Premier League Sunday and FA Cup Semi-Final, Gameweek 33: Open Thread

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There are only two games featuring Premier League teams on the calendar today. Both of them are massive and both are played at the same time.

The 11am ET/4pm GMT match between Arsenal and Liverpool will be a superb test to see what the sides are made of. Are Liverpool that much improved and can they play as well at the Emirates Stadium as they did at Anfield on Monday night? Is Arsenal a serious title contender and can they regain the form that they had earlier in the season?

In the other match, it’s the FA Cup semi-final between Stoke City and Bolton Wanderers at Wembley. With the majority of people believing that this match will be even more entertaining than the Manchester derby, it’ll be fascinating to see what the 90 minutes has in store for us. Read the FA Cup semi-final preview.

You know the drill. Before, during or after the matches today, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

21 thoughts on “Premier League Sunday and FA Cup Semi-Final, Gameweek 33: Open Thread”

  1. Arsenal-Liverpool, as an American sports fan… this is why I kind of still hate Soccer.. 8 mins of stoppage time, which is BS unless someone got shot on the field. Fabregas gets a Spanish, ‘clever’ dive in the 95th minute penalty.. on a ball he had no chance of getting to.. Liverpool follows it up by flopping in the 101st minute to get a penalty to tie it in double secret probation Ferguson extra time..

    The entire 90 minutes of play were invalidated by bogus penalties in extra time.. Why not scrap the entire game.. line it up from the spot and see who is first to 4. That’s how I feel about this kind of crap. There is no other sport.. where a referee can arbitrarily hand someone a result with a blow of the whistle.

    I feel like both teams should get zero points.. really.

    1. Cesc didn’t dive, Lucas did. end of. and how do you know he couldn’t get to the ball? did the magic 8ball say so?

      and you get 8 minutes of extra time when a player sits unconscious on the pitch. Frankly was surprised it wasn’t more than 8.

      1. I say they both dived. Lucas did so more obviously. Cesc was not going to get to the ball felt a touch and milked it.

        Arsenal looked better in the 1st half by far. I did like KK telling Wenger to piss off at the end though.

    2. As it happens, someone pretty much did get shot on the field. Jamie Carragher was knocked out cold and had to be stretchered off. Considering the other injuries and substitutions, it was a legit 8 minutes.

      I’d say it was probably a fair result, but 1-0 to Arsenal would have made things more exciting for the rest of the season.

  2. What a finish at the Emirates! Liverpool gave a very gutsy performance who had to have two defenders replaced for injuries. Arsenal thought they had won it with Fabregas’s penalty but a minute later and Liverpool get their penalty to even the score. This can be a cruel game sometimes. From ecstacy to heartbreak in a minute. Great game to watch and I do feel for Arsenal as I thought this was going to be their year.

    The irony cannot be lost that Liverpool have given United the edge for their 19th title overtaking Liverpool’s 18.

    1. I think it was a dive from Lucas but Arsenal have only themselves to blame for what happened. They were the better team and probably deserved to win but in the end they demonstrated clearly why they are not champions.

  3. I’m gald the Bolton-Stoke game was over so quickly with the mauling by Stoke as that allowed me to watch the Arsenal-Liverpool game. What an end! Lots of talking points but the one thing that cannot be disputed is that Arsenal just don’t have that killer instinct even with all that possession. In fact Liverpool had better chances and Suarez was wasteful or Liverpool could have actually won which would have been a shame as they didn’t deserve it. Arsenal just about deserved the win for all their play but they cannot blame anyone but themselves for the draw.

  4. What on earth happened to Bolton? I could not believe how sloppy they were. Well done to Stoke who after today’s performance could cause City problems and they can actually win the FA Cup.

  5. Don’t mean to sound like a broken record, as we Arsenal fans have been known to be complaining against Refs and all that, but I have now known that most of the time, we bring this out to ourselves. We are the ones that bottle up. We play beautiful football, pretty passes, but we always seem to go straight down the heart of the defense as crossing from the flanks has never been our forte. How on earth can we not defend for 2 minutes is beyond comprehension. Lucas was going nowhere and yet Eboue has to go bulging into him. There is no shortage of brainless players in Arsenal uniform and we need to somehow clear them out. There should be no excuse for this. Title on the line and we can’t clear the ball with 6 denfenders. We simply panicked. We simply don’t deserve to win the title. It’s as simple as that.

    Yes, we have been in the end of some of the terrible decisions, but who hasn’t. When it happens to us, doesn’t mean we are hard-done all the time. Arsenal players should look themselves in the mirror. Eboue was not the one that lost the match. We lost it by not creating enough clear-cut chances the whole match and yet gifted with the penalty to win the match in death, we bottle up. We are the biggest bottlers. I am tired of being an Arsenal supporter.

    1. Arsenal fan, and AGREE with every single thing you said! Absolute truth! It’s so terrible, this would happen to no other team. Not just today but this has happened several times this season. Every team has a game or two like this every season, but Arsenal has had 6 or 7!

  6. Arsenal continue to go down the middle to break down teams. You cannot do that in the EPL as opposing teams know how to defend the middle and get on the ball quickly. Arsenal’s style of play is better suited for a league like La Liga where opposing teams give you more space to play and move the ball around. Unless Arsenal change by using their width they will struggle to win the title. They are good enough to challenge but not win it. Wenger has to modify his tactics if he wants to win trophies. Another season with no trophies. Sad.

  7. That was the FUNNIEST thing I have seen in a long time! The look on the face of the Arsenal players and fans was totally priceless, and true to form Wenger either didn’t see the penalty or didn’t think it was one. Well done Arsenal, again you managed to shoot yourselves in the foot one more time. Priceless.

  8. Hats off to Liverpool for hanging in there with the likes of Robinson and Flanagan, 17 and 18 year-olds respectively, keeping Arsenal wingers quiet. Lucas helped those kids a lot but that was a very good defensive performance by Liverpool. Who would have thought that Suarez would be Liverpool’s worse performer on the day wasting golden opportunities and giving the ball away time and again. Daglish was forced into making 3 substitutions because of injury and yet they found a way to get a draw. The future looks bright for Liverpool.

    Arsenal have nobody but themselves to blame for not winning this game. All that posession and not winning at home when you’re fighting for the title is unacceptable. Wenger needs to rethink his philosophy or they will always be challengers but not winners. Not being able to beat an inexperienced, young Liverpool team at home is inexcusable. I can see lost of changes this summer with Fabregas and RVP leaving. Uncertain future for Arsenal, I think.

    Both penaties were rightly awarded. Fabregas was fouled in the box even if he wasn’t going to get the ball. Penalty as per the letter of the law. A clumsy, needless push in the back by Eboue when Lucas was going away from the goal and with the referee likely to blow for fulltime, gave Liverpool their penalty. Right decision again since Eboue make contact and pushed Lucas down even if he was going away from the goal. Penalty if you follow the letter of the law.

    Manchester United went from heartbreak yesterday to all smiles today as they now have one hand on the title. Cannot see Arsenal making up a 6-point deficit with only 6 games left and Spurs and Manchester United still to play.

  9. Both penalties in the arsenal liverpool game were ugly, back to goal, no chance of scoring, legs give out at a hint of contact, nonsense. Both qualify by the letter of the rules, but an unfortunate way to end the game. Arsenal were a bit better throughout, but neither side looked likely to score even if the game went another hour, so a fair result in the end. Too bad the title race looks over though…

  10. Liverpool fan here. I thought the first penalty was a really marginal foul, the second a make-up call. I think the second call was correct given the unbalancing effect of the first one, but it would be best if the intent of the rule were enforced more closely than the letter inside the penalty area. It should have been 0-0…but the good thing about 1-1 is that Kuyt now has more goals than Torres for the season.

  11. I was hoping for an Arsenal win to keep Manchester United on their toes and the title still to play for. Alas, United are now all but title winners. Arsenal have only themselves to blame for having bottled it since they lost the Carling Cup final. Before the final they had won 6 and drawn 2. Since the final they have won 2, lost 2 and drawn 4. Says it all. Arsenal does not have the mental toughness United has to win trophies. You have to blame Wenger for that.

    Stoke was really up for the FA Cup semifinal while Bolton was a no-show. A 5-0 drubbing is embarassing in an FA Cup semifinal for a team in the top flight. I couldn’t believe how terrible Bolton was today. We may be in for a very competitive FA Cup final afterall. Let’s hope we get the fiestiness of yesterday with the goals of today.

  12. If you can’t win when your opponents are playing with teenagers in defence then you don’t deserve to win anything. Arsenal play eye-pleasing soccer but are incapable of breaking down teams who are well-organized in defence. Back to the drawing board for next season for Arsenal. I think it is now safe to say that Fabregas will leave at the end of the season. What Arsenal does then will be the interesting thing.

  13. Great spirit shown by Liverpool today. The best part, however, was after the final whistle. Did anyone else catch it?

    Right after the Liverpool penalty went in, the referee blew for full time. Dalglish celebrates but then turns and starts walking over to shake hands (he’s still smiling, of course). Wenger doesn’t take a liking to this and throws his arms up. You can clearly lip-read (and hear if the volume is loud enough) Dalglish saying, “piss off, then”.

    Love it.

    1. If you look hard enough on YouTube, you can actually hear Kenny Dalglish say the following at the end of the match:

      – “It was a penalty!”
      – “Piss off!”
      – “F*** off!”

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