Andrey, congratulations on such a great achievement! Tell us about the game.
We arrived at Liverpool after Saturday’s loss at Wembley. Obviously we were not in the best of moods, having been knocked out of the FA Cup. Arsene told us that game was history and that we now must concentrate on our remaining Premier League and Champions’ League games. We are playing a few teams who are fighting for the Champions’ League spots and those games might allow us to get higher in the table.
The game? We did not start the game very well. Liverpool had the initiative, they were creating chances in front of our goal. In some episodes our defence came to the rescue, in others it was our goalkeeper. Eventually we got into the game, started putting some passes together, which resulted in a good attacking move that led to a goal.
The goal was beautiful and well worked.
All I had to do is put my foot in the right place and direct the ball goalwards. Summing up the first half performance I think the result did not reflect the game, Liverpool were pressing throughout the half but ended up a goal down.
In the second half our opponents, playing at home with incredible support from their fans, unleashed a barrage of attacks on our goal. They managed to score twice, it might have appeared that we were going to lose by a large margin.
Could have lost, were it not for Arsenal’s number 23. This brings us to the second goal…
The defender did not expect me to burst from behind him. Carragher had not anticipated this as well – he tried to get into position to start the attack and as a result Cesc and myself were left against a single defender. I was planning to pass the ball to Fabregas initially, but having noticed that defender was closing the space down, I decided to hit the ball, I managed to strike it quite well, the ball flew past the post and the score became 2-2.
Goal number three…
I managed to score the third one almost instantly after a poor clearance. All I had to do was hit the target.
This goal did not break the hosts’ resolve.
No, their team has great spirit, they carried on passing the ball around and attacking. Then they scored the third. Afterwards the game became even more open: both teams went for an all-out attack.
Which brings us to your final goal? How did you do it?
I saw Theo pick up the ball and realised that I needed to dart forward. I’m happy he passed the ball to me. I didn’t even look at the goalkeeper, I was just thinking about hitting the target. Unfortunately even four goals proved to be not enough for us, it was a blow to concede so late in the game. Overall I think the fans loved the show. This is the type of games hated by defenders and goalkeepers and loved by the strikers.
Andrey, do people love poker in England? (quad goals are called “poker” in Russia – translator)
I’ll gladly play it in every coming game.
Which goal was your favourite?
The first one, it got everything going.
Andrey, this is a huge success. Will you be able to keep your feet on the ground?
I have a wife who will quickly put me back in my box. 🙂
You were awarded a bottle of champagne as the man of the match. Did you to take the bottle home?
No, the bottle went to our training camp.
What about the matchball?
I was promised that I will get it tomorrow.
Andrey, the game was played in the city of…
Beatles? Yes, they are a legendary band, of course I listened to their songs. They’re great but I did not think about them on the pitch.
92 goals is a good achievement for someone playing in your position. Century edges ever closer.
Yes, but the final steps come at a very challenging time.
You exchanged shirts with Torres after the game, you do not normally do that.
My childhood coach – S. Gordeev is collecting number 9 shirts. I hope a friend from St. Petersburg who was staying over with us will deliver it to him. 🙂
What are your immediate plans?
Arsene gave us a couple of days off so I’m going to spend them with my family. We’ll probably go for a stroll, visit the Zoo…
Andrey, congratulations again! It was a fantastic result.
Thanks! My regards to St. Petersburg.