Arshavin rocket leaves Reds reeling

BY foxsports • December 14, 2009

The Russian, who scored four times on the same ground towards the back end of last season, rifled in an unstoppable winner on 58 minutes after a Glen Johnson own goal (50) had cancelled out Dirk Kuyt's first-half opener (41) for the Reds in Sunday's Premier League meeting. After an even start, it was Liverpool who carved open the first opening when a quick break saw Steven Gerrard set up Fernando Torres, but the Spaniard's shot lacked enough power to trouble Manuel Almunia. Moments later, Gerrard went tumbling under a William Gallas tackle in the box, but referee Howard Webb waved away the penalty claims. Liverpool continued to press and Torres' tumble in the area - again with Gallas in close attendance - posed another penalty shout, though again Webb allowed play to continue. The Gunners finally had their first effort on goal after 33 minutes with Alex Song dragging a shot comfortably wide of goal. But it was Liverpool who were celebrating on 41 minutes when Fabio Aurelio's free-kick into the box was not dealt with properly by Almunia and Kuyt controlled the ball on his chest before guiding his shot through a crowd of players from 12 yards. The Gunners made a bright start to the second half, with Cesc Fabregas finally having their first effort on target, but his low shot was easily gathered by Pepe Reina. But the visitors were back on level terms after 50 minutes when Samir Nasri's right-wing cross took a deflection off Jamie Carragher and caught out the retreating Johnson, the Reds full-back unable to sort out his feet in time to prevent tapping through his own goal from six yards. And just eight minutes later, the Gunners were celebrating again when Arshavin showed good control in the area before drilling an unstoppable shot past Reina from 18 yards which flew into the net via the post. The Reds did their best to get back into the game, but the Gunners' defence comfortably held firm to help them move up to third and just six points behind leaders Chelsea with a match in hand. Liverpool remain seventh.

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