from this game.
    We are top of the league, God is a Gooner and no one likes financially doped oil slicks.

  3. 3
    North Bank Ned says:

    Indeed, a far and accurate report, CER. Eight games to go. Win them one at a time.

  4. 4
    Ollie says:

    Cheers CER.

  5. 5
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks CER, that’s a good report and as you say we are still 6 points in front.
    As you also say it was never a penalty, the ref was indeed useless and the game at the corruptdictatorhad is looking pivotal at the moment. On to West Ham and take the three points.

  6. 6
    Las says:

    Well said! Cheers CER.
    It’s not easy to come away from Anfield with a point and we just did that.
    Well done from such a young team and manager from his first job. Ramsdale was superb thankfully.
    Win the next match!

  7. 7
    Trev says:

    Good work, CER, thank you !

    Nothing to disagree with in your match section but I’m most interested in your conclusion.
    PGMOL is indeed a disgrace – an unaccountable collection of officials who heap controversy on themselves week after week with inconsistent and incomprehensible decisions, now augmented with VAR ( all the same rotating individuals ) who randomly agree, disagree and interfere, or not, with them, generally leaving an amazing level of elite professional football discussion playing a distinct second fiddle to their nonsense.

    Yesterday, for example, saw Jordan Henderson at one point, with a gob like the Mersey Tunnel, mouthing off right in the face of the referee. The referee, by the way, who could have already made life a lot more difficult for them, had he dealt more consistently with their lumbering centre back who was left to crash at will into our forwards.

    At half time, when the linesman threw out an arm to rid himself of the ever carping Andy Robertson, he accidentally caught the Liverpool player on the chin and was immediately surrounded by a gang of Liverpool players shouting and screaming as they headed towards the tunnel. The ultimate outcome of all this will be interesting. In the meantime, PGMOL has used all it’s powers of logic to suspend the official from all games while the incident is investigated. So they’ve now suspended one of their own who hasn’t yet even been found guilty of anything. Who sanctions this daft mob to control matches in the biggest and best league in the world. Oh yes, they do that themselves.

    On a positive note, until the Liverpool crowd woke up, we were dominating the game and had a very impressive 2-0 lead. I can see how the Xhaka incident triggered them but Granit must be very fed up with the unpunished treatment dished out to him, considering how his own drastically reduced indiscretions are dealt with ( oops, PGMOL again ). Once that crowd gets going though, so steep and close to the pitch, Anfield is a very difficult place to play, as acknowledged pre-match by Mikel Arteta.

    A shout out for Rob Holding who again stepped up and performed very well – and didn’t deserve to have a penalty given against him for an innocent tangle with the ever tumbling Jota. Aaron Ramsdale was quite brilliant throughout and must be wondering who sees what in Jordan Pickford that is maintaining the latter as England’s No 1.

    Two points dropped from a 2-0 lead, for sure, but that is quite the turn round for us up there.

  8. 8
    BtM says:

    Excellent report, CER.

    I’ve been apprehensive about this fixture for some time, more so than for the forthcoming games at the Emptihad, and before kick-off, I’d probably have been happy with a draw. We were superb for 40 minutes – a best in the league sequence.

    However, 40ish minutes brought the Xhaka incident which sparked a “You f***ing idiot, Xhaka” from me as soon as he hit TAA from behind. In that moment the mindset of everyone in that stadium was influenced, very unfavourably from an Arsenal viewpoint. He’s the senior player. He should know much better.

    That was a very soft penalty, but with a wobbling ref and 50k baying scousers, a kick on the back of an opposition player in the box is only ever going to result in one thing. Was it softer than Ayling’s kick on Jesus last week? Fortunately, Jesus is a more competent spot kicker than Salah (whose talents are waning as quickly as Ozil’s and Auba’s did).

    The title is still there to be won, managing youthful emotions and senior brain farts will be key to outcome we all crave.

  9. 9
    Countryman100 says:

    A reminder of some of Liverpool’s home games this season.

    Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle
    Liverpool 1-0 Man City
    Liverpool 2-0 Napoli
    Liverpool 7-0 Manchester Utd
    Liverpool 9-0 Bournemouth

    They’re quite good at home.

  10. 10
    TTG says:

    Firstly that is a great match report CER . It was a belter of a game the sort I like t9 watch with a Guinness or two without being emotionally involved. But I felt dragged through the wringer yesterday and I absolutely salute Ramsdale who was magnificent . I’ve occasionally suggested he can be impetuous but he has balls of steel and was quite superb at the end C100 makes some very good points . Anfield is a desperately tough place to go and we got a point more than Citeh did from their trip . And at no stage did Citeh turn Liverpool inside out as we did.
    I find myself getting very nervous just before half time and the concession of a goal then was crucial. While I’m not jumping to the defence of Granit the place was a powder keg. Of course a more balanced player woukd have tried to calm things down but Granit doesn’t do that . He’s an irritant and usually ( this season ) a very effective one .
    Finally the penalty. CER describes it ver6 accurately. It is not a penalty in a normal world but in the world created by PGMOL/ Peter Walton / Mike Dean and the useless Tierney ( Paul) it is. I thought we were very lucky to get the one at our place this season and last week I was amazed that Ayling could provide quite such an easy opportunity for Jesus to get legitimately fouled but this wasn’t a foul. Jota decided to pretend he was tripped by Holding . It was dishonest and I’m so pleased he missed. Nevertheless Firmino came on and continued to score against us when he doesn’t score against anybody else .
    I was proud of the team yesterday . Titles aren’t won by results playing out to form and there will be a twist . Under the pressure they face its mist likely that the twist will blow up in Citeh’s face. As the biggest cheats in Premier League history that woukd be great fun

  11. 11
    ClockEndRider says:

    Just been playing around with the StatsZone app. It appears that Liverpool, for all their commitment, aggression and possession, actually didn’t have a single shot, on or off target, between minutes 57-80. That is an entire quarter of the match, and half of the second half. Extraordinary and testament to just how well we managed to defend, which we shouldn’t overlook. Perhaps the substitition of Odegaard could have been made instead for Tierney, with Zinchenko going into the midfield to fill up space and allow the fresh Tierney to play against Arnold and Saka at left back? Tiny details. I’m sure Arteta will have learned a lot from this game and it will only help to shape future decisions in these top games,

  12. 12
    Bathgooner says:

    Anfield is a very tough place to go and our history contains only a few justifiably celebrated victories. Despite their lowly position this season, Liverpool’s home record is the third best in the league and their flakiness has been on the road. I am not in the least surprised by the draw, especially after conceding a goal before half time. I had hoped for better – especially as we purred through the first 40 minutes – but feared worse, especially when under the cosh for most of the second half. The data on Liverpool’s shotless 23 minutes noted by CER @11 and Arseblog this morning is indeed a testament to how well our defence played under huge pressure in that second half.

    I share the doubts about Arteta’s substitutions expressed by many – he will have learnt from the effects of both his delay and his erroneous selection). I also share the irritation at Xhaka’s intemperance though agree with Blogs that it was probably not decisive in awakening a stunned crowd. The mistakes in the build up to their goal were more decisive both in terms of the concession of that goal and the crowd’s revival. As Esso observed in the previous drinks, Xhaka is certainly a man you would want in the trenches by your side but a smarter move on his part would have been to pull off a ‘Harry Kane’ and collapse as if shot. That would have left Arnold to receive a yellow as the clear offender though I suspect Tierney would have waved one at Xhaka anyway because that’s what a weak referee would do after feeling he had to give a favourite Scouse son a yellow. And make no mistake, Tierney is a weak referee.

  13. 13
    Bathgooner says:

    I forgot to add that our inability in the second half to hold the ball and take it out of defence in a manner that would set our pacy forwards free is ultimately an indictment of our midfield. I think we are sure to add at least one and probably two quality midfielders to the squad and probably see at least one of Partey or Xhaka leave. Partey had several brief moments of midfield magic but failed to rise to the second half challenge. I have seen some suggestions that he is carrying an injury and may have been playing within himself (he certainly wasn’t imposing himself in a PV4 manner) but in that case why not replace him with Jorginho rather than Ødegaard with Kivior? But who am I to question Arteta after what he has achieved with this squad this season?

    As I said in the preview, I don’t believe this result means we won’t win the league this season but over the piece, it may mean we are not quite good enough to do so. As Arteta observed, he would have liked to have seen us play in the second half as we did in the first 40 minutes. That would certainly have confirmed we are ready.

    There is nothing like football fandom for screwing with one’s emotions. Swinging from angst to relief as Ramsdale pulled off two wonder saves in the dying minutes of added time – wasn’t he good! (not a question) – to crushed expectation as Martinelli overcooked his pass to the breaking Saka thus losing the opportunity of a one-on-one with Allison and a possible last second winner to eclipse Nelson’s glorious moment against Bournemouth. My heart stopped.

    A final cheer for the linesman (they will always be linesmen to me) who smacked Robertson on the chops with his elbow. That fella swings from snarling vitriol to pathetic whining and isn’t a patch on KT3 as a left wing back.

  14. 14
    BtM says:

    Perspective of my very good (Liverpool supporting) friend writing in another place…….

    “Great game at Anfield yesterday. League leaders full of confidence and swagger against a mid table side struggling for consistency and form. Two direct but simple assaults exposed the colander that has become Liverpool’s Achilles heel this season. Anfield somewhat subdued save for the constant singing from the delighted visiting fans. Cue Granit Xhaka to ignite the spirit within the team and rouse the home crowd to get behind their stuttering team. Salah’s simple back post finish just before the break sent the home team into half time with the applause of the packed house ringing in their ears. The phrase ‘game of two halves’ could have been coined for this fixture because in the second half it was largely backs to the wall for Arsenal. Klopp’s substitutions that brought Thiago and Firmino into the fray provided both creativity and meant even greater passion from the home crowd. Firmino’s equaliser set up a classic finish to the game with Ramsdale proving to be Arsenal’s hero in the dying minutes. All in all a wonderful advertisement for the Premier League and for the supporters of two clubs who live to see the game well played.”

  15. 15
    bt8 says:

    Thanks CER for your lucid and insightful report on a mind boggling game. Ramsdale indeed saved us the point after we missed several golden opportunities to take home all three. Hopefully that is a lesson learned and a side galvanized for similarity tough challenges ahead. What worried me was that we never were able to keep control of the ball for long in that second half when we had three yellow carded Liverpool defenders to run at. Quite frustrating really but we did okay overall, it was a decent point to get, and now must show our resilience for the umpteenth time.

  16. 16
    Up4GrabsNow! says:

    Back in August if you were offered 4 points out of 6 from Liverpool you would be all over it. I am not sure if we dropped 2 points or gained 1 yesterday. That game could easily have gone the other way. Ramsdale was massive. Very easy to second guess but Tierney should have been brought on earlier and Kiwior for Ode was a mistake. Mikel has been spot on all season so it’s really hard to complain too much. Wins versus The Hammers & The Saints and I think we will still be in a very good spot. Call me crazy but I think we can get a result vs City. We are overdue!

  17. 17
    Goonersince54 says:

    Having a restorative cuppa on Monday morning after the madcap 2 – 2 draw on Sunday at Anfield, my mind wandered back to a brisk overcast April Saturday in 1971 and the uncanny parallels with this season.
    It was back then, also a 2 horse race for the Title, albeit with the roles reversed, between us and Leeds, and we we still had to play them away.
    On the train up to the Hawthorns to play West Brom, we were similar to this season, on a slightly longer 9 game winning run, but having only let in 1 goal in those 9 games, and Brom down in the lower reaches of the table, and having conceded over 60 goals, everyone in our carriage was in an ebullient mood, the Optimists held sway, and the consensus was for a comfortable win, and a stress free afternoon, even though Brom had done the unthinkable the weekend before and won away at Leeds courtesy of an outrageous offside goal.
    But of course football doesn’t always turn out as you expect, and a really hard fought contest ended in a 2 – 2 draw, with uncannily, Brom equalizing very late in the match to ruin our day.
    On the train back down to London post match, with ebullience long since evaporated in our carriage, the pessimists were now in the ascendancy, and the overwhelming consensus was that it was a point dropped, and with a midweek trip to leaders Leeds next up, we were going to fall short in our Title chase.
    Well as history shows, despite us losing controversially at Elland Road, that point at the Hawthorns that we all thought was a major setback, turned out to be the opposite, and meant we went to the Lane for our final game of the season with our Destiny in our own hands, and the team after a heart stopping 90 minutes, duly delivered our first Title in 18 long years.
    We have a few more heart attack weeks to come in this elongated season before we know whether the Pool point will deliver us the same opportunity, and allow us to lift the Trophy once more, in yes you guessed it, the first time in 18 years. !!
    A Nostalgic Sweeper.
    A superb post match summary CER

  18. 18
    TTG says:

    You make a good point about our midfield . This season’s alignment has been fantastic but I’m happier the further Granit is from goal . Partey is almost certainly injured and seems to find the pressure of PL football difficult to maintain but his impact on a game is extraordinary. A very fine holding midfielder.
    I think Jorginho was an obvious choice to come on but he hasn’t made much of an on field impact recently . That is the area we need to tidy up next season . But let’s focus on this season first !

  19. 19
    TTG says:

    Terrific note Clive
    Every game at this stage of a season where you are challenging is epic . To think that Gooners everywhere seem to be losing faith after a 2-2 draw at Anfield! In 1989 with three games to go we dropped five points at home to Derby and Wimbledon….and still won the title !
    It’s why we’ve craved involvement in the title race rather than watch others from afar . That we should be so involved at this stage is extraordinary and hugely exciting . The process is by no means complete . I suspect the titje will find its way to us because I think Citeh are in very deep trouble over FFP but it may take ages to sort out . Far better glorious victory on the pitch than in the courts ! It as Clive shows these chases are always full of bumps and bruises !

  20. 20
    Trev says:

    Superb drink, Clive.
    I was at that finale at White Hart Lane – skipped off school to get there, very early, actually managed to get in, very early, and literally shook with nerves from start to finish. You’ve drawn a brilliant parallel between the scenarios then and now.

    I’m still with the optimists – I find predicting individual results impossible at this stage of the season but City have some huge European games to play in addition to their league programme and we’ve learned often enough how hard it is to play a Premier League game following a Champions League match.

    I only considered Sunday as two points dropped in the context of being two goals up but a point at Anfield is always a point won – and never easy. I’m even optimistic that we can get another one at the Emptihad. It’s the hope that kills ya’!

  21. 21
    Trev says:

    BtM @14 – your friend is spot on.

  22. 22
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@17: Well said. An uplifting note. As restorative to the spirit as your cuppa.

    bath@13 & TTG@18: Getting a DM should be the No 1 priority for the summer. When Partey is at his best, we roll like a Roller. However, one way or another we cannot count on him being regularly available next season.

  23. 23
    Countryman100 says:

    Chelsea game has been moved from Sat 29th April to Tuesday May 2 at 8pm, evidently at the request of the Met.

  24. 24
    Ollie says:

    Yeah, just saw that C100. Brilliant for the fans…glad that after all I baulked at hotel prices on the Saturday so didn’t go for a ticket and didn’t book the trip. On the other hand, I might have tried if I’d known the match was on the Tuesday night as I will be on holidays…
    I know I read here and there it’s better for us fixtures-wise but this sort of things (see Spurs last season when we tried to be clever postponing it due to COVID) often bites us back in the arse.

  25. 25
    Trev says:

    It’s lousy for you, Ollie, but ittthe police who have caused the rearrangement using the coronation as the reason. If that’s the case, why didn’t they announce it ages ago ?

  26. 26
    Countryman100 says:

    Might be a few tix on exchange now Ollie?

  27. 27
    Sancho Panza says:

    Come on Bayern get stuck in and break some legs.

  28. 28
    Ollie says:

    Might be, C100. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
    That’s the thing that confuses me, Trev: the coronation is on the 6th so closer to the new date than the old, isn’t it?

  29. 29
    Bathgooner says:

    Ollie @28, apparently all police leave during that week has been cancelled and police with booked leave have been instructed to take it at the weekend rendering the Met unable to provide the minimum necessary police cover for the match on 29/4.

  30. 30
    Goonersince54 says:

    thnks for responding to my post @17
    I knew you would enjoy the trip down memory lane.
    The thing I didn’t ask in my post, was whether any other ancient Holics like me, also made the trip to the Hawthorns that Saturday.
    The train we were on was packed to the gunwhales, and there was plenty of support in the stadium.
    I can’t believe I was the only one.

  31. 31
    North Bank Ned says:

    Post-Liverpool game post from Mike MacDonald, as interesting as ever and posits that we should sell Eddie before Balogun.

    A Humbling Epiphany – Positives, Needs & Hopes

  32. 32
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@30: I wasn’t at the Hawthorns game (indeed, I have never been to the highest league ground in England) but was at Elland Road thanks to a college friend, a die-hard Leeds supporter with a familial connection to the club, who secured a couple of tickets. He was convinced their victory had secured the title for them. Little did he know…

  33. 33
    North Bank Ned says:

    So the PGMOL has dropped the VAR official who failed to overturn the referee’s decision not to award Brighton a penalty that the PGMOL retrospectively said the Seagulls should have had and will replace him on VAR duties this weekend with the referee who missed the penalty in the first place. Is there any universe in which what the PGMOL does makes sense?

  34. 34
    ecg says:

    Ned @ 33 – In a Spurs universe?

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Ollie says:

    Cheers, baff at 29. Makes more sense now (though still a pisstake).

  37. 37
    bathgooner says:

    The FA Youth Cup Final is scheduled for Tuesday 25th April.

  38. 38
    North Bank Ned says:

    ecg@34: Hopefully, that is a universe far, far away…

  39. 39
    TTG says:

    Ned @31
    I was interested to read Mike’s views on Liverpool. Through a strange series of events I realised my friend had arranged Mike’s trip to London recently. I touched base with my mate and he confirmed Mike is a terrific guy to watch a game with, a really revelatory coach who sees patterns or situations others wouldn’t see .
    He hasn’t got any inside track with the club and some of his suggestions about the dressing room are guesses but interesting guesses .I agree with him about Balogun/ Nketiah and I found his suggestion VAR effectively penalised Brighton amazing . If VAR is perverting the course of justice those responsible should be buried in a very deep hole . I don’t think there is malicious intent I just think a lot of people involved in refereeing in this country are very poor ar their job . If it goes beyond that it will be as big a scandal as what is likely to unfold at the Emptihad

  40. 40
    TTG says:

    Is there an interest in a GHF outing to the Youth Cup Final ? If you are interested perhaps you could indicate here

  41. 41
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Excellent review CER! Sorry for the late acknowledgment.

    A lot has already been said about the match and not much to add. It was the kind of learning experience that I feel that our young team and the young manager would benefit immensely from. They have outmatched even the wildest expectations this season and let’s hope that this remarkable rate of progress will continue.

    Martinelli and Saka, one year from now, will have that extra degree of poise and cool head needed to make one of those counter attacking moves in the second half count.

    Ramsdale’s best performance for us. A remarkable performance combining reflex, athleticism, anticipation and courage.

  42. 42
    Goonersince54 says:

    Having wangled a rare Saturday off from work to go to the Hawthorns, there was no way I was going to get an early mark to get to the midweek game at Leeds.
    I had a few of my group make the long trek up, and the miserable long journey back.
    Like your friend who was convinced the title was theirs for the taking, the returning Gooners were convinced we’d lost it.
    Little did we know either.
    I don’t think people realize how difficult a task it was, coming off that heartbreaking unfair loss, to then somehow get themselves up for the fight again against a very obdurate and stubborn Stoke side the following Saturday at Highbury, who were intent on getting revenge for their loss to us in the Cup semi final.
    Sabotaging out Title hopes would have been a sweet revenge as far as they were concerned.
    For a long time it looked as if they were going to succeed, but somehow we rallied, and squeezed out a dour 1 nil win, via a late goal from Eddie Kelly.
    To then have to back up with 1 days rest, against our hated neighbors at their place where only a win would suffice, was asking for miracles.
    To quote the Spuds skipper Alan Mullery, who was their Captain and midfield brick shithouse talisman.
    ” There’s absolutely no way we are letting that lot win the Title at our ground ”
    And true to his word, they battered everyone in a red shirt and the one in green for the entire 90 minutes.
    To overcome enormous odds and win in those circumstances under such unrelenting physical violence, and a visceral hatred cascading down from the terraces, still ranks for me as our greatest Title win.

  43. 43
    North Bank Ned says:

    And that, Clive, is how legends are forged.

  44. 44
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@39: the rule of thumb at Castle Ned is always cock-up over conspiracy until proven otherwise.

  45. 45
    Countryman100 says:

    TTG. We’re up for the Youth Cup Final

  46. 46
    ClockEndRider says:

    NIc and I too, Peter

  47. 47
    Countryman100 says:

    Free tickets booked. Open to gold, silver and red members at the moment.

  48. 48
    Ollie says:

    Free? :-s
    *long punt forward*

  49. 49
    scruzgooner says:

    collects ollie’s punt, juggles it, and flicks it across the 18-yard box…

    cer, a well-worked report, and captures the highs and lows of the game. i really thought that last break with gabi and saka was going to nick us the three points.

    clive, glad to see your posts here. love the history lessons and the long-term joy you carry.

  50. 50
    Ollie says:

    *runs from….goalkeeping position to volley it home*
    (box-to-box goalkeepers, eh?)

  51. 51
    scruzgooner says:

    well in, ollie! what a run…

  52. 52
    Ollie says:

    And I see that there ARE indeed free tickets to the Cup Final. Nice from the Arsenal.

  53. 53
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, Ollie. Staggering sprint.

  54. 54
    Ollie says:

    Thank. Yeah, I think I’ll just collapse on the floor, Charlie George-style rather than run around celebrating in front of the opposition fans.

  55. 55
    bathgooner says:

    Nice one, Ollie!

    Good to see Clive in his old corner of the bar.

    We’ve nabbed tickets for the Youth Cup Final too.

  56. 56
    TTG says:

    I’m joining C100 at the YC final so we might have a group of 6 . If you would like to add to this and join us for a 5pm meal maybe in Lamezzia please let me know

  57. 57
    TTG says:

    Chaps like Clive are precious . His recall is amazing and brings 5o life rye essence of this blog . When we did the double recollections some Holics has no recall of the 71 Final. Everyone i# different. BpBut keeping these memories alive helps us to pass tte memories in to future generations . A blessed obligation

  58. 58
    bt8 says:

    Thank you Premier League for finally (FINALLY) banning betting advertisements on the front of team shirts. I have a feeling there may be a loophole in there somewhere (betting company codpieces?) but why this was ever allowed in the first place was clearly the wrong move.


  59. 59
    bt8 says:

    Magnificent and show-stopping run and finish @50 Ollie, beating 99% of those who try runs half as long but who take two or three good touches and can’t apply that calibrated final touch. Is it on DVD yet?

  60. 60
    bt8 says:

    Ramsdale’s last ditch saves are looming bigger and bigger the longer the week goes on.

  61. 61
    bt8 says:

    Just to add my appreciation for the return of Clive that wily old fella. 👍🏼

  62. 62
    North Bank Ned says:

    What TTG said @57.

  63. 63
    OsakaMatt says:

    Your feeling is quite correct @58 bt8, it’s only the front of shirts so ads will be plastered across other places. I think Spain and Italy are the only leagues with blanket bans.

    Though I was thinking that now there is no alcohol, tobacco , gambling ads allowed when
    can we get round to airlines, banks and insurance companies. The kids should be warned about all of them 🙂

  64. 64
    bt8 says:

    Excellent article by Tim Stillman on the renewed positive impact of the threat of Gabriel Jesus in the Arsenal attack.

    Gabriel Jesus has brought Arsenal’s sense of chaos back

  65. 65
    Brendan says:

    Hello Goonerholicsforever
    when we get together here we always raise a glass to David Faber
    Good men won’t be forgotten


  66. 66
    Brendan says:

    John Lydons wife Nora died recently
    Me da knew him so id just like to offer my condolences

  67. 67
    Brendan says:

    We are playing all the tunes that are still on the fire tablet
    We all forgot how nuts his tunes were
    God rest me da and good fortune to you fellas
    He loved ‘holic and he had a beautiful email from him printed out asking how he was on the morning of a big game . He took the time

  68. 68
    brendan says:

    to message
    Me da had it printed out and on the wall out in the wee back kitchen where he brewed and listened to music

  69. 69
    TTG says:

    Greetings, you are most welcome .
    Thankyou for your good wishes . Your Dad is often in our thoughts . He was a wonderful fella.
    Regards to you all

  70. 70
    Esso says:

    Cheers CER!

  71. 71
  72. 72
    bt8 says:

    Howdy Brendan, it is great to hear from you. Raising a glass to all the good people of Donegal where I had the good fortune to travel over forty years ago. Lots oflovely towns and countrysides in those parts as I recall. A glass raised to your old man and Goonerholic rest their souls.

  73. 73
    Esso says:

    @ Brendan


  74. 74
  75. 75
    North Bank Ned says:

    Again, what TTG said, this time @66.

    Great to see you in, Brendan. Your dad was one of a kind. Sorely missed and fondly remembered.

  76. 76
    bathgooner says:

    It’s good to see you in, Brendan.

    In truth, it’s a wee bit early for me but I’ll raise a glass to David Faber and cba any time! 🥃

  77. 77
    scruzgooner says:

    welcome back, brendan. always welcome, your da is in our hearts. here’s to him.

  78. 78
    Pangloss says: