Friday 13 December 2013
Andrey Arshavin continued his hold over Liverpool by scoring the winning goal for Arsenal at Anfield.
The Russian striker, who scored four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw at Anfield the previous season, struck in the 58th minute when he controlled a pass and superbly fired a shot past Pepe Reina.
Liverpool had controlled the first half with Fernando Torres, making his first start since October following an injury lay-off, being denied by Manuel Almunia in the 11th minute.
The breakthrough came in the 40th minute when Dirk Kuyt fired home a loose ball after Almunia had failed to deal with Fabio Aurelio’s free-kick.
Arsenal were a different side after the break and took only five minutes to equalise. Samir Nasri’s cross deflected off Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher and resulted in Glen Johnson turning the ball into his own net.
Arshavin’s moment of brilliance put the Gunners ahead and they saw out the match to stay third in the table, seven points ahead of seventh-placed Liverpool.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said a strong half-time word to his players had paid dividends.
“Sometimes you have to respond to what the team needs," he said. "I try to be composed but it was good to be able to surprise the players after 13 years in charge.”
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said: “The first half we were really good – we scored the goal and had another clear chance. In the second half there was Glen Johnson’s goal early and that changed everything and we lost our confidence.”
Arsenal and Liverpool finished third and seventh respectively in the 2009/10 Barclays Premier League campaign.