Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Thursday January 31 2013
Liverpool may have lost a two goal lead last night but Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was content to come away from Arsenal with a 2-2 draw...
Following the shock of FA Cup elimination to League One side Oldham Athletic on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers and his players were probably grateful to have another match to instantly focus on.
The visitors certainly looked like a team with demons to bury as they raced into the lead after just five minutes through top-scorer Luis Suarez.
Visibly settled by the opening goal, the Merseysiders proceeded to dominate the opening half with some incisive passing and movement.
The second goal that Liverpool had been threatening eventually arrived on the hour mark as Jordan Henderson was rewarded for his persistence and all-round display.
However, the two-goal advantage was quickly wiped out within the next seven minutes as Arsenal finally clicked into gear.
Goals from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott were then followed by a period of sustained pressure by the hosts, leaving Liverpool slightly relieved to hear the sound of the final whistle.
After the match Kop boss Rodgers analysed the contest at his post-match press conference, telling reporters: "My overriding emotion is of real pride.
"We played Arsenal earlier on in the season and we were disappointing. I always felt this game would be a benchmark of how we've been progressing.
"It's a game we should have won - we didn't but we showed great resilience and quality and had other chances to get other goals. I'm very proud of the team."
The 40-year-old former Swansea City manager subsequently revealed the reasons behind why he felt the three points slipped away.
"I think we probably didn't keep it at 2-0 for long enough. I was trying to get Jose Enrique on down the left because Luis had ran out of steam a little bit," continued Rodgers.
"He has a great capacity to work but that was his first time playing in that role. But Jose couldn't get his boots on and all that sort of stuff, and within five minutes it was two each.
"It's just something that can happen - Arsenal are a wonderful team. We're disappointed it went to 2-2 but we showed great resilience and actually could have even won it."
Liverpool and Arsenal remain 6th and 7th respectively in the Premier League table - still separated by three points.
The draw means Liverpool are still yet to taste victory over a top six side this season but Rodgers revealed he's not concerned by the statistic.
"I'm not overly worried - we should have beaten Manchester City earlier in the season, we arguably could have won tonight," he added with the reigning champions up next at the Etihad.
"Hopefully people can see, but more importantly I can see, the group getting better all the time.
"We can go to Manchester City and win, and if we end up with four points from these two games that will show we're really pushing in the right direction."
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Date:Thursday January 31 2013
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