Osterberger: Don’t Turn off the TV So Fast
Wally Osterberger | Thursday, October 31, 2019
Some of you Premier League fans might have seen an Arsenal vs. Liverpool matchup Thursday and thought to yourselves, “What a treat!” Then you probably saw that it was a Carabao Cup match and were immediately disappointed. If you felt that way, you were probably right to do so, but for the wrong reasons.
You see, what initially looked like a rather boring affair in which both teams used their backup squads ended up being quite possibly one of the most exciting affairs of the season. Who would have expected to see a 10-goal thriller, with multiple deliciously-taken goals, and a bonus penalty shootout?
If I am being honest, probably Arsenal fans, as their manager Unai Emery seemingly cannot seem to get his tactics, team selections or really anything right at the moment. Liverpool fans might have expected to see their squad score five goals, until they saw none of their all-conquering front three were named in the matchday squad. Manager Jurgen Klopp opted for a squad laden with exciting, albeit unproven young players.
The scoring commenced in the sixth minute when, look away now Gunners fans, Shkodran Mustafi turned the ball into his own net. It was slightly unfortunate for the Arsenal center back, but alas, not surprising.
Then, a mere 13 minutes later, midfielder Lucas Torreira put in a rebound from close range to level the affair. The goals continued to rain down, when another rebound was slotted home by Arsenal’s young Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli in the 26th minute.
Martinelli got his brace 10 minutes later, scoring from a Bakayo Saka cross. Then Martinelli, ever-present throughout, tripped up Harvey Elliot, and James Milner, as cool a head as they come, put the penalty past Emiliano Martinez.
The second half proved to be just as exciting as the first. Ainsley Maitland-Niles scored off an audacious assist from the mercurial Mesut Ozil. Now at 4-2, Arsenal must have felt comfortable, as Liverpool scored two goals quickly after.
First, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed a long range effort home in the 57th minute. Then, Divock Origi leveled things on minute 62.
Right after, inexplicably, Emery substituted Ozil, Arsenal’s main creative force, and the team did not recover. But, Joe Willock, perhaps emulating Oxlade-Chamberlain, put an absolutely ludicrous effort on goal that no keeper in the world could have saved.
Arsenal looked comfortable, and almost certain for a win. However, up stepped Origi, Liverpool’s man for the clutch moment, who in the fourth minute of stoppage time, had the audacity to scissor kick an equalizer.
The regular time madness made for a fairly lifeless extra half hour, as suddenly both teams learned how to defend. So, penalty kicks were on the cards, and the net got hardly any rest.
Liverpool prevailed in the end, as Arsenal’s on-loan midfielder Dani Ceballos saw his penalty saved by Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher to end the match.
So, moral of the story, maybe don’t turn off the TV so fast, because I can’t imagine such an entertaining game occurring in a regular Premiere League matchup.