For the 3rd time in the past week Arsenal and Liverpool clash, but this time someone has to win. Last week the two played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals at Arsenal and on Saturday in a Premier League match the two played to an identical 1-1 draw at Arsenal again. Tonight’s second leg game will have a winner no matter what the score is at the end of regulation even if it goes to a shoot out to see who will go onto the semifinals of the Champions League.
In the first leg at Arsenal the gunners had their chances being robbed by the ref on what was an obvious penalty in the box and then even having one of their own players block a sure goal, which would have put them ahead 2-1. Liverpool dropped 10 men back on defense every time Arsenal brought the ball past the half line, so it was hard for the gunners to create any space to score.
In the Premier League game over the weekend Liverpool scored just before half when Peter Crouch, who did not even play in the Champions League game on Wednesday, took a long ball and fired it to the back of the net to give Liverpool a 1-0 going into the half. In the 54th minute Arsenal tied the game when Nicklas Bendtner found the twine. It is interesting that Bendtner was the player that scored, as he was the player that accidentally blocked a sure goal in Wednesday’s game that could have given Arsenal the victory.
Tonight’s game will be held in Liverpool, so the home crowd may be a factor. Both squads will be at full strength, as Saturday’s Premier League game saw several key players sit out for most of the game for both teams. This game is for all the marbles, as no matter what an English team will be in the semifinals.
Manchester United plays AS Roma in Manchester on Wednesday and after beating Roma 2-0 in Rome they would have to have a huge meltdown not to make it through to the semis. Chelsea is the 3rd English team in the quarterfinals and will need to score a few goals, as they were surprised by a scrappy Fenerbahce team that is brimming with confidence heading to Chelsea for the second leg of their quarterfinal match up.