How Arsenal wiped the smile off Liverpool hero's face

Liverpool hero John Aldridge admits he was busy laughing at Manchester City when his side were drawn with Arsenal.

The FA Cup fifth round draw has thrown in two glamour ties together with Manchester City v Chelsea and Arsenal v Liverpool.

The matches take place in the weekend of February 15-16, days before City play Barcelona and Arsenal host Bayern Munich.

The drama of the draw certainly brought contrasting emotions for one outspoken FA Cup protagonist of years gone by.

John Aldridge, a league title winner with Liverpool in 1987-88, suffered the ignominy of being the first player to see a penalty saved in a FA Cup final a year later as the Reds suffered a shock loss to Wimbledon.

Aldridge, who still follows Liverpool, admits laughing at Manchester City's misfortune to draw Chelsea, only to see the smile wiped off his face moments later.

It's not just the fact they have drawn the league leaders, but the fact they play them at The Emirates, where Arsenal have not lost a domestic game since the opening day of the season.

Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0 at the stadium earlier in the season thanks to goals from Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla.

The Gunners also currently sit eight points above Liverpool in the Premier League, having been behind them on goal difference heading into Christmas.

With Arsenal facing Bayern Munich days later, Liverpool may benefit from the Gunners deciding to rotate their squad.

Yet as Aldridge likely realised - it will be Liverpool, who will see the FA Cup as their most realistic chance of a trophy this season, as the side who have most to lose, and the away tie means that far from ideally, it will be an uphill battle.

image: © flawka

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