Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Halftime Thoughts--Arsenal vs. Liverpool

• It’s been a tale of two halves; Arsenal had the better of things and were in control for the first 20 minutes or so, and Liverpool came alive for the last 20-25 minutes.

• Very impressed with Liverpool’s immediate response to Adebayor’s goal. Once again, Steven Gerrard, the captain, put the team on his back and came up with a nice run and low cross for Kuyt to finish.

• Ryan Babel needs to continue to run at Kolo Toure. I said this in my “keys to the game” yesterday, and when Babel did use his speed on the left wing, he was fairly successful. Toure can’t match him step-for-step, and I’d expect to see Babel wear him down gradually in the second half.

• Pepe Reina is a fine, fine goalkeeper, but his relative lack of height for a goalkeeper puts him at a disadvantage on corners and free kicks. Arsenal needs to keep pumping the ball into the area, where Adebayor is having his way with Hyypia and Skrtel right now.

• Speaking of Hyypia, I have no idea why he is in the lineup. He is 34 years old now and has lost more than a step. He was exploited by Adebayor on the first goal and as I said, Arsenal needs to take advantage of Hyypia through the air and on the ground with pace.

• Jamie Carragher despises playing right back, but he does a good job there and it shows how much he cares about Liverpool FC by playing out of position for the team. With that said, him not being in the center allows Adebayor to win balls more easily in the air and I have a feeling Bendtner will be brought on as well.

• 1-1 clearly favors Liverpool, so Arsenal will have to push for a second goal. That should make for a great second half.

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