Monday 15th November 2010
As we left the ground last Sunday, thoroughly disappointed and frustrated at our performance and result I think we all felt a Chelsea win at Anfield later that day was almost inevitable. This would have left us a massive eight points behind with two extremely tough away games to come. With admittedly a long way to go it would still have looked a severe mountain to climb if we were to be a challenger come May.
Yet here we are, just seven days later and that gap has been reduced to just a couple of points. If nothing else, I feel it demonstrates this could be a real topsy-turvy season.
The city of Liverpool felt a long long way from home getting out of bed early on Sunday morning, especially on what was a chilly old day. There is something that doesn't feel right about getting up in the dark at the weekend!
A hearty brekkie en route and a traffic-free journey always lifts spirits and as we settled down to some pre-match fare in our usual haunt we all knew that like Wednesday it promised to be a hard old battle. Our hosts hadn't gone a full 18 home matches unbeaten for no reason so although always optimistic it was difficult to be extremely confident of a victory.
For me the first half was a fairly even affair: although we dominated much of possession and threatening positions, Everton had one good chance on the break from a Cahill header. On the stroke of half time another bout of pressure culminated in Bac smashing the ball home to give us that all-important lead. Of course, we celebrated in true style and it completed a fine week for Bac personally after his superb performance up at Wolves on Wednesday.
Another slick move early in the second period and Cesc doubled our lead with a strike that ultimately proved to be the winning goal.
For me, the remainder of the game was determined by two glorious opportunities we squandered to put the game to bed. Sami's lightning-quick run saw Howard save well when through one on one and moments later Marouane's outstretched boot saw the ball sail over the bar from almost under the posts.
At 3-0 it would have been job done but with a full half an hour to go we all wondered if we would be made to pay. An Everton goal would have seen us seriously under the cosh for the remainder of the game but overall I felt we coped extremely comfortably. Of course, away at a team like Everton they will get one or two shooting chances but once again Fab was excellent between the sticks and the defence turned in another gritty performance.
With strikers galore being chucked on by David Moyes we conceded in the dying moments, even if having seen it on the TV replays it could well have been given as a foul on Songy. Injury time seemed to take a lifetime but again we defended superbly and the three points were in the bag. A massive massive win.
The icing on the top of the cake of course was listening to the commentary from Stamford Bridge on the way home.
Over the last few seasons I have always questioned how well our west London neighbours would cope without their 'spine' of Terry, Lampard and Drogba. Yesterday two were missing and they were well beaten in their own back yard. The analysts bemoaned their luck at having big players missing and I couldn't help but feel, "welcome to our world!"
Having your Eduardos, RVPs, Cescs, Tommy Vs etc out for lengthy periods seriously tests your squad strength. This is something we have dealt with for a long time.
All we hope is the luck on that front has finally turned in our favour.
FrankCopyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Nov 2010