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4-4 is the sort of scoreline that delights neutrals, TV companies and marketing executives but it‘s not one that Liverpool fans will remember with any fondness.
A point from Tuesday night’s draw with Arsenal at Anfield was enough to take Liverpool top of the Premier League table on goal difference from Manchester United, but seeing as Alex Ferguson’s side have two games in hand it’s hard to see the title ending up anywhere but at Old Trafford.
There could still be room for a twist or two, of course, but United seem to have regained their defensive stability, just as Liverpool have lost their poise at the back.
As for Arsenal, the result was not as costly — they’re all but guaranteed fourth spot — and Andrei Arshavin’s four-goal performance was spectacular but their own defensive failings would have made very interesting viewing for United looking ahead to the Champions League semi-finals.
Arsenal’s signing of Russia’s most talented player Andrei Arshavin on the final day of the transfer window (just about) brought an end to months of speculation, but will he or any of the other January transfers make an impact in what is left of the Premier League season?
If Arsene Wenger’s previous transfers are anything to go by Arshavin, like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Mathieu Flamini before him, will need a settling-in period to adapt to Arsenal’s distinctive patient style. Unfortunately for the Gunners, who are five points off the Champions League places, time is running out.
Here’s how Benitez described the 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic that left Liverpool two points behind Manchester United, who have a game in hand: