On two occasions Arsene Wenger has proven that even though Rafael Benitez has won the champions league and even managed to beat West Ham for the FA Cup, he is no match for the class that Arsenal fielded at Anfield.
In the Carling cup quarter final at Anfield, Rosicky, the Czech international who was signed after his dramatic show of skill at the world cup in Germany, managed to pull of two spectacular goals. The first came after Alexander Hleb crossed a well-struck shot with his left leg and Rosicky struck it sweetly to beat the subtitute goalkeeper Dudek. He scored yet again after Thierry Henry passed the ball to him and expecting a through pass Henry ran through the defense but Rosicky shocked everyone, including myself, when he took on the whole Liverpool defense by himself and scored with precision.
The goal raised some questions about Liverpool’s defense because none of the defenders was willing to tackle or even push him of the ball. The defenders made it seem like they were just escorting Rosicky to the goal area. If it were not for Peter Crouch’s towering physique, Liverpool would not have scored the late consolation goal from the corner kick Which Pennant took. Peter Crouch headed the ball to Dirk Kuyt with such ease, he made it look like Senderos was doing nothing (the young man jumped so high he probably thought he was flying) who in turn headed it over the substitute goalkeeper Almunia.
Thierry Henry then scored the last goal of the night through a spectacular show of skill. He crossed the ball to himself but defender Jamie Carragher got to the ball before him. This did not dampen the Frenchman’s determination because he chased the ball, won it back and ran instinctively to the goal area were he ran rings round one defender and finally he put the ball in the back of the net.
Even though I was cheering for the man I consider to be the best striker in the world currently, I could not help but ask myself ‘where the hell was the Liverpool defense?’. Or was it that Thierry’s class was just too much for them?
The second goal from Rosicky and the third from Henry could all have been thwarted by the defense if only one of them was willing to get a yellow card or even a red by just doing their job, tackling. This in turn could have caused the two teams to draw and would have reduced the shame Rafael and his men got (at least for a few days) before they were outgunned, outmatched end basically outclassed by ‘the beast’ (Julio Baptista) and the Arsenal teenagers led by the young and flamboyant Cesc Fabregas