Monday 16th August 2010
When you are a couple of goals up and only come away with a point it always feels like a defeat and a similarly something gained from a game where all seems lost often feels like a victory.
Sunday's big opener at Anfield didn't really feel like either although our equaliser being so late in the game meant the walk back to the car was definitely graced with more satisfaction than disappointment.
We probably didn't quite do enough on the day to deserve all three points but we definitely didn't deserve to lose either. All in all then, a draw was about right and as mentioned in my previous piece I am happy with that.
A trip to the North West is rarely graced with sunshine but it was an altogether sun-drenched afternoon that greeted us after a trouble-free journey north. The usual pre-match fare in the usual establishment was enjoyed in the usual manner before the atmosphere built to an opening -day crescendo in the football theatre that is Anfield.
Of course, our hosts are one of this country's most successful clubs historically but we too have some great memories from this particular fixture down the years. May 26, 1989 will always be not only one of our but this country's most famous fooball nights; scoring nine goals in a week in both domestic cup competitions also springs to mind and in more recent times the Meerkat's exploits in both the 4-4 draw and last season's 2-1 victory are still fresh in the memory.
Domination for me comes with goals so I wouldn't use this word to describe the first half but I can't ever remember in all the years I have been attending this fixture an Arsenal team controlling the game so comfortably in the reds' own back yard. In fact the only time I remember our hosts venturing anywhere near our box was when Joe Cole's badly timed challenge saw him rightly sent off down by the corner flag.
As often is the case I felt the reduction in numbers didn't do us any favours and with Liverpool quite obviously returning after the break with double determination to get something from a potentially even more difficult situation they took the lead with their first real attempt on goal. Exactly what we didn't need and something if we'd avoided, I feel, we would have gone on to win the game.
The rest of the game was very much a case of whether we could break down a blanket defence and with time running out we got the equaliser our overall performance deserved, especially as the referee seemed to do his utmost all half to try and 'even' things up with his sometimes quite mystifying decision-making.
The first jostle of the season then and we are off the mark with a point from arguably one of our toughest games.
Can anybody remember the last time we played in all yellow!?
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