It’s all over at Anfield, and as predicted here before the quarterfinal round started, Liverpool has advanced after winning 4-2 tonight. Captain Steven Gerrard stepped up and converted the game-winning penalty just minutes after Arsenal had equalized at 2-2 through Adebayor. That scoreline obviously would’ve sent the Gunners through on the away goals rule, but a justly awarded spot kick quashed any momentum and good feelings that the North London side had earned back.
Ryan Babel coolly finished a breakaway to seal the deal in stoppage time, and full credit has to be given to Liverpool FC for fighting back the way they did.
Arsenal has to be commended as well for overcoming their 2-1 deficit and when the Togolese striker levelled the match, it looked for all the world like his team would progress.
It was not to be for Arsene Wenger’s team though. Liverpool will meet Chelsea, a 3-2 aggregate winner over Turkish club Fenerbahçe, in the semifinals for the third time in four years, but I’ll have more on that as we get closer to the tie. The first leg is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22.
We were treated to a fabulous game today. In truth, I think Liverpool had the better of things all match long and if either of those teams were going to win, it was going to be the Reds. Arsenal didn’t look the same after Mathieu Flamini had to be taken off due to injury right before the first half ended, whereas Liverpool got stronger as time went on.
I’m curious to hear what Monsieur Wenger has to say about the penalty decision so close to full-time. To me, it wasn’t even that close. Babel was hauled down from behind and could’ve fallen several strides before he actually went down, and I respect the fact that he didn’t dive.
Congratulations to Liverpool on the victory and credit to Arsenal for making this such a good game. The Gunners had their chances and didn’t take them. In the end, that will haunt them more than anything.