Arshavin scorcher condemns Reds to defeat  

Monday, 14 December 2009

Andrei Arshavin returned to Anfield, the scene of his four-goal blitz last season, to score the winning goal in the 2-1 encounter with Liverpool.

Rafa Benitez will be livid with his players and the referee Howard Webb after his side dominated the first half, and led through Dirk Kuyt.

Steven Gerrard was brought down in the visitor's box early on when he knocked the ball past William Gallas but was caught by the defender.

Despite there being obvious contact - confirmed by television replays - referee Webb waved away appeals.

Holland international Kuyt pounced on goalkeeper Manuel Almunia's poor punch from Fabio Aurelio's free-kick to fire home from ten yards, four minutes before the interval.

But five minutes after the restart Liverpool gifted Arsenal the softest of equalisers when Cesc Fabregas released Samir Nasri on the right and when Glen Johnson, with Theo Walcott at his back, tried to intercept the cross which had taken a slight deflection off Jamie Carragher he succeeded only in turning it past Reina.

Their position was strengthened further in the 58th minute when another error by Johnson, who miscontrolled Fabregas' shot under pressure from Arshavin and allowed the Russian to nip past him and fire in a shot off Reina's right-hand post.


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