UEFA Champions League QF 1st Leg – April 2nd 2008 – Result
Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1
Liverpool held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw in this quarter-final first leg at the Emirates meaning they’ve got the always-vital away goal to help them in their quest for a third Champions League semi-final in four seasons. Arsenal’s goal, scored by Adebayor from a corner on 23 minutes had looked like being on the cards as Liverpool seemed to be letting Arsenal creat chances in a spell of a few minutes. But it was only a few minutes before the lead was lost again, and it was some good footwork from Steven Gerrard that created it, making the defender look silly as he went round him before crossing the ball to Dirk Kuyt to bang into the net under pressure.
The other match of note for both sides tonight was in Istanbul. The winners of this tie will play the winners of the tie in Istanbul and from the first leg score it’s looking more difficult than perhaps Chelsea expected. They were beaten 2-1 by Fenerbahce having gone in front early on. Of course they’ve also got an away goal to take back to Stamford Bridge, meaning an all-English semi is still on.
A 0-0 draw would of course be enough for Liverpool next week but any goal from Arsenal and the London side will have the upper hand. The only way it can go to penalties next week is if it ends 1-1. Before that is the league tie between the two sides, again at the Emirates, and neither side can afford to be too complacent in terms of selection, both sides needing the points. Liverpool’s five point cushion above Everton perhaps allows them the most room for the resting of players, but wouldn’t be popular with fans. Arsenal need the win to try and catch Manchester United.
Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were both expected to be at the game, but a storm in Colorado put paid to that when Gillett was unable to fly over. It probably prevented a storm around the pre-match dining tables. Gillett’s son Foster was at the game, with Hicks joined by other members of his family.
Arsenal: 24 Almunia, 5 Toure, 10 Gallas, 6 Senderos, 22 Clichy, 27 Eboue (26 Bendtner, 67), 16 Flamini, 4 Fabregas, 13 Hleb, 11 Van Persie (32 Walcott, 45), 25 Adebayor
Unused subs: 1 Lehmann, 2 Diaby, 17 Song Billong, 19 Silva, 31 Hoyte
Goals: Adebayor 23
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 4 Hyypia, 12 Aurelio, 20 Mascherano, 14 Alonso (21 Lucas, 76), 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 19 Babel (11 Benayoun, 57), 9 Torres (10 Voronin, 85)
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 6 Riise, 15 Crouch, 17 Arbeloa
Goals: Kuyt 26
BBC Stats: (Arsenal – Liverpool)
Possession: 58% – 42%
Shots on target: 7 – 3
Shots off target: 6 – 1
Corners: 6 – 3
Fouls: 8 – 13
Referee: Peter Vink