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TT's Famous Five: Arsenal v Liverpool
Published : 19 Aug 2011 10:33:00
As Arsenal prepare to host Liverpool on Saturday, TEAMtalk's Jon Holmes selects his favourite moments from the fixture's history in London. The traditional early-season fizz went decidedly flat in the second half for Liverpool fans as their side drew 1-1 at home to Sunderland on the opening day. Now the Reds supporters head south-east to the capital - usually a memorable trip for men from Merseyside - in the hope of collecting three points at Arsenal, and it's a fixture steeped in history. Saturday's game actually marks the 101st staging of league clashes in London between these sides. The most recent, at the Emirates in mid-April, saw Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt trade penalties during 12 minutes of stoppage time, with Kenny Dalglish responding to Arsene Wenger's complaints and gesticulations at the final whistle with some choice phrases uttered in his best Glaswegian. "Football Wasn't Invented In 1992..." Before we move onto the clips I've chosen, a disclaimer: they're all from the Premiership / Premier League, a result partly attributed to the lack of decent archive footage available on YouTube and partly to the limited scope of my own memory. However, I did find a few pre-1992 clips worth watching... * some archive footage of Woolwich Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2 from 1911, with a rather patronising voiceover from Clive Anderson, presumably not intended for the likes of us. Arsenal would move from the Manor Ground in Plumstead to Highbury the following year. * Jimmy Hill explains how he ended up running the line as Arsenal and Liverpool played out a goalless draw in September 1972. Bill Shankly finds it all very amusing and can be seen shaking Jimmy by the hand. I suppose the modern equivalent would be Alan Hansen filling in as an assistant referee at the Emirates; imagine the touchline spat between Dalglish and Wenger if a late Liverpool penalty was awarded in that game. * Brian Moore introduces highlights of Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0 from a muddy Highbury in February 1975, picking out Don Revie in conversation with a bearded Jimmy Tarbuck in the stand before Alan Ball's double sealed a Gunners win. * A BBC News clip from August 1987, when David Icke was still a respected sports broadcaster, of Arsenal 1 Liverpool 2 - Steve Nicol's 20-yard header winning the match for the visitors. * A goal that demonstrates the footballing talents of Paul Merson before he crossed the white line (so to speak) into Sky Sports punditry - a clever backheel to Alan Smith who drilled home to cap a 3-0 Arsenal win in December 1990. * And finally... who can forget the famous comeback by the Arsenal 1933 side against Liverpool in this Wembley exhibition match? Charles 'Charlie' Charles, we salute you... The Premier League Years In the first eight seasons of this fixture in the Premiership, Liverpool recorded five wins to Arsenal's one, with the Gunners failing to score in six of those games. However, since the 2000/1 campaign, the result has been a home win on six occasions, and a draw in the other five. Here's five classic moments from those games... Fowler's honesty, Arsenal 1 Liverpool 2, 24 March 1997 With Stan Collymore having given the visitors a 1-0 lead, Mark Wright knocked through a long pass from defence to attack for Robbie Fowler to race onto. David Seaman came out of his goal to intercept but Fowler got to the ball first and went down - only to quickly get up and gesture to referee Gerald Ashby that a penalty should not be awarded. However, Ashby was not to be deterred and pointed to the spot, only for Seaman to save Fowler's tame spot-kick. But Jason McAteer got to the loose ball first and scored, and although Ian Wright pulled a goal back, Liverpool hung on for victory. Fowler was later commended for Fair Play by FIFA, at a time when a pat on the back from Sepp Blatter still earned respect. Ashby retired a year later and became a referees' assessor, only to sadly pass away in December 2001 at the age of 52 after suffering a heart attack. Goal difference would later settle the league placings below champions Manchester United, with Newcastle taking the runners-up spot and Champions League football above Arsenal and Liverpool. McManaman magic, Arsenal 0 Liverpool 1, 30 November 1997 The next encounter at Highbury eight months later was settled by Steve McManaman, who swung his right boot following Stig Inge Bjornebye's throw-in and sent the ball beyond David Seaman after 55 minutes for a sumptuous strike. The Reds went on to 'do the double' over the Gunners that season with a 4-0 victory at Anfield - but Arsenal's Double of Premier League and FA Cup was all that mattered in the end. Henry turns Reds inside out, Arsenal 4 Liverpool 2, 9 April 2004 In the closing weeks of the Gerard Houllier era, Liverpool took a 2-1 lead into the break at Highbury as they threatened to inflict a first defeat of the campaign on the league leaders. However, Robert Pires equalised before Thierry Henry put Arsenal ahead with a goal which encapsulated his pace, balance and technique. Collecting the ball almost 40 yards out, Henry would send Didi Hamann and then Jamie Carragher spinning and toppling like skittles before slotting the ball past Jerzy Dudek. Henry later completed a hat-trick to seal a 4-2 win and Arsenal's Invincibles would finish 30 points clear of fourth-placed Liverpool. Gerrard's blunder backpass, Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1, 12 March 2006 Having conceded after 21 minutes to that man Henry again (from an exquisite pass down the left wing by Cesc Fabregas), Liverpool hauled themselves level through Luis Garcia only to lose Xabi Alonso to a red card. Rafa Benitez asked his players to keep it tight, but had to watch on in horror as his skipper and talisman Steven Gerrard inexplicably turned and passed back to Pepe Reina, a decision that would not have been so dreadful had Henry not been standing right in the way. The Frenchman accepted the gift with glee. Despite the 2-1 defeat, Benitez's men finished third, 15 points above Arsenal. Agger hoofs it, Keane roofs it, Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1, 21 December 2008 Robbie Keane finally looked to be finding his feet at Liverpool as Christmas 2008 approached. Having notched his first league goals for the Reds a few weeks previously against West Brom, the Irishman let fly with this stunning equaliser following Daniel Agger's hoofed pass from deep within his own half at the Emirates. Another brace would follow against Bolton on Boxing Day but a little over a month later, Benitez sold Keane back to Tottenham. Despite only losing twice all season and scoring the most goals, Liverpool were runners-up to Manchester United, with Arsenal fourth. What are your favourite memories of Arsenal v Liverpool fixtures from yesteryear? Let us know by adding a Comment below...