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Page last updated at 21:43 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Arsenal   1 - 0   Liverpool

Abou Diaby heads the winner for Arsenal
Diaby nodded in his seventh goal of the season to see off Liverpool

By David Ornstein

Arsenal injected new life into their title bid as Abou Diaby's header saw them end a three-game winless sequence with victory over Liverpool.

Both teams struggled for momentum in a dour first half but the game came alive after the interval as David Ngog and Tomas Rosicky went close.

Rosicky blasted over and Diaby then capped a period of Arsenal pressure by powering in from the Czech's cross.

Ryan Babel's drive was tipped on to the bar but Liverpool could not level.

Although Rafael Benitez's men pushed hard to salvage a point, subjecting the Gunners to attack after attack late on, Arsenal held out for what could prove a critical win.

606: DEBATE
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With leaders Chelsea losing at Everton and Manchester United drawing at Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger's side move to within six points of leaders Chelsea and five of Manchester United.

They do not play 'big four' opposition again this season and will feel their campaign is back on track after successive defeats by United and Chelsea.

Serious questions have been asked about Arsenal's credentials to win a first Premier League crown since 2004 but, on this evidence, there is life in them yet.

Liverpool remain fourth in the table but slip eight points behind the Gunners after their first defeat in eight games.

The Reds are still yet to win at the Emirates Stadium but could not have worked harder to come away with something, especially as they flooded forward at the death.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard talked of the need to afford Arsenal as little space as possible and the tactic worked for long periods.

But the hosts were equal to the challenge and, in turn, prevented the visitors from establishing any sort of rhythm until the final quarter.

Wenger refuses to rule out title

Benitez made one alteration to his back four as Martin Skrtel replaced the suspended Sotirios Krygiakos, yet it was still easy to see why Liverpool arrived unbeaten in seven league games with four successive clean sheets.

In the first half they were rarely troubled by Arsenal forwards Nicklas Bendtner or Andrey Arshavin, although Bendtner did slice over from an acute angle after being played in by his strike partner.

Liverpool felt they should have had a penalty when Maxi Rodriguez's strike appeared to cannon into the arm of Thomas Vermaelen and Pepe Reina saved comfortably from Cesc Fabregas.

The half-time whistle came as a relief and, fortunately for all concerned, the second period was a more open affair from the first whistle.

Arshavin drilled a venomous effort into the side-netting and Lucas shot just over when put through by Dirk Kuyt after some careless defending by Gael Clichy.

Benitez confident of top four finish

Both teams were pressing hard for an opener and suddenly the standard of play began to soar.

Gerrard took control of a counter-attack to send Ngog scurrying away but William Gallas slid in with a perfectly-timed tackle as his fellow Frenchman was about to shoot.

At the other end, Arshavin put Rosicky away but he lacked composure and miscontrolled before Bendtner saw an effort scrambled clear.

By now there was a pulsating ebb and flow to the game and the hosts were beginning to dictate, Rosicky flashing inches over via a Javier Mascherano deflection.

It felt like the deadlock would soon be broken and so it proved.

Bendtner showed fine persistence to feed Rosicky on the right and he curled in a superb cross for the unmarked Diaby to head home.

Liverpool came straight back at their opponents and Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia brilliantly tipped Babel's fizzing strike on to the bar.

Benitez's team earned a number of free-kicks in dangerous areas but failed to capitalise.

One set-piece from Gerrard appeared to hit the arm of Fabregas in the wall but referee Howard Webb waved away their appeals, leaving Wenger to celebrate his 300th Premier League win.


Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
"It was a pity because in the last 20 minutes we were pushing hard and had chances.

"It was just quality in final third that made the big difference. The second half was much better and we could have got something.

"It's important for us to have a good run of results. There's a long way to go and we need to keep on going."

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Diaby 72

    Arsenal

    Substitutes

    Liverpool

    Substitutes

    Ref: H WebbAtt: 60,045
    ARSENAL
    LIVERPOOL

    Possession

    • Arsenal 49%
    • Liverpool 51%

    Attempts on target

    • Arsenal 6
    • Liverpool 7

    Attempts off target

    • Arsenal 5
    • Liverpool 2

    Corners

    • Arsenal 3
    • Liverpool 6

    Fouls

    • Arsenal 19
    • Liverpool 14
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+5:13 The referee signals the end of the game.
    • 90:00+4:25 Steven Gerrard produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Vassiriki Diaby gets a block in.
    • 90:00+4:25 Booking The referee cautions Francesc Fabregas for unsporting behaviour.
    • 90:00+3:27 Francesc Fabregas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt.
    • 90:00+2:54 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Tomas Rosicky results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
    • 90:00+1:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tomas Rosicky on Philipp Degen. Free kick taken by Philipp Degen.
    • 90:00+1:27 Rodriguez Maxi is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
    • 89:43 The official flags Philipp Degen offside. Indirect free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
    • 87:08 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Save made by Manuel Almunia.
    • 86:36 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Steven Gerrard.
    • 85:28 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard, Ryan Babel takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save.
    • 85:11 Ryan Babel takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save.
    • 83:03 Effort from deep inside the area by Francesc Fabregas misses to the right of the goal.
    • 81:49 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
    • 80:44 Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
    • 80:44 Substitution Bacary Sagna comes on in place of Nicklas Bendtner.
    • 80:44 The referee penalises Francesc Fabregas for handball.
    • 79:40 Unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt by Emmanuel Eboue results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard from left wing.
    • 78:38 Gael Clichy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Philipp Degen. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.
    • 77:44 Substitution Ryan Babel replaces Leiva Lucas.
    • 77:31 Vassiriki Diaby produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 77:02 Outswinging corner taken by Francesc Fabregas from the right by-line played to the near post, Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.
    • 75:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Francesc Fabregas on Daniel Agger. Emiliano Insua takes the free kick.
    • 73:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by Emiliano Insua. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.
    • 72:27 Theo Walcott is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
    • 71:20 The assist for the goal came from Tomas Rosicky.
    • 71:20 GOAL - Vassiriki DiabyArsenal 1 - 0 Liverpool Vassiriki Diaby finds the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool.
    • 71:11 Tomas Rosicky produces a cross,
    • 70:21 Emiliano Insua gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue. Emmanuel Eboue restarts play with the free kick.
    • 69:23 Foul by Nicklas Bendtner on Javier Mascherano, free kick awarded. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
    • 68:55 Dirk Kuyt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.
    • 66:59 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line.
    • 66:59 Substitution Andrey Arshavin goes off and Theo Walcott comes on.
    • 66:22 The ball is swung over by Emiliano Insua, Gael Clichy makes a clearance.
    • 65:16 Foul by Alex Song on Philipp Degen, free kick awarded. Leiva Lucas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 63:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by David Ngog. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick. Tomas Rosicky takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Skrtel. Corner taken by Francesc Fabregas from the right by-line, clearance made by Daniel Agger.
    • 63:21 Booking Nicklas Bendtner is given a yellow card.
    • 61:05 Direct free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 61:05 Booking Philipp Degen goes into the book.
    • 60:56 Foul by Philipp Degen on Andrey Arshavin, free kick awarded.
    • 60:38 Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tomas Rosicky. Tomas Rosicky takes the free kick.
    • 59:48 Steven Gerrard takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Nicklas Bendtner.
    • 59:06 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 58:38 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Vassiriki Diaby. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.
    • 56:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrey Arshavin on Leiva Lucas. Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.
    • 55:24 Emmanuel Eboue is caught offside. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
    • 55:01 Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Daniel Agger gets a block in.
    • 53:59 Substitution Jamie Carragher goes off and Philipp Degen comes on.
    • 52:24 David Ngog takes a shot. Blocked by William Gallas.
    • 51:04 Emmanuel Eboue challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Daniel Agger restarts play with the free kick.
    • 48:54 David Ngog fouled by Gael Clichy, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Jamie Carragher.
    • 47:50 Leiva Lucas has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 46:41 The ball is delivered by Andrey Arshavin.
    • 45:50 Javier Mascherano challenges Alex Song unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Francesc Fabregas from left channel, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
    • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:08 The ref blows to signal half-time.
    • 44:37 Effort on goal by Francesc Fabregas from 20 yards. Jose Reina makes a save.
    • 40:32 Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 40:32 Booking Rodriguez Maxi receives a caution.
    • 40:22 Rodriguez Maxi challenges Emmanuel Eboue unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 39:14 Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.
    • 39:14 Booking Gael Clichy goes into the referee's book.
    • 39:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gael Clichy on Steven Gerrard.
    • 38:15 Vassiriki Diaby fouled by David Ngog, the ref awards a free kick. William Gallas takes the direct free kick.
    • 37:39 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Vassiriki Diaby results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
    • 36:09 Foul by Jamie Carragher on Andrey Arshavin, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
    • 34:19 The official flags Rodriguez Maxi offside. Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.
    • 29:52 Corner taken by Dirk Kuyt, save by Manuel Almunia.
    • 29:46 Substitution Samir Nasri goes off and Tomas Rosicky comes on.
    • 29:46 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. William Gallas gets a block in. Andrey Arshavin produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 29:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alex Song on Leiva Lucas. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
    • 27:22 William Gallas is caught offside. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.
    • 26:56 Shot from 12 yards from Samir Nasri. Blocked by Rodriguez Maxi.
    • 26:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy by Leiva Lucas. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Francesc Fabregas from left wing, save by Jose Reina.
    • 25:07 Nicklas Bendtner produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
    • 23:14 Corner taken by Francesc Fabregas, clearance made by Daniel Agger.
    • 22:58 Javier Mascherano challenges Vassiriki Diaby unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Alex Song.
    • 21:34 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
    • 15:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt by Vassiriki Diaby. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.
    • 14:57 David Ngog takes a shot. Save made by Manuel Almunia.
    • 13:07 Andrey Arshavin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas. Daniel Agger takes the direct free kick.
    • 10:10 Unfair challenge on Francesc Fabregas by Martin Skrtel results in a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Francesc Fabregas, blocked by Javier Mascherano.
    • 7:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrey Arshavin on Daniel Agger. Daniel Agger takes the direct free kick.
    • Correction - 5:46 Unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by Rodriguez Maxi results in a free kick. Centre by Francesc Fabregas, William Gallas produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
    • 5:46 Rodriguez Maxi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue. Francesc Fabregas takes the free kick.
    • 3:36 Thomas Vermaelen concedes a free kick for a foul on Rodriguez Maxi. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
    • 0:00 The game begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 10 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 26 39 58
    2 Man Utd 26 41 57
    3 Arsenal 26 31 52
    4 Liverpool 26 16 44
    5 Man City 24 15 44
    6 Tottenham 26 19 43
    7 Aston Villa 25 13 42
    8 Birmingham 25 -2 37
    9 Everton 25 -1 35
    10 Fulham 26 2 34
    11 Blackburn 26 -17 31
    12 Stoke 24 -4 30
    13 Sunderland 25 -10 26
    14 West Ham 25 -8 24
    15 Wolves 25 -21 24
    16 Wigan 24 -23 24
    17 Hull 26 -26 24
    18 Burnley 25 -25 23
    19 Bolton 24 -17 22
    20 Portsmouth 25 -22 16

    see also
    Title race is wide open - Wenger
    10 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
    Premier League as it happened
    10 Feb 10 |  Football
    Wednesday's football photos
    10 Feb 10 |  Football



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