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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Liverpool 3 Arsenal 6, full report with match highlights.
was in shock. Outfought, out-thought and, ultimately, outclassed.Arsène Wenger's exciting team performed so dazzlingly it felt like a trick of the mind that Thierry Henry had been given the night off, along with eight other players from the side that won here 3-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday. Four of their goals were supplied by Julio Baptista, who also missed a penalty, and for long spells they shimmered with menace every time they took possession in the opposition half.
Jeremie Aliadiere put the visitors ahead on 27 minutes after beating the Liverpool offside trap. He latched onto a long ball from Kolo Toure, and though 'keeper Jerzy Dudek got a hand to his initial shot, the French striker reacted quickest to the rebound, and tapped home from close range.
Liverpool hit straight back with a clever finish from Robbie Fowler after had palmed away Manuel AlmuniaFabio Aurelio's free-kick. Luis Garcia was quickest onto the rebound, and he played it across goal, where Fowler pounced, directing a backheel under the dive of Almunia.
Julio Baptista struck a wonderful free-kick straight over the Liverpool wall and in at the near post to restore his side's advantage, before the imperious Song stunned Anfield by making it 3-1 from a corner. A minute later Baptista played a one-two with Aliadière and stroked in his second.

Four-one down, the best Liverpool could hope for in the second half was to restore some dignity and at least Dudek could cite the moment, on 56 minutes, when he saved Baptista's penalty after a Sami Hyypia foul on Aliadière. Baptista made amends, however, completing his hat-trick from 25 yards four minutes later.

Briefly, Liverpool surged back. Gerrard volleyed a splendid goal and saw Almunia tip his free-kick on to the bar. Then, after García too had been carried off, Hyypia headed in Gabriel Paletta's cross to make it 5-3 but not even Liverpool, with their history of comebacks, could recover this time and soon afterwards Baptista scored another brilliant breakaway goal - becoming the first visiting player to score four times at Anfield since Dennis Westcott in a 5-1 win for Wolves 61 years ago.


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