Arsenal Reserves 2-1 'pool: Rodgers, cram it with walnuts

Trotting out an starting XI that included Yaya Sanogo, Carl Jenkinson, Lukas Fabianski, and Nacho Monreal looked to be a bit of a capitulation from Arsène, as if he was conceding the FA Cup in order to stay fresh for Wednesday’s Champions League first-leg with Bayern. If the inclusion of those four didn’t look enough like a white flag, we had to fret over the defensive-midfield pairing of Arteta and Flamini, which might have something to offer defensively but has frequently seen us go begging offensively. However, despite an opening ten minutes almost as shaky as the Annihilation Aberration at Anfield, the lads went ahead through some spirited attack-play from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanogo, with Ox going straight at Liverpool’s defense on the dribble and Sanogo muscling his way around the box to create chances. It was enough to put us up 2-0 shortly after halftime, but not enough to prevent some post-match whingeing.

I’ll leave it to others to offer a more-detailed play-by-play. That’s not what I’m here for, at least, not today. Today is all about schadenfreude, sweet, sweet, schadenfreude. After the match, the talk was all about how Howard Webb had declined to award Liverpool a second penalty just minutes after awarding one that Gerrard converted to make it 2-1. I’m not going to weigh in on how harsh the tackles were or whether or not either should have been—oh, wait. That’s exactly why I’m here. The first one was just a bit light, with Suarez appearing to trip over the chalk that marks the edge of the penalty-box just as much as he was ‘clipped’ by Podolski. To award that one is a bit of a stretch. To award a second one to the same divey, bitey McRacist inside of five minutes is biting off more than one can chew. It would be enough to set one’s teeth on edge. It would have been a real kick in the teeth. I mean, c’mon, Suarez. Don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth. You got one penalty. Leave it at that.

Sure, the second penalty looked a bit more severe, with Ox crashing into Suarez as both went for the ball. However, Suarez went down as if he knew there would be contact. How does he know these things? It’s as if he possesses some kind of extra-sensory perception that allows him to to detect an opponent’s sweat- or heat-molecules moments, seconds before impact, so finely attuned is he to his surroundings. Let’s call them the Ampullae of Suarezii™. At any rate, he went down as if he had been shot, although just where the bullet struck him is a matter of conjecture. The Zapruder films indicate that he seems to have taken a hit to the right buttock, then to the left cheek. Whatever the case, Webb did not see fit to award two penalties to the man. So it goes, and here comes the schadenfreude.

When you make a living from diving as often as Suarez does, there will come a time when—how do I put this delicately?—a certain reputation for faking it accrues to you, and a penalty that might otherwise be forthcoming is, in your case, overlooked. It’s a bit like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Speaking of crying, Brendan Rodgers said, “It was a blatant penalty. It was more clear and blatant than the first one. The first one, Luis got clipped so it was a clear penalty, but the second one was clearer.” Well, so it goes. It’s almost as if scoring five goals at Anfield convinced Liverpool that this was in fact a second-leg, and they could advance to the quarterfinal on aggregate. As it stands, it might have been wise to have saved a goal or two from that first leg, so as to allow Rodgers his wish when he added, “I thought the best team lost, and the very least we deserved was a replay.” Alas, it was not to be. More’s the pity. Maybe Liverpool did for my little gambit, as described in this post.

While we’re on the subject of overlooked penalties, it would be irresponsible of me not to comment on the two rash tackles Steven Gerrard laid on Alex “the next Steven Gerrard” Oxlade-Chamberlain. The first, with just minutes to go before the half, saw Gerrard scythe Ox down as Ox made a cut-back that left Gerrard looking even older and slower than usual. Had he not fouled Ox, the young one had an open path towards goal with teammates pouring forward on dangerous counterattack. Yellow was a bit soft, but the call was made. Fine. I’ll move on. The second one, uncalled showed Ox beating Gerrard again, and this time about to cut into the box from the side. Gerrard’s slide-tackle got 100% Ox, 0% ball, and no call was made. Gerrard was lucky to stay on the pitch inside of drawing a second-yellow, leaving Liverpool a man short for 20 minutes, not to mention without his services for another match. If we could just trade a penalty on Ox for the second yellow on Gerrard, just for kicks, it might be worth a look. However, my TARDIS is on the fritz.

As it stands, Liverpool will have to lick their wounds. I’m sure that Suarez’s scars from the Ox tackle will ache a bit in the morning, but he’s a big boy and he’ll live to dive another day. As for us, we’ll move on to the quarterfinal against Everton. What will Liverpool do? Root for us, the team that dumped them from the FA Cup, or root for crosstown rivals Everton? Choices. Tough, tough choices. At least Liverpool will have a bit more time on their hands to ponder them…

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41 thoughts on “Arsenal Reserves 2-1 'pool: Rodgers, cram it with walnuts

  1. Anonymous

    cant wait till you get your buts kicked out of Europe by Bayern,as for the prem youre having an arse.

  2. Anonymous

    don't know how the fuck you won that match,3 shots on target and scored 2,totally outplayed in your pitch and help from a cheating cockroach of a referee,thats the only way you could of won,but how sad the way your shit club was celebrating at the end of the game as if you had one the double,laughable I would say and cant wait till Bayern dump you out of the champions league,as for the prem don't make us laugh.

  3. Anonymous

    Arsenal can consider themselves very lucky as they were completely outplayed. When cup distractions hurt your league form, you may wish Webb was more capable.

  4. Anonymous

    Howard had a mare – missed a blatent pen for Suarez and failed to send off Gerrard – shame really as it was a rather good game, something you seem to have forgotten to mention what with all the whinging

  5. Anonymous

    Jesus, what a sad, bitter, little man. That 5-1 humiliation really got to you huh? Or are you just angry because Rogers has taken only a year to catch up Wenger's 9 years work in progress? You enjoy your lucky win after being outclassed at home as we all know the Arsenal 'faithful' will be booing again on Wednesday.

  6. Anonymous

    Arsenal played Liverpool three times this season , won 2 lost 1. If I was Liverpool I would be worried about beating spurs and everton to 4th place . If not your diver will leave.

  7. Anonymous

    totally outplayed on yer own patch, i wouldn't be crowing too much. then again it about all you've had to shout about in quite some time.

  8. Anonymous

    woof. looks like that 5-1 win really got the mugsmashers' expectations up, now they're dashed again. tsk. Well, we don't have time to waste with the hurt feelings as we have to prepare for this thing known as European football. Y'see, when you're good enough to finish in the top four, you play in something called the Champions League. Mugsmashers may not know what this is, so be patient with them.

  9. Anonymous

    Weapons grade projection. 5 times lest you forget. Congrats on a home win, but you were lucky, clearly not better. No gunners here are denying the fact we're a better footballing side.

  10. Anonymous

    Liverpool fans take heart from the fact they've got a growing vibrant team led by an intelligent young manager that are scoring goals and playing football the boo brigade can only dream of.Booooo!!!! Get off!!! Boo!!! Boo!!! Sell Eboue! Sell Ramsey! Boooooo!!!! Thanks for the memories Arsene!!! Booooooo!!!!!!

  11. Anonymous

    New fan idiots. I remember the arsenal back line on the half way line with their hands up for 90 mins…

  12. Anonymous

    What do you mean “we have to prepare”? The only thing you have to prepare is some chicken ready to be deep fried and served to customers. The rest of the time you'll be balancing your emotions between booing Arsenal or posting smug nonsense on internet forums depending upon the actions of someone other than yourself.

  13. Anonymous

    I have no doubt that Liverpool will finish in the top 3 of the Premiership' and Arsenal will finish 5th behind Spurs. So enjoy the next two CL games cos you wont be playing CL for a while after them. And it should have been three penalties in total,cos if you check the Agger header late in the game he's punched in the head by Fabianski who totally misses the ball!

  14. Anonymous

    You scousers get a chance to post on arsenal bloggs, where as your site's don't let us post anything without trying to robb us first.proper biased wankers.

  15. Anonymous

    pointless goon, if this is the best you can do with time to 'think' and the power of an electronic thesaurus at your disposal it must be incredible having a conversation with you. can you get some other patients online to let us know?

  16. Anonymous

    The only cockroaches were from Liverpool throwing flairs. Why is it trouble follows Liverpool everwhere?

  17. Anonymous

    Easy, Jon, it's clear you've struck a nerve with this one based on the Liverpool comments. Maybe they should've saved a goal or two from Anfield. Too bad Sturridge was so wasteful in the early going or they could've earned a replay. Maybe next year.

  18. Anonymous

    WOW! All this time I thought this was an Arsenal blog, but NOOOOO! it appears that this is where 'pool fans go when the pubs in Merseyside won't let them buy a pint. This may be a new record, Jon, the Gooner fans have been completely outnumbered by the scousers, but all they can moan about is poor Howard Webb. What would they be screaming about if Gerrard had received the second yellow especially since he may be the only Red trusted to score (with a bit of help from his friends)

  19. Anonymous

    punks. u took 3 league points we could get from any team. we took a place in the fa cup 6th round u cant get again till next year. u outclassed us? take it to the bank and cash it…

  20. Anonymous

    lmao at arsenal saying that was their reserve team , what because wilshere and giroud didint play lmao , omg how pathetic ,i suppose you need to say that because once again you were lucky you were not hammered by a better side , must be arsenals way of trying to make the 5 1 thrashing a distant memory


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