10 Years Ago, Andrey Arshavin Ended Liverpool's Title Chances After Scoring Four Times

Andrey Arshavin, the first away player to score four goals at Anfield in over 60 years, officially retired from football earlier this year.

And on the subject of that game against Liverpool in 2009, a game that happened 10 years ago - how old do I feel right now - the 4-4 draw on April 21st is an absolute classic.

In fact, when you think of the all-time great Premier League games, this tie has to be up there.

It had everything: glorious goals, dodgy defending, drama and a masterclass in finishing from the Arshavin.

The Russian, while showing flashes of brilliance, didn't exactly set the world alight when he moved to England and struggled for consistency, which led to him being loaned back to Zenit before returning to Saint Petersburg on a permanent basis.

But he will forever be remembered by Arsenal fans, and Premier League enthusiasts, for that four-goal haul he conjured up at Anfield eight years ago.

36 minutes in, he netted the opener when teed up by Cesc Fabregas after some slack play from Javier Mascherano on the edge of the area.

Image: PA
Image: PA
Image: PA
Image: PA

Liverpool soon hit back, as was the narrative for the duration of the game, just after half-time when Fernando Torres leapt highest to nod home Dirk Kuyt's cross.

It got even better for Rafael Benitez's side when Yossi Benayoun, despite not knowing anything about it, put Liverpool in front when he beat Bacary Sagna to the ball and saw the ball creep over the line after Kuyt produced another stunning delivery.

Arsenal's Arshavin was clearly in the mood though, and scored what was quite possibly his best goal out of the four he scored in the game.

The equaliser to make the scores level again was a fierce 20-year drive from the little Russian.

And just three minutes later, he completed the turnaround for Arsenal when he bagged his hat-trick; this one the power in the shot from inside the are too much for Pepe Reina to handle.

However, this remarkable encounter had plenty more twists to come and the next came just two minutes later. To make the scores 3-3, Fernando Torres, spun his marker and fired home on the turn in what was a trademark goal for the Spaniard.

In the last minute, Liverpool looked to have gifted the game to Arsenal when they committed men forward in search of a winner.

Theo Walcott, on as a substitute, picked up the loose ball, darted forward from his own half and fed Arshavin on the counter.

Arsenal's No.23 topped of an incredible individual display in front of goal with a venomous left-footed finish, before wheeling away in celebration and letting everyone know just how many goals he had scored.

Yet this action-packed contest wasn't finished there, as there was time for more drama.

With the game approaching the 93rd minute, Xabi Alonso switched the play to the right flank with a glorious pass and Mascherano's first-time header sent the ball into a crowded box, where the ball eventually dropped kindly for Benayoun to grab his second with a stuffy finish.

The point took Liverpool back to the top of the table, but it was a huge missed opportunity as Manchester United would then seize control and go on to lift the Premier League title at the end of the season.

What a game this was, though. If you type in Andrey Arshavin's name on Google, "vs Liverpool" comes up straight away and it's no surprise.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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