Last Sunday witnessed the clash of two titans of English football. A mercurial Arsenal side hosted high-flying Liverpool in what was touted as a do-or-die match for the former in terms of their title hopes and for the latter, a stern test of their credibility at the top of the table.
With Torres still missing, Keane made a return to side after spending some time on the bench. But it was the absence of manager Rafa Benitez that made most of the headlines. Arsenal on the other hand were still missing long-term absentees Rosicky and Eduardo, but were boosted by the return of young prodigy Nasri.
The match kicked off at typical break-neck speed. Both sides are accustomed to tidy, one-touch football and that was certainly on show here but surprisingly enough, it was Liverpool who looked more comfortable and settled once the nascent sparks of early clashes died down. Chances in front of goal for both teams were few but Arsenal was looking a bit out of sorts. This was especially surprising because it was them who scored the first goal through Nasri brilliant pass over Liverpool's defense and Van Persie's superb control and right-foot finish. But that didn't change much in terms of domination and Liverpool finally made it count when Agger's sweet half-volleyed sixty-yard pass was met by an even sweeter half-volleyed strike by Robbie Keane. The home crowd booed as the former Tottenham man wheeled away in delight. The game restarted in the same vain and if anything Liverpool were looking more and more likely to snatch another goal and came very close when Kuyt sent a low cross for a sliding Gerrard to send it over via his left leg. Moments before the first half, an unfortunate clash between Alonso and Fabregas saw Arsenal's midfield talisman hobble of the pitch in what looked like a serious long-term knee injury.
Second half started with a bang and it was Liverpool once again dictating the terms and if at that point, Arsenal fans were thinking, "It couldn't get...