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Liverpool star delighted with performance at Arsenal

Arsenal's Theo Walcott (left) and Liverpool's Leiva Lucas (right) battle for the ball. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire. Arsenal's Theo Walcott (left) and Liverpool's Leiva Lucas (right) battle for the ball. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Thursday, January 31, 2013
3:55 PM

Liverpool midfielder Lucas maintains the Reds can tackle Premier League champions Manchester City with confidence this weekend after producing the required response to their FA Cup nightmare with a 2-2 draw at Arsenal.

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Reds boss Brendan Rodgers recalled his first-team regulars for last night’s clash at Emirates Stadium, having drawn much criticism for his team selection in the FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Oldham on Sunday, when even the late introduction of Steven Gerrard could not stop last season’s beaten finalists crashing out against the npower League One side.

For an hour, everything was going to plan as Jordan Henderson added to Luis Suarez’s early goal to give the visitors a commanding 2-0 lead.

However, the Gunners suddenly kicked into life to make up for their defensive shortcomings as two quick goals saw them level through Olivier Giroud and a blistering strike by England forward Theo Walcott.

Brazilian Lucas feels even if they could not see the game through, Liverpool can now head into Sunday’s showdown with City at Etihad Stadium all set to produce another determined display.

“We were responding very well from the FA Cup tie. We showed a lot of attitude and the right mentality at Arsenal, we just have to keep going to get the points against Manchester City,” the midfielder said.

“We didn’t win at Arsenal, but we showed we are capable of fighting against and beating the top teams.

“For so long we did well but unfortunately in 10 minutes we conceded two goals. We have another opportunity to get a good result against a top team this weekend.”

Liverpool have made steady progress under Rodgers, climbing up to seventh in the table.

However, Lucas knows if the Reds want to harbour hopes of forcing their way into the Champions League qualification shake-up, then they have to start producing big results.

“We were talking about things before the Arsenal game, and we know we have to win against the top teams if we want to be in a better league position at the end of the season,” he said.

“We have to start winning against the top teams if we want to achieve a better position.”

Lucas added: “City will be desperate to win the game as well after their draw at QPR.

“It will be an open game and we have dangerous players who can create chances.”

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