CL Result – Liverpool 4 Arsenal 2 (Agg: 5-3)

UEFA Champions League QF 2nd Leg – April 8th 2008 – Result

Liverpool 4 Arsenal 2 (Agg: 5-3)


Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (speaking to ITV): “That was possibly one of the worst performances I’ve ever put in in a Liverpool shirt, but I still had the confidence to score the penalty.

“That’s up there with them (previous big nights at Anfield) Arsenal are a fantastic team. A times today, they passed us of the pitch. In the end we’ve come through, it was a great team performance tonight.”

Asked if Liverpool deserved to win: “It’s difficult to say because it would be unfair on Arsenal, but over two legs, as I’ve said before, we’re a match for anyone. If those fans perform like that, it’s a big help to us and other teams find it impossible.

“We’ve got some big games coming up but we’ll be ready for Chelsea.”

Scorer of fourth and killer goal Ryan Babel: “They (the fans) pulled out another level. It’s like you play with 12 men.”

Was it a penalty? “They held me a little bit and they tried to take a chunk of me. I had a feeling to create something. If they take that away from me then I think it’s a penalty.”

Liverpool Manager Rafael Benitez: “We were losing, we drew and afterwards we were losing again. We knew we need to work really hard and try and do the right things. At the end of the day, you must win, and we won.

“I think the key was the belief of the players, particularly in the second half. We had been so poor before the break, but so much better in the second period. In the first half we were really bad but when we scored we had belief and began to show our quality.

“I think they had some players who played in the final two years ago, so they had experience but we also had players with experience. For me the difference was the belief. I was disappointed with the way they scored but after I was very, very happy with the character of the players and the way they responded.

“Sometimes the small details can make a difference and it was a good penalty from Steven Gerrard and it was really positive for us, I was thinking about bringing on Voronin because we needed more power and more offensive players but then we got the penalty so I brought on Arbeloa instead. Babel made a difference because we needed pace and ability and Torres was getting tired so we used Babel’s pace up front.

“You could see Arsenal played well in the first-half, there were six goals and it was fantastic to win such a great game. Everyone is really happy and I am pleased for our fans. It’s always important for us to play in front of our supporters and you could hear from the start of the game, they were amazing and massive for the players.

“When we went to 2-2 so near the end, my players showed tremendous character and desire to get up off the ground to win the tie.”

Starting with both Torres and Crouch was a surprise, but Rafa explained his reasoning: “We knew he had scored a hat-trick against Arsenal. After the other day when he had scored and played really well, he was a threat, so I was trying to take advantage of the strengths of our team with Torres playing off Crouch in the air as well as Gerrard and Kuyt. They are four offensive players who can score goals for us.

“I hear Steven Gerrard has said it was a poor game by him, but I was satisfied. He scored a crucially important penalty for us when it really mattered, that was positive from him to take it so well.

“Now we have Chelsea again in the semi-final. My first idea is we will try to enjoy today and then after we will think about Chelsea. It will be a tough, tough tie that’s for sure, against an excellent side. But like tonight, we have enough experience of such matches and clearly the belief to succeed again.

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger: “I believe it (their elimination from the competition) is down to a dodgy decision from the referee and a lack of concentration at 2-2. It is difficult to swallow. It is a double disappointment because all the big decisions went against us and with three minutes to go we were qualified.

“It is very difficult for me to understand because for me it was not a penalty. I have watched it clearly again. Last week it was a real penalty. But we have to accept that.

“We were too naive, we lacked a bit of maturity defensively. We had so much control. The mental strength of the team was fantastic tonight. It was down to lack of experience. This team has plenty of talent and potential but we lacked that little bit of extra confidence.

“Tonight we have a feeling of disappointment and injustice.”

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 4 Hyypia, 12 Aurelio, 8 Gerrard, 14 Alonso, 20 Mascherano, 18 Kuyt (17 Arbeloa, 90), 9 Torres (6 Riise, 87), 15 Crouch (19 Babel, 78)
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 10 Voronin, 11 Benayoun, 21 Lucas
Goals: Hyypia 30, Torres 69, Gerrard 86 (pen), Babel 90

Arsenal: 24 Almunia, 5 Toure, 10 Gallas, 6 Senderos, 22 Clichy, 27 Eboue (32 Walcott, 72), 16 Flamini (19 Silva, 42), 4 Fabregas, 2 Diaby (11 Van Persie, 72), 13 Hleb, 25 Adebayor
Unused subs: 1 Lehmann, 17 Song Billong, 26 Bendtner, 31 Hoyte
Bookings: Senderos 17, Toure 85
Goals: Diaby 13, Adebayor 84

Stats (Liverpool – Arsenal)

Possession: 52% – 48%
Shots on target: 8 – 5
Shots off target: 5 – 2
Corners: 5 – 2
Fouls: 10 – 7
Possession: 51% – 49%
Shots on Target: 6 – 3
Shots off Target: 5 – 2
Blocked Shots: 7 – 4
Corners: 5 – 2
Fouls: 10 – 8

Referee: Peter Frojdfeldt

Attendance: 41,985

24 thoughts on “CL Result – Liverpool 4 Arsenal 2 (Agg: 5-3)”

  1. What an awesome game.    Congratulations to Liverpool’s players and fans.

    It’s very encouraging to know that Liverpool could win despite not playing their best game.  Xabi Alonso, for one, appears to really be struggling with his touch right now.  Thankfully Torres continues to be unstoppable.

  2. lovely. i cant wait for the semi between you 2 great, and lets not mince words, attacking sides.

  3. Unlucky Arsenal, the obvious difference was the lack of goals, Adebayor’s misses cost us.  The defender’s naivety and inexperience cost us.  Arsene’s refusal to buy big name players with bags of experience cost us.  He relys to much on half baked young hopefuls – he’s trying to do a "Fergie".  Spend some money next season Arsene – its not working, we keep falling at the final hurdle.  Surely he must be able to see now more than ever!

  4. Hahaha at Noel’s comments.
    Anyway, brilliant game, brilliant result.  Congratulations to the team they nearly threw it away but showed enough strength of character to win in the end.  Well done.

  5. I’m shattered! Can’t sleep again!!

    We were as poor as Arsenal were brilliant to begin with last night. Yet somehow we recovered and deserved the victory.

    I stood in the stand wondering whether Rafa had got it wrong starting with Crouch, or rather changing the system. But making Babel the impact player over Crouch showed Rafa once again knew what he was doing. (Why do people still doubt the man???)

    Arsenal looked like they were going to score first; and they did. But after they got one I thought they’d get two. Yet we got 4!

    Nerves were tingling – and still are – but the atmosphere in the ground was great.

    Top marks for Skrtel, Sami and Carragher. They were magnifique. And once again Torres found his shooting boots at the Kop End. What a player!

  6. I was hugely impressed with Dirk Kuyt’s performance last night.

    He was everywhere and never gave up…

    Just read on bbc’s website that Wenger is once again moaning about the penalty we got… what a whinger!!!

  7. Comparisons are being made of last night’s match with the legendary St Etienne game and for extremes of emotion it is a fair comparison. Rafa’s use of Babel last night was inspired. He has faded badly early in the second half of the games he has started and has looked a fish out of water sometimes out wide. Rafa solved both these problems by using him as an impact sub and he also found himself in his favoured striker position for his goal. I felt both Babel’s and the goal Walcott assisted were down to the fatigue of the opposing players and not to any individual brilliance.Our back four were the unsung heroes especially in the first half when Arsenal were rampant. Skrtel had another blinding game, the experience of both Jamie and Sami was crucial and Aurelio had his best game in a red shirt. On the other hand we played the first 30 minutes without a mid-field. Gerrard and Alonso were off the pace and the extra pressure on Mascherano told. Thankfully the coincidence of Sami’s goal and Arsenal’s frenetic pace dropping allowed the midfield to regather.Both sets of players were shattered at the end testifying to the tension they must have suffered in the build up to the game. No yellow cards for us and I wonder if our midfielders were concentrating on this in those first 30 mins. The game was a wonderful ad for the sport not just the drama and the goals but the spirit it was played in.  

  8. I am very very happy after the game and it seems that my couch banitez heard my voice when i saw him in my Dream, i told him that i will be very happy if he could walk with torres and crouch and i told him i believe we will win the game no matter what. after the game i have to wash myself with a bottle of champaign to get myself re leaved. am a liverpool fan and will be proud to be a Liverpool fan till death, whether loosing or out we never walk alone,
    i will be happy if banitez will make me happy again as he will get ready to win Chelsea as usual and will lift the trophy for me cos i have betted lots of money on the match against Chelsea so am very sure we will win. till then i love my Torres,Gerrard,Benayoun and all my Liverpool players and my Anfield, no fit shout Arsenal is too small to me to handle, they played a very fantastic game but all is that  we are not AC millian whom they can score anyhow and they will loose hope . i never walk alone always

  9. Edward, I’ll second that emotion.  I’m  amazed to hear some people trying to  attribute the outcome to Rafa’s bizarre tactics.   This was a triumph of character by his players in overcoming the many problems caused by that ridiculous starting formation.  I really hope Rafa’s learned some lessons from this. 

  10. What a match! I was even in tears (despite already knowing the outcome) at the end the second time I watched it last night. When Walcott made that length-of-pitch run and Adebayor scored, visions of smug Chelski/Mancs swam through my head. And that’s not a pretty sight, to be sure.

    (As an aside, Toure is in my fantasy football team  – when he hauled down Babel, I can vouch for the fact that my first thoughts were with Liverpool and not with the number of team points I was about to lose!)

    Our midfield was a shambles for most of the match and this is a worry. When I first heard Gerrard’s post-match comment about the poor quality of his game, I thought good on him for standing up and taking responsibility. Since then I’ve wondered if the comment was a petulant jab at Rafa for playing him on the left wing.

    Does anyone know why Finnan is being left out of the starting XI lately? I know he was recovering from an injury, but is his omission chiefly to accommodate having Jamie/Martin/Sami all in the back four?

  11. Without a doubt Stevie wasnt happy on the left and his comments afterwards were quietly aimed at Rafa. However what a game. Talk about a roller coaster! It ended on a high though thankfully and the game itself reminded me of the Newcastle 4-3. (on the edge of your seat and nail biting stuff!) 

    People will say ‘how come we can do it in Europe and not the league?’. I think the answer is simple. The squad isnt quite good enough. Not far off, but still not quite there. Yes we can match any team on our day but not yet over an entire season. Rafa is rebuilding the empire and as they say Rome wasnt built in a day. Given time we will be back at the top of the league and celebrating as much as we are now in this ‘Golden Age of European Football’ . 3 European Cup Semi’s in 4 years! Priceless

  12. Without a doubt Stevie wasnt happy on the left and his comments afterwards were quietly aimed at Rafa. However what a game. Talk about a roller coaster! It ended on a high though thankfully and the game itself reminded me of the Newcastle 4-3. (on the edge of your seat and nail biting stuff!) 

    People will say ‘how come we can do it in Europe and not the league?’. I think the answer is simple. The squad isnt quite good enough. Not far off, but still not quite there. Yes we can match any team on our day but not yet over an entire season. Rafa is rebuilding the empire and as they say Rome wasnt built in a day. Given time we will be back at the top of the league and celebrating as much as we are now in this ‘Golden Age of European Football’ . 3 European Cup Semi’s in 4 years! Priceless and no

  13. can i suggest you and chelsea just take the penalties now and get it over with it thus saving us the inevitable 3 and half hours of boredom.

  14. Leanne, last night reminded me of the spirit of Shankley!

    "This is a team of skill and character, with men eager and ready to do any job if it’s for the benefit of the club"

  15. noel reynolds >> Just dont watch the semi and you wont have a problem or a reason to post on this site.

  16. Noel….why dont you watch the other semi whilst the rest of the world enjoy the Reds take on Chelsea. 
    It will be another great night at Anfield and as anyone who saw the game last night ………….you just cannot take your eyes off the Reds when it comes to Europe. 

    Six minutes to go…….pronounced dead…yet again………but we showed a spirit that refuses to be extinguished until the very last ball is kicked.  Pure drama befitting of a stadium that is simply magical on nights like yesterday.

  17. Is it me or is Skrtel turning out to be a little gem? When i first saw him against Havant in the Fa Cup i thought he might be another Pellegrino. But in the latest run of games he’s been an absolute rock

  18. Skrtel was great and deserves even more time to settle in (though I should remind some that they were very flattering of Voronin at the beginning and listening to them now you’d think we’d signed him for £30million like his compatriot, Sheva!).

    I still haven’t come down from being at one of our greatest games in history. I’ve been singing YNWA to anyone that cares to listen – and even those that do not. It was the best european night ever….until Chelsea, I hope!

    When we talk about heroes for the night forgive me for mentioning one Pepe Reina. I know he’s made mistakes with set-pieces recently (and yesterday he almost made another) and should have done better with the first goal, but after Theo Walcott left Masch and Skrtel et al for dead and they scored he did not wallow in self-pity. He dragged Masch and Skrtel up off the ground and told them to get on with it as we staill had time to recover. That’s believe. That’s spirit. That’s also experience – because neither Masch and Skrtel have been on a European Campaign with us before as we grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat. Ok pepe did not get fouled in the box or take the penalty that got us back the lead but that believe, spirit and will to win daved us a few precious seconds and got us back on top in good time.

    So many memories of last night but most of all it showed me why we must fight tooth and nail to keep our club the special place it is.

    What a game. What fans. What players. And yes, what a fantastic manager we have (Wenger in recent times can only dream of – and whinge about –  his success).

  19. Hello!! Yeah yeah!! Liverpool will win FA Cup!! Come on!! come on ! Gerrard! Mascherano! Kid Torres =)
    and all dear team! =)
    and.. after of, this win.. i wanna see ” Liverpool F.C. Winner of the F.A. Cup! ” =), well.. i’ve to go to play Fifa xD, My Dear team! I Love so much!
    From.: Alexis, Argentina, Cordoba,17 years old xD

    Come on!!! Liverpool F.C. a Really team!

  20. babel i wish he played like that every game. skrtel was unbelivable has settled in nicely cant wait to see him and agger at the back i think they’ll gell together. congrats to sami what a way to celabrate his new contract was really proud of the boys they showed passion and pride wen it went to 2 all and turned the game right around

  21. Amazing night, although from the start of the day I had a feeling that we’ll go through regardless of what might happen. And I was proven correct when first Hyypia levelled the scores at 1-1, then Torres came to score the 2nd. Although I was shocked at Adebayor’s goal with the clock ticking to end in 5 minuites, I still knew we’ll make it. Call me an optimist, but I just had the feeling that we’ll do it, and what a way to do it. Anyone claiming Babel’s tug by Toure was soft better watch Malouda’s jump on Finnan vs Chelsea at Anfield. It was a pen anyways, and looking to make it a hat-trick of wins against Chelsea in the Semis… oh wait, we’ve already done that 😀

  22. liverpool were awsome were gunna kill chelsea in the semi’s and then united in the final. i sound so confident don’t i lol

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