IN the 2006/07 season, Anfield proved a happy hunting ground for Arsenal, in the cups at any rate. The Gunners triumphed 3-1 in the FA Cup and then demolished Liverpool 6-3 in the Carling Cup.
Today in 2007 Arsene Wengers men again travelled up to Anfield, this time to face Liverpool in a League match, and must have been pretty confident given their last two visits. They were in for a shock.
Perhaps trying to shock or embarrass his players into better performances Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez had pinned up the aforementioned scores on the dressing room wall.
It seemed to work as Liverpool emerged with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Londoners (we say Londoners but in actual fact there were none in the team and not even an Englishman in the starting XI).
The win was largely down to the scoring exploits of one man, namely Peter Crouch. The bean-pole striker had been much maligned at the club where he famously went 19 games without scoring when he first signed but this was his day and he bagged a perfect hat-trick – one with his head and one with either foot.
He opened the scoring when he turned in Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross to put Liverpool ahead after four minutes, then headed in from Fabio Aurelio’s delivery in the 34th minute.
Daniel Agger glanced in another brilliant Aurelio cross on the hour before William Gallas poked in from almost on the line for Arsenal but any hopes of an unlikely Arsenal comeback were snuffed out after 80 minutes when Crouch turned Toure expertly before firing past Lehmann.
“It was pleasing for us to get four goals and beat a class side,” Crouch said. “The manager let us know beforehand we’ve had some disappointing results against Arsenal this season. You don’t care how they come but it was a nice hat-trick, I’m pleased with it. It is a special moment.”
Meanwhile he drew lavish praise from the opposition manager. “He was superb. Everything he did was intelligent. He has the size of a basketball player but the skill of a real football player,” he said, before adding rather unnecessarily: “If you had put a real basketball player in, Kolo and Gallas would have had no problem.”
See Crouchie’s hat-trick in the clip above, and see what else was happening on this day right here. As ever we’ll have more for you tomorrow. Until then sports fans…