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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Premiership Liverpool 4-1 Arsenal report.

Crouch's Hat-trick sinks Arsenal!

Peter Crouch's first hat-trick at club level saw Liverpool leap-frog Arsenal to go third in the Premiership.

The 4-1 victory sends the Liverpool above Arsenal into third spot in the Premiership and Crouch did his England cause no harm with a fine trio - two in the first half and a quality finish for his third after the break. Daniel Agger scored Liverpool's other goal, but a William Gallas effort for Arsenal failed to destroy the feelgood factor at Anfield as new American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett watched from the directors' box.

Having been knocked out of both the FA Cup and League Cup by Arsenal in the space of a few days in January, Liverpool were looking to prevent Wenger's side from becoming the first club to beat them at home three times in one season.

Liverpool had failed to score in their previous three outings yet found themselves ahead as early as the fourth minute as Crouch made a memorable return from injury.

Crouch side-footed home from close range after good work from former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant allowed Spanish full-back Alvaro Arbeloa to fire in a low cross to the near post.

Jose Reina did not have a save to make before half time although the Liverpool keeper was relieved to see Emmanuel Adebayor's powerful 17th minute header land on the roof of the net moments after Jamie Carragher's crucial challenge had denied Julio Baptista a chance to equalise.

Liverpool's slick passing and eagerness to press forward at every opportunity had Arsenal pinned inside their own half for long periods and it required a superb stop by Lens Lehmann to prevent the excellent Crouch from making it 2-0 in the 22nd minute. Crouch did not have to wait long for his 15th goal of the season, the seven-million-pound signing from Southampton leaping high to nod Fabio Aurelio's cross beyond the reach of Lehmann to seal the points in the 35th minute.

Arsenal pulled one back on 73 minutes when Fabregas' corner was flicked on by Toure for Gallas to turn over the line from a yard at the far post.But any doubt about the result was ended when Crouch produced nimble footwork to find some space in the box on 81 minutes and fire past Lehmann after excellent work from Pennant and Kuyt set him up.

Liverpool striker Peter Crouch:
"It was pleasing for us to get four goals and beat a class side.

"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."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
"We are not certain of being in the top four.

"There is not a big enough gap even if maybe my players felt they had done enough.

"That is not the case. We will have to give our best in every game now, we must win all our home matches and pick up some away wins too.

"My players are now concerned. They did not produce what was expected."

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Pennant, Alonso, Mascherano (Riise 82), Gonzalez (Zenden 69), Gerrard (Kuyt 56), Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Dudek, Fowler.

Booked: Alonso.

Goals: Crouch 4, 35, Agger 60, Crouch 81.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Eboue (Hoyte 82), Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Hleb, Fabregas, Diaby (Rosicky 65), Denilson, Julio Baptista (Ljungberg 65), Adebayor.
Subs Not Used: Almunia, Senderos.

Booked: Diaby, Lehmann, Fabregas.

Goals: Gallas 73.

Liverpool 4-1 Arsenal goals video: