Date: 29th October 2007 at 12:47pm
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A great game only spoiled by the increasingly notorious Carragher and his actions. Why do refs keep tolerating his poor impersonations of Terry and his clear tugs and swings in the penalty box – I cannot understand.

Another thing that baffles me is that some Liverpool supporters have labeled Eboue and Adebayor as cheats and accused them of going down ‘too quick'(?!). If a player shoves/elbows an opposing player in the throat/face area while he is running across the box off the ball – what is he supposed to do? Stand his ground and start a fight? And remember, all this coming from a team that has Gerrard not diving exactly every week.

Anyway, the player ratings:

Almunia – 8 – could not do anything for the goal, but apart from that was excellent. Saves in full stretch from Crouch and Gerrard and a commanding influence in the box. Means only 1 thing: Jens is gone in January.

Bac Sagna – 7 – fearless in the tackle and did his share of galloping on the right side. Eboue wasn’t tracking back as much as he should have so Bac ended up doing the work of two. Guilty of going down ‘too quick’ after a two footed challenge by Mascherano.

Clichy – 7 – a great performance from Gael. Made a couple of fantastic runs and delivered some stingy (but fair) tackles. Subbed by Gilberto 15 mins prior to the end.

Kolo Toure – 7 – read the game brilliantly and positioned himself perfect to nick possession off of Torres and co. and put himself about. Played a great 1-2 with Ade, the latter failing to deliver the precise pass as Kolo would have been clear on goal. Troubled in the air as usual after the introduction of Crouch. Was booked for something.

Gallas – 7.5 – A classic! Sound defending all night, cool under pressure, and highlight of the day was his block on Gerrard towards the end that saved our Arse(nal).

Rosicky – 6.5 – people are slating him just because he had a below par game according to his own very high standards. I read words like ‘shocking’, ‘disturbing’ etc. What are you on? His first start in a while and he did ok. Misplaced some passes and was caught in possession a few times but also got into good positions (e.g. the flick over Reina that was just missed by Ade and cleared from the line by Hyppia). Can get only better. Booked for a late tackle and subbed by Walcott in 66th min.

Hleb – 8 – the Belarus usual, please. Great game for Alex, danced around their defenders both left and right and caused havoc in the final third. His probing pass to Cesc for the goal was Bergkampesque. Brought memories of DB10 sliding it to Freddie for the 1-0 win over Bolton some years ago.

Flamini – 6.5 – an average day at the office for Flam. It started wrong for him when he let go of Hleb and left a hole in the wall so Jon Goodman could drive through. Grew back in confidence and imposed himself slowly. His passing was a bit on the short side, too. Switched to LB after the introduction of Bert. Maybe he needs a breather?

Fabregas – 8.6 – MOM by a mile! Scored a cheeky toe-poke and celebrated with passion and in style. Got a booking for that by Coward Webb, who failed to see him get dragged down in the box by the Liverpool defender (you know which one). Ran his socks off and passed with standard precision. Unlucky not to score the winning goal on 2 occasions.

Adebayor – 6.5 – a rather mediocre outing by our Togo man. It wasn’t to be his night as his control and passing were left in London. Had some good situations where he could have attacked the slowness of Hyppia and Carragher but surprisingly decided to go for a pass. A week’s rest will do him good.

Eboue – 7 – one of his best games so far this season if not the best. Neglected his defensive duties on a few occasions but linked up great in attack and found space both in the middle and on the flank. Saw his blistering effort cannon off the woodwork. Went down ‘too quick’ when shoved/elbowed in the face/throat by a Liverpool defender, in the box of course, and off the ball of course. No ref saw the incident but all Scousers did and they all agree it was a ‘minor’ attack. Replaced by Bendtner on 75 mins.

Subs:

Walcott – 6 – started with a couple of slips, then worked hard and put in some crosses of which one was destined to find Hleb on the far post only to be cleared by a Liverpool.

Gilberto – 6 – you know what you get from Berto and he did his stuff for the quarter hour he was on.

Bendtner – 6.5 – missed a glorious opportunity to grab the headlines but it wasn’t to be as the ball came at him like a rocket. Incredibly fast for his stature, did quite ok on the occasion. Should see more of him in midweek.

Ref: had an ok game just didn’t see a few clear penalties.

Looking forward to seeing Diarra, Denilson, Bendtner, Eduardo, Hoyte and Fabianski against Sheffield, and maybe we will get a glimpse of Merida, Nordtveit, Gibbs and the rest of the new crop.

Have a good Monday Gooners!