Manchester City 1 - 1 Arsenal: Even game, very good result

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Post by Jay29 Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:57 pm

It's so nice to be able to say that, despite not actually winning the game, we looked like a team that can go places this season. Maybe it's still too soon to say that, but our performance today and the result it achieved greatly encourages me. At this point last season, it was the complete opposite.

Nobody was quite sure who would start up front in this one. With Giroud's form continuing to elude him, Wenger had to make the decision to either keep faith with him, or go with Gervinho, who had three goals in two games. The Ivorian got the nod as did, surprisingly, Aaron Ramsey who was played on the right hand side instead of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Laurent Koscielny came in for the ill Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal create chances in first half

With the quality of the midfielders in both sides, it was a given that the battle there would be an important factor in who would have the upper hand in the game. Arsenal's midfield, along with Aaron Ramsey coming in from the right flank, exercised control over the game and cut through City's with ease at times. There was quick, slick passing and interchanging between players and it resulted in a couple of good opportunities to take the lead; Gervinho's being the most guilt-edged after he was played in by an excellent Ramsey pass.

Chance creation aside, the two forwards in the side, Gervinho and Podolski, weren't at their best in the first half. Podolski seldom came inwards and linked up with the midfielders, while Gervinho, despite being lively, lacked composure when on the ball. It's something that has improved a lot in recent weeks, but still needs some fine-tuning and tweaking in order to complete the side.

As does our ability to play around pressure. City pressed high up the field, sort of like Montpellier in mid-week, and it made our defenders uncomfortable when on the ball. Mannone's passing was very poor, in particular.

City's goal was very sloppy from an Arsenal perspective. Kieran Gibbs gave away a cheap corner, and our marking from that corner was not very good. Podolski switched off completely and lost Lescott, and Mannone came to catch the corner but missed it. Our defending from set-pieces has been good so far this season, but today we looked dodgy. A very avoidable goal.

City improve in second half; Arsenal a bit toothless

With a lead to protect, City improved at the back and made it very difficult for Arsenal to play through them. Our approach play became slower and a lot of time we were forced to cross it in to Podolski and Gervinho. Inevitably, that came to nothing.

City also looked dangerous on the counter and it took some stout defending from Mertesacker and Kosicleny to ensure we didn't concede another.

It was a bit typical of Arsenal. They had most of the ball, but couldn't break the opposition down and looked vulnerable on the counter due to committing so many men forward. For a while, it did look like we wouldn't get that goal.

But it seems that this Arsenal side has retained it's strong character it developed last season. City failed to defend a corner and Koscielny, of all people, was there to batter it in.

After that, Arsenal had a good chance to win the game, but opted to see it out instead and go home with a point.

Still room for improvement, but signs are encouraging

Most fans would agree that a point away to the Champions is a very good result. If there were any doubts that our defence could handle top class attackers and midfielders, tonight's performance would have eased them greatly.

Certainly, our defence and midfield looks very, very good so far - perhaps the best it has been in a long time. It's not just luck, either. They have been consistently good in every game and are playing with great spirit and unity. The basis for success is there.

The concerning parts are the forward areas. We've played four players on the right hand side already, have a striker lacking in form and a very erratic alternative. Podolski has been consistent, but we obviously can't rely on him to score and provide goals all season. Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud, Gervinho... these are the guys we need to find consistency and form if we want to win things.

The Chelsea game next Sunday is yet another big test for this Arsenal side's title credentials. We've come away with a good point away to a big side. Now can we defeat a big side at home?

So far, we've played five, won two, drawn three, and have eight points. Beat Chelsea and we'll have 11. I think many, after looking at the start of the season we were due to have, would have been happy with that return and it looks a good possibility.

Player Ratings

Vito Mannone - 6. Made a costly mistake in the first half, but a couple of very good saves in the second.

Per Mertesacker - 8. Outstanding. Made several vital interceptions.

Laurent Koscielny - 8. Great all round performance capped by the equalising goal. Welcome back.

Carl Jenkinson - 7. Improving with every game. Looking like a solid and dynamic full back currently.

Kieran Gibbs - 7. Another solid display. Still not too good going forward. Hopefully that will improve.

Mikel Arteta - 7. Reliable in defence, played some good passes going forward. Typically busy and disciplined display.

Abou Diaby - 6. A little disappointing. Played well enough, but could've been better.

Santi Cazorla - 7. Classy performance.

Aaron Ramsey - 7. Excellent showing. Didn't put a foot wrong and showed great energy and creativity.

Lukas Podolski - 6. Game passed him by a bit.

Gervinho - 6. Movement was there, but composure and end product wasn't, unfortunately.


Last edited by GoonerJay29 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Emaharg Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:58 pm

Think we could of won the game with the chances we had, Gervinho forever missing sitters and stalling out the attack. Should of come off instead of Podolski.
Most of the team had a good game just think we could of taken a few more shots around the box.
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Post by MJ Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:00 pm

Jenkinson was class. Just class. :bow:

Gervinho was ass. Just ass. :facepalm:
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Post by Wilson37 Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:01 pm

1-1.. i will take the result happily regardless of the game...
Wenger started a different lineup which we use in important matches and against big teams.. We play a midfielder instead of a winger/wide player.. the strategy worked last year when Benayoun was used.. and it was effective today with Ramsey too as we dominated the midfield and created enough chances but couldnt finish it off with playing a headless chicken up front... City inspite of all the talent came up with defensive approach which worked in our advantage..

Mannone - 6 was at mistake for the goal.. he is poor in the air and unconfident.. good shot stopping.. Sczen is still the no.1
Jenkinson - 7 example of what confidence can do.. he gets a few matches.. now more composed, good passes and today some good runs and crossing.. if he keeps improving at this pace i am sure he will be better than Sagna at the same age..
Metskr - 6.5 his pace was a weakness.. City were trying to play passes behind him but it was covered by Koscielny.. good interceptions with his long legs..
Bosscielny - 7 what a way to return.. Bossed Aguero all the match.. scored the goal.. was lucky not to turn villain when his clearance went straight to Aguero who put it wide..
Gibbs - 6 linked well in attack.. but he needs to improve on his crossing..
Arteta - 6.5 stood back and kept possession...
Diaby - 6 great physical presence.. some good linkup play...
Cazorla 7.5 great game.. created some good chances.. his amazing game has made us a counterattacking threat..
Ramsey - 7 good game.. created one good chance.. good linkup play..
Gervinho - 4 flop of the match.. FRUSTRATING.. wasting oppertunities and giving away possession.. prove that nothing has changed this season.. we would fair better playing Walcott or Giroud upfront..
Podolski - 6 not as influential in the game.. worked hard on both halves of the field..
Giroud - 6 had a good game.. was involved in his time and showed his strength..
Walcott - 5 i didnt see u...




Last edited by Wilson37 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by aleumdance Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:02 pm

Gervinho was terrible

DEM ENGLISH FULLBACKS :bow:

BIG FVCKING GERMAN :bow:
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Post by Amar Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:03 pm

I'm happy with the point, but we really could have won it.

Gervinho Mad All he had to do was get it on target, and Giroud was blitzing Hart for the rebound.

Also, regarding defending corners, I think we've got some issues with the zonal marking system. It can work brilliantly if perfected, but today there were about 3-4 chances which were created off corners and there were instances of Ramsey ending up going head to head with Lescott which can never be good news.

Jenko :bow:
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Post by Rev Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:03 pm

Gerv could put this game to bed like 3 times. that what infuriates me the most.
Our back 4 solid as ever, whoever plays at the back.

Can't praise Merte's long legs enough. :bow:
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Post by DuringTheWar Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:04 pm

Arsenal, its like playing with 10 men, we always have someone in the team who is beyond hope, today it was gervinho, before it was ramsey, before that it was squillaci, ect ect
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Post by Raptorgunner Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:08 pm

We should have won this game, Gervinho had no idea what he was doing.
Great game and good result.
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Post by aleumdance Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:09 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:We should have won this game, Gervinho had no idea what he was doing.
Great game and good result.

Its obvious this formation would be perfect with Chambo in gervais place
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Post by urbaNRoots Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:11 pm

Gervinho was really bad but I blame Wenger for playing him 90 minutes when it clearly wasn't his day. It's like Wenger wants to prove that he did right with starting him and doesn't sub him off till he scores or something. Giroud should've started.

We could've won this but for some reason we stopped playing after we scored, it was so annoying there were still 2-3 minutes to go and our players were jogging on the pitch. It was like our players didnt want the win.

Anyway happy with the point, considering that last year we were even better against them and still lost. I really believe we can beat them at the Emirates.
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Post by Sina Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:12 pm

Jenkinson :bow:
thanks lad
kept faith in him
he didnt disappoint
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Post by MJ Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:14 pm

That last shot by Gervinho was atrocious, he should have been taken off sooner. Very happy to have gotten a point where all the big teams failed last year, this match was a great show of intent, a spanking of Chelsea would further add to it. Very Happy
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Post by Sushi Master Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:16 pm

Very good result. I'm amazed how fast the midfield has clicked, that first half of domination was a joy to watch. Cathorla :bow:

Gervinho got the pressure to him or something, because he did well in everything but when in the spotlight. Although that seems to be a trend in him...

The defense seems a lot more tighter, although Kos-Merts is my favorite defensive partnership, even more so than Merts-Verm. Jenkinson has grown and so has Gibbs, I'm impressed.

Ramsey the unsung hero. I was expecting crap but he sure did shut my mouth. Arteta did his work as usual. Diaby... nuff said. This guy has always been good, only the freak injuries are what have contained that monster footballer (and that ManU own goal, years ago)....

Overall, impressive stuff and I can't wait for this team to gel once the season progresses.
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Post by Jay29 Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:17 pm

urbaNRoots wrote:Gervinho was really bad but I blame Wenger for playing him 90 minutes when it clearly wasn't his day. It's like Wenger wants to prove that he did right with starting him and doesn't sub him off till he scores or something. Giroud should've started.

We could've won this but for some reason we stopped playing after we scored, it was so annoying there were still 2-3 minutes to go and our players were jogging on the pitch. It was like our players didnt want the win.

Anyway happy with the point, considering that last year we were even better against them and still lost. I really believe we can beat them at the Emirates.

I don't think it was a case of the players not wanting it. Wenger clearly changed the strategy towards the end - bringing on Coquelin instead of Ox, for example - and didn't want to risk not coming away with a point.

Maybe we could've won it, but a point still does wonders for our belief and morale. Much more than trying to win it at the death and losing the game in the end.

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Post by SamuelJayC Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:20 pm

Wenger: "We are happy and sad. We feel we had the chances to win the game early on and late on. But overall you can see we are a team."

"Koscielny coming in today? I had no worries. He is a top-class."

"We believe in our title chances. What happened today should strengthen our belief, but we aren't the perfect team yet."
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Post by Raptorgunner Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:23 pm

Just Imagine we had a top striker scoring all the chances we created. :bow:

Ramsey? just what we all want from him get it done. :bow: :bow:
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Post by DuringTheWar Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:26 pm

urbaNRoots wrote:Anyway happy with the point, considering that last year we were even better against them and still lost. I really believe we can beat them at the Emirates.

thats not true, last year their midfield roasted us, we've improved a lot now
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Post by Eman Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:29 pm

Jenkinson and Rambo were both excellent today. Mannone shouldn't have come out for that corner, but afterwards he made up for it so well done. Maybe we should have had Podolski in Gervinho's spot and Giroud up front from the start, but I can understand the tactics in that we wanted more ball-players I suppose and Gervinho in fairness seemed to be on good form going in. Overall, we're one of the very few teams that will leave the Etihad with anything this season, so I'm satisfied with the result.
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Post by Sushi Master Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:32 pm

You could have had any goalie in the world between those sticks and it would still have been a goal.

That was a trademark Arsenal set-piece defensive lapse that we see season after season.

If only Mertesacker could be cloned, but with robot legs Sad
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Post by SamuelJayC Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:51 pm

This is the 17th time, out of 109 league seasons, that Arsenal have remained unbeaten in their opening five games
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Post by RealGunner Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:52 pm

It was a brilliant performance. Our midfield was amazing. Specially Ramsey-Arteta and Cazorla. Diaby was meh though

mertesacker and Koscielny :bow: MOTM performance by both

Gervinho wasn't really terrible i thought. He was bad, but At least he tried hard. Didn't shy away.

Jenkinson Shocked This level of improvement is exceptional

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Post by SamuelJayC Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:56 pm

Will post my thoughts after MOTD2 tonight. Want to see the game again. Very Happy
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Post by djoe26 Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:05 pm

Great point for us at this stage. Our season looks promising as we have some key players returning from injuries. Arsenal played really well and we could've won the match if we had taken our chances but i am very happy with a point.

Mannone had mixed performance today. He was at fault for the goal as he failed to clear the ball which led to goal but he made some decent saves too. He is a good shot stopper but he is not that good in air.

Our defending has been great this season, conceding only 2 goals so far this season in PL. Jenks has improved alot and his passing was better than his recent games. Gibbs was solid. Great to see Koscielny back in the squad and he was outstanding today. Per was MOTM for me today. He had so many good interceptions specially when City tried to counter attack.

Arteta solid as always and passed the ball very well. Cazorla's movement and passing is joy to watch. Is it safe to say that we have finally replaced Cesc? He once again had outstanding performance today. Diaby had OK performance. He made some decent runs but he also lost the ball often which led to counter attack.

I was surprised to see Ramsey starting ahead of Walcott and The Ox but he had a very good performance. This is the Ramsey we want to see. Podolski had a good game and always tracked back to help Gibbs out. Gervinho on other hand had a bad game. He had the chances to score but his touch let him down.
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Post by Lex Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:23 pm

Imagine Gervinho in place of Arshavin for THAT match winner against Barcelona...

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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