Emirates painted Red
Arsene Wenger's difficult start to the season continued when his 10-man Arsenal side lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool on Saturday thanks to an Aaron Ramsey own goal and a late strike from Luis Suarez.sports Updated: Aug 20, 2011 23:25 IST
Arsene Wenger's difficult start to the season continued when his 10-man Arsenal side lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool on Saturday thanks to an Aaron Ramsey own goal and a late strike from Luis Suarez.
Ramsey's freak 78th minute own-goal set Liverpool on course for a first win of the season after Kenny Dalglish's side had been held by Sunderland on the opening day.
But Arsenal's decline had begun eight minutes earlier when Emmanuel Frimpong marked his first Premier League start with a red card following an ugly challenge on Lucas Leiva. Frimpong's dismissal comes on the back of Gervinho's sending off at Newcastle last week and means that Wenger's side have collected one point and two red cards in their opening two games of the campaign.
There was bad news for Wenger when centre back Laurent Koscielny pulled up with a back problem in the 15th minute. That meant he was forced to introduce 18-year-old Ignasi Miquel for his league debut, exposing Arsenal's stretched defensive resources.
Despite that, the Gunners backline did well to handle a Liverpool attack led by Andy Carroll, with Suarez held back on the bench. Dalglish's side started the brighter of the two teams with Carroll and Jordan Henderson both sending free headers too close to Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny..
Miquel was forced into a hurried clearance under pressure from Suarez in the 78th minute and could only watch as the ball struck Ramsey on the chest and flew past Szczesny.
Finally, in the 90th, Lucas and Raul Meireles combined to set up Suarez, who was left with the simplest of finishes.
The outcome overshadowed Wenger's decision to restore Samir Nasri to his starting line up even as Manchester City continue to struggle to conclude a deal for the France midfielder.
The reaction when Nasri's name was announced before kick-off was muted and by the time the player surged forward from deep inside his own half before firing narrowly wide
in the 35th minute, signs were that, for now, he was back in favour.
Nasri is keen to move to Eastlands after being offered a significant wage rise, making it difficult as his contract expires at the end of the season.
First Published: Aug 20, 2011 19:30 IST