Reina Flubs It

August 15, 2010 — by Sean6

Barely a minute before the final whistle, Arsenal were gifted a goal in ludicrous fashion by up-’til-then standout Pepe Reina. The keeper was responsible for maintaing 10-men Liverpool’s advantage on more than one occasion, but his terrible mistake cost them two points. It remains to be seen what effect the draw will have over time, though you can be assured that this goal will be part of  “Worst Goals Ever” compilations for many years to come.

What else did we learn watching today’s match? Arsenal aren’t going to win the league this year. Fabregas wasn’t playing, and Van Persie only had a short run around at the end, but Arshavin turned in a muted performance, Chamakh wasn’t finding any space, Nasri wasn’t seeing any passing lanes, and the delivery from the wings was consistently lobbed to the far post with no pace on the passes. Plus, they’re a bunch of pansies.

The bright spot in attack was Vermaelen. Yes, Arsenal’s center back was their most potent offensive weapon, and not just throwing himself at set pieces—the man likes to attack with the ball at his feet. Eboué tried to keep the play moving forward quickly, but lacked the precision needed to execute his intent. That’s about it for threats from the Londoners.

Liverpool had their typical hard-nosedness about them, and played resolutely a man down. Ngog’s blast right at the opening of the second half gave them the lead (4 goals in 3 games for him), and they didn’t look about to relinquish until the aforementioned slip by their keeper.

Content to stifle play as a team, Mascherano and Carragher stood out simply playing their usually rough game, with plenty of jawing at opponents and the refs to stoke the fires. Then Maxi came on to add another element of aggression to a back line that also included Skertel and Agger—two men always ready to plant a foot in a chest. Torres’ addition near the end only produced a half chance, though the man is a force.

Liverpool have played a few competitive Europa qualifying games already, and were obviously more cohesive today, but can they continue under Hodgson to a trophy and a Champions League berth? I think yes.


  • Suman

    August 15, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Nice recap, appreciated since I didn’t get to watch this match. I’ll have to see the highlights..or the lowlights, it sounds like, if you’re a Liverpool fan (or Pepe Reina). Perhaps even embed the video of Reina’s flub.

    Speaking of opening weekend ‘keeper flubs which cost their teams points, Tim Howard’s key play was prominently featured on Sportscenter last night..ouch.

  • Sean

    August 15, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    Lockdown from broadcast and print rights holders.

  • Tyler

    August 18, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    Perhaps a premature rush to judgement, Sean?

    Arsenal won’t win the league this year. Perhaps the Carling Cup? (Only if Arsene fields a real team in the tourney’s later stages?)

    But Liverpool won’t come out on top either. Maybe a Champions League spot, but even that seems like a stretch.

    The Reds, at home for the season-opener, with a newfound fire in their bellies, should have been more impressive. True, they were missing Torres for most of the game, but he was just as ineffective as his slower, equally fragile Dutch clone, van Persie.

    What difference did Gerrard make, other than a couple hard fouls? At season’s end, how much will Liverpool wish they still had Yossi? Does anyone care about the Mascherano drama?

    Wenger continues to offend fans and baffle everyone else with his goalkeeper Merry-Go-Round, and Arsenal were missing their rock from late last season, Alex “not a pansy” Song.

    My comments on my Gunners after one game:
    -Eboue continues to hold the ball when he shouldn’t.
    -Walcott might one day be remembered as a dream unfulfilled.
    -Vermaelen is fast becoming the true captain, the most consistent on both ends of the pitch.
    -Arshavin was dismal, pathetic, lazy, apathetic.
    -Nasri was solid, but unimaginative. He should get used to his role, once Cesc heads to Barca.

    But this discussion should not proceed further until Cesc enters the fold!

  • Sean

    August 19, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    The Carling Cup is like getting a participant trophy. I don’t believe Liverpool will top the league, but they have a better shot at it than Arsenal, who look completely dysfunctional. That’s what happens when your heart and soul wants to move on but begrudgingly stays.

  • Sean

    August 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    What do you think of them now, after smashing the promoted side 6-0?

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