Shot-stopper Fabianski denied Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge on numerous occasions to throw his name into the ring regarding a start against the European champions.
England international striker Daniel Sturridge came into the game in scintillating form, netting in eight straight games for The Reds in which he started. Another goal at the Emirates would have put his name in the Liverpool record books, but he found Arsenal’s shot-stopper in top form.
As early as the fifth minute Fabianksi was called into action, stopping Sturridge’s low drive with his legs. The Pole then saved numerous Luis Suarez efforts before denying Liverpool an equaliser with an excellent piece of goalkeeping. Coutinho’s fine through ball found Sturridge with just the keeper to beat, but Fabianski got down low and plucked the ball off the striker’s foot as he was getting ready to celebrate his own personal triumph.
Arsenal had looked to have weathered the Liverpool storm, but with five minutes remaining a Gerrard free kick found Agger who beat Arsenal’s number two to the ball. Fortunately for the hosts, the header was off target and that was Liverpool’s last noteworthy chance.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper deserved his luck, and his selection was justified by Arsene Wenger after the game, who said on Arsenal's official website:
"I made changes, most of them for medical reasons. Some for technical reasons, because [for example] the [No 2] goalkeeper always plays [in the FA Cup]. I rate Fabianski so highly that I had no hesitation to play him."
In a separate interview, Wenger said of Fabianski: "He was terrific. I am very pleased for him because he is a great goalkeeper. I keep him telling him that and the time to show it is on the pitch."
Arsene Wenger now has to decide whether to stick with Fabianski following his confident performance, or select regular goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for the key Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
It’s a tough choice, and one which will have its critics, but who do you think should be Arsenal’s number one on Wednesday?
Have your say by voting below:
image: © Ronnie Macdonald