After The Match 


ARSENAL-LIVERPOOL 4-2 (1-2)                   Fri April 9.        Premier League
Goals: Hyypia (5), Owen (42)      Henry (31, 50, 77), Pires (49)
Team: Dudek, Carragher, Riise, Hyypia, Biscan, Gerrard, Hamann, Diouf, Kewell, Owen, Heskey
Subs: Murphy (Diouf 84), Baros (Heskey 64)
Not used: Luzi, Henchoz, Cheyrou
Yellow: Diouf (83)     Cole (28), Vieira (65), Lauren (73)
Red: None
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 38,119

                                                             FIXTURES & RESULTS
Shots on target: 7-5
Shots off target: 5-7
Fouls conceded: 16-9
Corners: 2-8
Yellow: 3-1





"The game was
decided by some individual brilliance
from Thierry..."

               Gerard Houllier

0904: Houllier: Better side won
0904: Wenger surprised by Gunners
0904: Henry hat-trick downs Liverpool


Houllier: Better side won

Sky Sports

Gerard Houllier admitted that Arsenal were the better side in their 4-2 defeat at Highbury - saying they were stunning in the second half.

Liverpool showed plenty of fight in the first half and twice took the lead to go into the break 2-1 ahead.

Arsenal bounced back in the second period as Thierry Henry inspired his side by completing a hat-trick - including a superb solo effort - to seal a 4-2 win.

Houllier admits Arsenal were the better side on the day.

"I thought they were better than us, especially in the second half, I think we were better in the first half but they were stunning in the second half," said Houllier.

"The game was decided by some individual brilliance from Thierry - which affected the morale of the team.

"Before that we could have scored a third goal with Harry Kewell's shot.

"We had more chances than they had in the first half - although their goal was fortunate as I think it was foul on Didi Hamann.

"As soon as they scored the second equaliser it gave them a lot of confidence.

"They're a great team that's why they are unbeaten.

"I said they would be like a wounded animal and the way they started the second half showed that.

"I expected they would come out and show something.

"It's a big test for us now, we have got six games left to play and we have to do well."

Wenger surprised by Gunners

Sky Sports

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says that his side showed great mental strength to emerge from a dreadful week with a win over Liverpool.

The Gunners have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup in their last two games, and had to come from behind twice against The Reds.

Despite Liverpool taking the lead on two occasions, Arsenal came firing back, inspired by a Thierry Henry hat-trick, to move seven points clear at the top of the table.

"It was a big test of mental strength, of character and togetherness," said Wenger.

"This team is special and they've showed that again today.

"When their backs were against the wall, they came out and played some fantastic football."

Wenger admitted that the spirit of his side surprised him somewhat, and paid tribute to a special effort by Henry - who was a doubt for the game with a back injury.

"Yes, the mental resources of the team surprised me. I feared the two big games could have taken its toll in the second half.

"Today Thierry has been exceptional, but the team has also been exceptional.

"It was a gamble because he could have started and come off after ten minutes if his back had locked again.

"He is amazing, but the team is also really amazing.

"The mental strength they showed. There is nothing worse than losing in the Champions League in the final minutes but the way they came back today was extraordinary.

"I can only give one guarantee with this team and that is they will give all that they can."

Henry hat-trick downs Liverpool

BBC Sport Online

Thierry Henry's hat-trick put Arsenal seven points clear at top of the table.

Liverpool threatened to increase Arsenal's misery after the FA Cup and Champions League exits when Sami Hyypia headed them ahead after five minutes.

Henry raced clear to equalise after 31 minutes, but Michael Owen restored Liverpool's lead before half-time.

Arsenal scored twice in a minute early in the second half through Robert Pires and an Henry wonder goal, before he completed his treble after 78 minutes.

Henry passed a late fitness test on his back injury as Arsenal attempted to get their season on course after a week of bitter disappointment.

Arsenal delayed their appearance on to the pitch until virtually the last-minute, but it was Liverpool who made the faster start and took the lead after five minutes.

Liverpool forced three quick corners, and when Steven Gerrard re-directed Harry Kewell's delivery, Hyypia scored with a diving header.

Arsenal were stunned and it needed a smart intervention from Sol Campbell to stop Owen reaching John Arne Riise's through ball.

The Gunners finally spluttered into life when Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was forced to produce a fine reaction save from Freddie Ljungberg's angled drive.

Jens Lehmann, the much-criticised Arsenal goalkeeper, was uncertain again when he allowed Owen to reach a though ball ahead of him, and he was fortunate to see the striker's shot drift over the top.

Arsenal were in desperate need of a moment of creation, and they got it after 31 minutes.

Gilberto robbed Dietmar Hamann, and when Pires found Henry he provided a composed finish to beat Dudek.

But as Arsenal attempted to settle their nerves, Liverpool struck again three minutes before the interval.

Gerrard's brilliant through ball allowed Owen to cleverly escape the attentions of Campbell, and this time he made no mistake.

It was a pivotal moment in Arsenal's season - and they responded magnificently with two goals in a minute to take the lead.

Henry and Ljungberg combined after 49 minutes to set up Pires for a crisp finish past Dudek.

And then, a minute later, came the latest addition to Henry's catalogue of magical moments that have graced this season.

Henry got possession just inside the Liverpool half before setting off on a dazzling run that left Hamann and Jamie Carragher trailing in his wake before providing the finish the move deserved.

Arsenal were going for the kill, while Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier introduced Milan Baros for the disappointing Emile Heskey in a bid to turn the tide.

Wenger also made a change, sending on Edu for the tiring Pires.

Henry completed his hat-trick to seal a crucial victory, taking advantage of slack marking and Dennis Bergkamp's through ball to bundle home with 12 minutes left.

It was the result Arsenal needed so badly, and left Liverpool still fighting a battle for fourth place.

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Thor Zakariassen