To think it all started so well. Despite a first half in which they dominated and led through a Luis Suarez goal (after he had missed a penalty) Liverpool failed to build on their early momentum against Sunderland and were made to pay.
A second half performance in which the Black Cats equalised and the home side tired, it left a lot to be desired in front of a sell out crowd who came expecting three points. While fans may have been disappointed with the final score as they exited Anfield it is important positives are taken from last weekend.
Impressive debuts from Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing offered encouragement for the coming season. On the other hand, the likes of Andy Carroll, John Flanagan and Jordan Henderson endured tougher afternoons yet will surely improve as the season continues.
But as strange as it sounds, the draw with Steve Bruce’s outfit may have helped to reign in the expectation of some supporters. Although it is perfectly healthy to talk up your team’s chances at the start of a season, a sense of realism is needed when assessing the bigger picture.
With that in mind this weekend’s trip to Arsenal should be viewed with optimism. Recent record aside, there has never been a better time for the visitors to record their first win at the Emirates Stadium against a side reeling from the loss of their captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona.
Add an injury-hit squad and the possibility of Samir Nasri being sold to Manchester City to the equation, there is a good case for expecting an away win.
However, since Titi Camara (remember him?) scored the winner at Highbury in February 2000, Liverpool have endured countless defeats and draws in the red half of North London.
In fact, the last time the reds won a Barclays Premier League game against Arsene Wenger’s side was March 2007 when a ‘perfect’ hat-trick from Peter Crouch helped Liverpool to a 4-1 win.
Plus for all their current faults, Arsenal still possess a side with eye catching players such as Robin Van Persie who hit an impressive 18 league goals last season.
If the most recent meeting between the two sides is anything to go by, Saturday’s early meeting will be no quiet affair with points at stake and a chance to strike an early blow to the other’s title/top four aspirations.
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