Author Topic: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09  (Read 5380 times)

Offline BazC

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RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« on: December 1, 2013, 01:45:09 AM »
Tuesday 21st April 2009 - Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal (Match Highlights and Report)

I had to wake up early this morning. It was weird, you see, because I was at university at the time, and students don’t really do early starts. Indeed, we’d pick our modules around the lecture times. But this Tuesday I had to wake up early. It was coming up to my 2nd year exams, and we had some presentations to give to our tutor. The only slot available was 9am. So wake up early I did. I made my way through the mazey Coates Building on University Campus, and found the right room – as the group members were trickling in I sat at the back with another lad who was presenting with me. It was the first time we met, but we'd actually become friends after uni as we ended up working together. He's an Arsenal fan. From North London, went to games whenever he could. So, instead of discussing the presentation we were about to give (I believe it was on the level of monopsony power in the UK supermarket industry. Or something) we sat there and discussed the game later that evening. We talked about Liverpool’s title hopes, the CL games against Real Madrid and Chelsea, Torres’ class, Alonso’s class, Gerrard’s class, Mascherano’s class, Yossi’s class, Pepe’s class, Sami’s class... thinking about it, I don’t think we discussed Arsenal much. I told him we’d win the league, and he gave me that bemused look other fans give Liverpool fans when we express confidence about our team. I had never been so confident though, and why wouldn’t I be? Tutor enters stage left, so we stopped our frivolous football natterings and went about trying to nail a presentation which would count towards our final degree mark.

It was a nice day. I remember the sun was shining. As we were rolling in towards Liverpool Lime St I overheard a woman with her young lad – it was his birthday, and she’d brought him up from London to watch his favourite team play for the first time. I know that will probably annoy some reading this, but hey, the lad was genuinely happy talking about Torres and Gerrard to those sitting around him. I realised that as a fanbase we’d all been feeling a bit giddy lately – just like that magic you feel when supporting the Reds as a kid, when you see the Anfield turf for the first ever time, when you witness your first Liverpool goal live - and especially when you have that almost childish confidence. I hadn't seen us lift a title, nor dominate English football back in the 70s and 80s, and although I did see that CL win, it wasn't expected. I wasn't used to being that confident! We didn't have confidence of success in 2005, we dreamt of it. When Yossi scores that goal against Fulham, the away end was bouncing and singing for an age afterwards, no one wanted to leave as everyone's singing about how we're going to win the league. When we put 4 past the Mancs at their place and utterly demolished Real Madrid we were as giddy as that kid on his way to see his heroes and if you'd ask us who the best team in the world was, we'd have seriously said Liverpool FC. The sun was shining, I was pulling into Liverpool and we were all enjoying the best football we’d seen at Anfield for years.

Getting off at Lime St in the early afternoon, I headed into town. I was meeting a few old friends for a couple of drinks and some food before we headed to Anfield. A quick pit stop at Atlantic Point to drop off those without tickets, we made our way to what we considered the home of football. The atmosphere around the ground was obviously great. Being students, we’d grabbed some cans from an off license and sat on a wall near the Sandon drinking and talking our way to kick off. In the sunshine.

We made our way to the back of the Kop, and to be honest I can barely remember the minutae of the game. We were enveloped by the cauldron of noise around us and shouting with the thousands of others to envelope everyone else, because we were winning the league that year and we wanted to do it loudly. They were going to believe us that year for sure.

But then, Arshavin scored. With what seemed their first attack of the game, he scored. He put his fingers to his lips. We shouted louder. They didn’t shut the Kop up in those days by scoring, they just added to the noise. Even going a goal down, the confidence and belief was there that we’d win that game. So we shouted louder into half time. As the second half kicked off we saw Torres and Yossi score to put us 2-1 up. Normality restored.

Our attack was devastating in those days. The pace and power of Torres, the trickery and guile of Yossi, Kuyt’s industry and Gerrard’s Gerrardness. They’d blown away better teams than Arsenal so far that season, and they were doing it again. Then Arshavin scored. We shouted louder. He scored again. The floppy haired shite with his finger to his mouth got his hat trick, and suddenly we’re 3-2 down. But we shouted louder and louder, and before we even got the chance to turn the volume up to 11, Torres has put us back level at 3-3. The game was suddenly like an acid trip. I’ve actually never done acid, unfortunately, but that’s how I imagine it would be. Delirium and colour and noise – every sense heightened and then battered senseless. We smelled victory. We felt the Kop bounce. The lads started tightening the screw as the volume did start getting dialled up to 11. We all thought, no, knew we’d win that game even as the minutes ticked by. As the pressure mounted, Liverpool got a corner. 90 minutes up, the goal was coming. And then Arshavin scored. As the gormless get did his celebrating, the volume turned up to 12 (I didn’t even know it went to 12!) but even as the time evaporated, we were a goal down and heading out of the title race, we still expected to not only get a point from there but win. Yossi obliged. He picked the ball up as Anfield roared and ran to get the game going again. We were going to win this 5-4 or we were going to kill ourselves trying.

Of course, it didn’t happen. We went top of the league with a 4-4 draw, an epic PL game, but it meant we were tied on points with the Mancs, who had 2 games in hand. A handful of dodgy refereeing decisions, and a couple of Macheda goals later and, well, we know the rest.

The reason that game sticks out for me is because of that belief and confidence we had as a club. The team, the fans, and the manager – you could line us up against anyone in the world and we were going to beat them. Hell, not only will we beat them but we’ll put 3-4 goals passed them. Looking back on it, we probably made way too many mistakes in key games in the run up to the season finale. The Chelsea game of course, when we went to Stamford Bridge 3-1 down, but actually pulled ourselves into contention by halftime, only to throw it away with silly defensive mistakes. And of course this very Arsenal game. They probably had 4 shots on target in that game and came away with 4 goals. But for me, it was a great time to be a Red. It was the first time I has experienced such confidence and it was a time when I really enjoyed being blown away by our football. The Real Madrid match at Anfield that season was the best game of football I’ve seen us play. We thrashed them 4-0 and that flattered us.

Since those days, we’ve had few good ones. Many bad ones. But these days, I find myself feel that flicker of confidence sometimes. I think something’s starting to bubble away in the background. When Suarez nutmegs, Sturridge dances, Coutinho glides, Mignolet saves… you feel that bit of electricity fizzing away underneath somewhere. It’ll come soon. That kid like excitement and the confidence. And that sunshine.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 12:50:23 AM by BazChristmas »
“This place will become a bastion of invincibility and you are very lucky young man to be here. They will all come here and be beaten son”

Offline Gnurglan

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 09:20:52 PM »
90 minutes up, the goal was coming. And then Arshavin scored. As the gormless get did his celebrating, the volume turned up to 12 (I didn’t even know it went to 12!) but even as the time evaporated, we were a goal down and heading out of the title race, we still expected to not only get a point from there but win. Yossi obliged. He picked the ball up as Anfield roared and ran to get the game going again. We were going to win this 5-4 or we were going to kill ourselves trying.

Of course, it didn’t happen. We went top of the league with a 4-4 draw, an epic PL game, but it meant we were tied on points with the Mancs, who had 2 games in hand. A handful of dodgy refereeing decisions, and a couple of Macheda goals later and, well, we know the rest.

The reason that game sticks out for me is because of that belief and confidence we had as a club. The team, the fans, and the manager – you could line us up against anyone in the world and we were going to beat them.

Great read. Brings back lots of good memories. You highlighted exactly the stuff I felt. Even 3-4 down, in stoppage time, it felt like we could win it. It's a feeling to remember. We knew, for real, that we could beat anyone.

        * * * * * *


"The key isn't the system itself, but how the players adapt on the pitch. It doesn't matter if it's 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, it's the role of the players that counts." Rafa Benitez

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 12:20:48 AM »
Smashing. Happy 13th!
Yep.

Offline kaz1983

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 10:11:01 AM »
This game, yeah I remember it quite clearly.

Online Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 11:31:58 AM »
Gerrard didnt actually play that not but your kind of referring to the team in general i think

that was a mental game. we could have won 9-4

that little bollix with his fucking goofy head on him, he didnt touch the ball other than them 4 goals. before the first goal i didnt even know he was playing. typical
yer ma should have called you Paolo Zico Gerry Socrates HELLRAZOR

Online Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 11:32:22 AM »
oh where does one submit one of these stories?
yer ma should have called you Paolo Zico Gerry Socrates HELLRAZOR

Offline rafa4eva

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 02:55:28 PM »
Firstly, these articles/posts are bang on ! I doff my cap to the kind sirs and madams who have taken the time to dig up the memories and take us back to the specific days / nights in question, thank you again.

Secondly, that Russian midget with the pre bieber haircut is a thorn in my minds eye, the image of him with his finger to his lips, his head swaying side to side, a nonchalant smile, nay a fucking grin, but his eyes ... His eyes tell it all, after the 2nd, 3rd and 4th goal his eyes scream... How the fuck have I scored 4 goals, I've had 4 shots on target throughout this entire game ( in fact I think the arse only had 4 shots on target, seriously ) and scored each one, I love life and we are all having schwarmas on the way home.

For me as well, this season was where hope turned into belief, we were truly competing with the top sides, not pulling rabbits out of hats as people egged on the underdog, but kicking doors in and saying " where the fuck is my dinner and it better be hot" compared to the Oliver Twist role we too often played since our heydays in the late 80s, where we hoped we could get something ... Or prayed Owen would score and the other team wouldnt....

Now let me make clear, this game is an example of where we fell short, where our dinner arrived but was like warm and the gravy had started to congeal but by god we had a place at the table on merit, we as a club should have kicked on after that, there was some validity this time around of being a couple of players away, we had a team and squad which could compete and fight on merit, we didn't have one way of playing, we didn't rely soley on counter attacking, we could hold onto the ball and look comfortable... But things didn't pan out that way and I never had an inkling as to how bad things would get after this season ended.

Again, Thanks Baz and others and whose doing the Chelsea 4 4 game ? :)

Offline deano2727

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 03:30:32 PM »
Definitely the most gutted I have ever been after a game of football. Even more so than Athens.

As a young man of 20 years of age, I am yet to see Liverpool win the title. I thought it was ours. Heart breaking.

Offline Chakan

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 03:31:44 PM »
Bloody Russian, never did anything useful for Arsenal besides score 4 against us.

Offline Foregone Concussion

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 07:02:58 PM »
Slightly painful memories but excellent that mate. It felt like a loss that night and It wasn't to be that season but looking back, they were great times nonetheless.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

Offline The 92A

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2013, 10:55:40 PM »
Great write up, we were so close and Arsharvin decided to play like the player Arsenal hoped for when he signed.
Still Dreaming of a Harry Quinn

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #13: Liverpool 4 - 4 Arsenal 08/09
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 12:03:30 AM »
Bump for Christmas
Yep.