In the modern era few fixtures regularly match Liverpool v Arsenal for sheer excitement and goals. With both teams having been made to play relative bridesmaids for the last decade or so their encounters have regularly seemed to be six pointers, that both sides have desperately needed to win to stay in touch with the leaders, or helter-skelter cup ties. As a result some kamikaze football has ensued, much to the delight of neutrals everywhere. Here are six of the best Liverpool v Arsenal fixtures since the turn of the millennium.
30/01/2013 Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool
Last year’s ripper came with both sides outside the Champions League places and desperate to reel in Spurs. Liverpool raced to a 0-2 lead with a couple of slightly scruffy finishes before Giroud and Walcott pegged Liverpool back with goals in consecutive minutes to level a bonkers game.
Like all the best YouTube clips, here are the goals sound tracked by an over excited Arab.
21/4/2009 Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal
A serious contender for ‘Greatest Ever PL Game’ this epic came in Liverpool’s last serious assault on the title. The draw saw them move back to the top of the table on goal difference but having played two games more than United in second place who went on to snatch the title. Despite going on to win all their remaining games this match was the final nail in Benitez’s title coffin. Despite the vast swathes of utter tripe that Andre Asharvin served up in his final two years in England, all is forgiven for this one god like performance.
8/4/2008 Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal
Probably at the PL’s peak as the finest league in the world, England supplied three of the four semi finalists of that year’s Champions League. One of them, Liverpool, got there having beaten Arsenal 5-3 on aggregate in the quarters. Torres’ effort with half an hour to go was sublime, setting up a ruddy cosmic grandstand finish. Three goals were forthcoming in the final fifteen minutes seeing Arsenal snatch victory, let it slip, before finally hurling it of a cliff. Includes a rare sighting of the infamous Ryan Babel serving some kind of useful purpose.
9/1/2007 Liverpool 3-6 Arsenal
Another game that boggles the mind more and more with hindsight. This time Julio Baptista was the hugely underwhelming big name who turned in one of the performances of the season bagging four and even seeing a decent penalty saved by Jerzy Dudek. Things were kicked off by an absolute collector’s item – a Jeremy Aliadere goal – as utter no marks such as Lee Peltier and Gabriel Paletta got torn to shreds. Efforts from Fowler, Hyypia and a stonking Gerrard hit gave the score a vaguely respectable look but this was truly a battering from a strike pairing that stuck gold and had the game of their lives. Shame it came in a League Cup fifth round eh lads.
9/4/2004 Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool
The Gunners came out on top of this end of season tie as they zoned in on an entire league season unbeaten. Coming off the back of a narrow Champions League quarterfinal defeat to Chelsea they responded by ripping into Liverpool with Henry on glorious form as he bagged a lecker hat-trick.
29/1/2003 Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
The real joy of this fixture during the early 00’s was the strikers on show. Owen and Henry were two of the world’s very best whilst Bergkamp was still a languid magician and Heskey, erm, was yet to become quite the figure of utter farce he would later devolve into. This was the year both teams missed their targets with United taking the title from Arsenal whilst Liverpool saw Chelsea and Newcastle squeeze them out of the CL places. Regardless, this game was a ripper and Bergkamp’s ball for the opening goal still causes funny stirrings in my undercrackers to this day.