Manchester City 4 – 2 Arsenal, Report and Reactions

Manchester City 4 – 2 Arsenal

In a game riddled with controversy, Man City managed somehow to win this fiery contest as defensive mistakes cost us dearly. Overshadowing the game was of course, was the behaviour of Adebayor. I’ll jump straight into the stamp, and for those of you who didn’t see the incident…

Van Persie goes to ground with a slide tackle against Adebayor, and then Adebayor, with all intention, stabs out his foot to connect with Van Persie’s face, about a half an inch below his eye…

The first time you watch it, you think, is it intentional? But then when you watch it again, you can see Adebayor kicks out his right foot in the face of Van Persie. When you watch the replay the second time (the first frame), you can really see the intent.

Robin Van Persie released a statement about the actions of Adebayor:

“I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor’s mindless and malicious stamp on me during today’s match.

“We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.

“I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made.  He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.

“I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It’s bad for the game we all love.

“I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today’s match.  We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour.”

And that’s a very powerful statement of the events and believe Robin wouldn’t have said this unless he really felt like he need to say something. The referee was only 2 feet behind the incident and failed to send off Adebayor. The decision not to send him off changed the outcome of the game and at 1-1 playing against 10 men, we’d have won the game without question – well maybe a little question.

Game Review

The game itself was a very entertaining game of football indeed – a game which we really dominated, similarly to the Manchester United game. We did start with a somewhat defensive formation with Diaby, Denilson, Song and Fabregas deployed within the formation. Rosicky was on the bench and the starting Xi seemed to lack a bit of flair and punch.

In a way, the recent formation changes from Arsene have been more defensive and coupled with the players deployed, was a contain and attack route.


Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Denilson – Song

Bendtner – Cesc – Diaby

Robin Van Persie

Personally, I do like this formation, but I’d like to see more attacking players in it. If we’re going to play Denilson, Song and Cesc, then we also need to see three attacking players deployed. I was surprised to see Rosicky and Eduardo on the bench, but from Arsene’s point of view,
both players maybe not 100% so better to come on from the bench.

Man City scored first with their first real attack, when Micah Richards nodded in a cross and Almunia attempted to save only for the ball to rebound off the back of his head into the back of the goal. It was against the run of play as we kicked the game off in quite a good manner. We had chances in the first half, but ultimately, we weren’t sharp enough up front. We did equalise on the 62nd minute through some good work from Van Persie when he swivelled and found the back of the net. As we piled players forward to try and get the winner, with Rosicky and Eduardo coming on for Song and Denilson. The problem when you face a team like Man City of course, is that when you push forward, then you’re always liable to get caught on the counter attack – and that’s exactly what happened with goals from Bellamy, Adebayor and Wright-Philips. Rosicky got a late goal, but at the end of the day, we’ve now lost both our last two games, and find ourselves 9 points behind Chelsea.

Arsene spoke after the game:

“We have the same feeling at little bit as the first game in Manchester [two weeks ago]. There was more in the game for us than what we got and we go unfortunately home with the same spirit, the same disappointment and of course with the feeling that we should have got a much better result today considering the way the two teams played. But they negotiated better the two turning points of the game, and I believe we were defensively a bit shaky today.”

And the gaffer also spoke on the affects from the International games:

“It’s difficult to say because I believe many players came back from international games, and when you play away it’s very difficult to say. We’re not completely sharp and fresh like we can be and I felt it had an impact on our defensive concentration.”

Arsene hasn’t yet commented on the Adebayor stamp, but he did say the fact Adebayor ran the length of the field to celebrate was not really appreciated.

“As you know that is not welcome, but his attitude and his behaviour is out of my control and I cannot influence that.”

The FA are said to be looking into the two incidents and if you remember that Gary Neville was banned for two games for celebrating in front of the Liverpool fans in 2006, you’d expect a similar ban for Adebayor as well as a further penalty for the stamp… so maybe a 5-game ban and punishment from the club itself?

John Dillion of the Express talked about the egos at Man City:

Mark Hughes ought to be coming down on this very, very hard because Adebayor has acted with complete self-regard basically. He’s going to be banned at a time when Tevez is injured, Robinho is injured and if the FA act quickly he might even miss the United game next week. “This is where you can nail that down at the beginning and show that the club is bigger than any individual – and Adebayor has put his own agenda before that of the club.

I’m sure we’ll speak more about this game, but for the moment, I’ll leave you with this.

Til tomorrow.

  • Vazy

    definatly Ade-Boo-Barton! such a complete thug!

  • Vazy

    i heard him after the game and he said (roughly of course)i just concentrated on getting the ball.. and my feet (foot) hit his face, i apologised instantly after the game

    he diddnt look like he was concentrating on the ball!

    hes such a wind up merchant, making out as if hes a poor innocent victim of mis-circumstance.. and his crap about the reason why he ran RAN the WHOLE PITCH to celebrate infront of our faithful!… disgrace.. absolute disgrace… his excuse basically was “i was excited” + “those who know and love me will back me up”… at a complete stretch i could of forgiven it if our faithful were behind the goal he just scored in.. but the complete pitch.. what a complete tosser!

    Ade-boo-barton.. im glad he left.. he did come to haunt us .. but good riddance, who needs a thug ala barton?

    so what we lost.. bring on the next game! i see good times ahead!

    Gooner through thick and thin!

  • RF

    Ade’s Behaviour was more harsh than the scoreline. He shouldn’t forget that the club made him and he repays it in Anti Fashion. Complete disgrace!
    The stamp on RVP was ridiculous.. it hurts me a lot. He has proved himself to be a disgraceful figure. Hes a Moron and needs to stop playing this beautiful sport.

    To be honest I really don’t want to talk about him anymore.
    About the game I think the result would have been something else if Ade would have been sent off for his deliberate(hurting)challenge on RVP. At the end of the day we lost 3 points and that matters more than Ade. Our defense looked weak in front of their counter attacks.. but Arsenal had to take their chances which didn’t worked out. Let see how Arsene deals with it.

    Also I wonder how they reacted in the dressing room. Hope we take the positives out of it. I really look forward for our next 2 games and hope we bounce back even stronger.

    Gooner Forever!!!!

  • locks

    Some people are saying that van persie should not have come out with his statement condeming Adebayors violent on pitch actions against his former team mates. However i strongly disagree with people who say that because if he had not done so the way would have been left open for it to continue when they next met on the pitch. At least this way Van Persie has made his feelings known publicly and has moved this violent issue away from the pitch.

    Not too happy with blaise attitude about losing any game though, especially games where we play close to our best!! I still think we need to be more solid in defence and to work at defending as a team. Now if we do that we will do very well this season, because I can feel an optimism amongst us the fans, but amongst the players too and that is very important.

    We just need to be more careful not to lose too many games, which will start to damage our confidence and then there could be problems. I want to be realistic and to talk about our performances and our chances of success realistically. I dont believe in being carried away by a few good performances at the begining of a very long season.

    However we are the best footballers in the whole country thats why it pains me to see us lose any game. If we sort out our defensive play, not just our defenders, then we really can produce results where it matters, not just quality football!!

  • Debs

    I kind of feel sorry for City though. Most of the headlines don’t even reflect how well they played. Bellamy scored a cracker and I’m sure he’ll be pretty miffed it didn’t even get into the headlines. He had a decent shout for man of the match. Well played City though, but I guess the fact that the papers don’t really reflect that City did a job on us was to our benefit. Can’t wait for our next match so we can banish the bad memories!

  • Pete

    Before yesterday I just thought Adebayor was very very silly. I didn’t hate him. But after yesterdays games, he’s on par with my eyes. He’s proved to be very unprofessional, so much so that a lot of City fans actually condemn his behavior. His goal celebration was blatantly premeditated, you could tell even before the game kicked off that he was wanting to cause trouble. And as for the stamps on van Persies face, the main consenus seems to be that it was definately deliberate. I dont think theres a single pundit or journalist thats said otherwise.

    As for our team, there was a few causes for concern. I know you cant totally blame Almunia as it was unlucky, but his own goal wasn’t something I’d consider unavoidable. Compare his positioning and decision making to Shay Givens and he came off second best. Clichy made a few errors too that led to two goals being conceded, but I feel with him virtually playing as a leftback and left winger thanks to the 4-3-3, it’s a bit unfair to criticise too much as its easier to concentrate on one role than it is two. I’d actually like to see our formation change depending on our personel available and who out opponants are. 4-4-2 could have worked better yesterday with the players we had available than 4-3-3. Also, as good as Van Persie is, he doesn’t seem suited to the lone striker role as well as Bendtner is, even though RvP is far more clinical.

    In hindsight its all too easy to say where we could have played better. My post-match opinion is very differnt to my pre-match one. But there’s plenty of games to be played yet, and with the likes of Arshavin, Nasri and Theo to return, we’ll have plenty more options available to us. I’m looking forward to seeing our strongest possible team fielded once everyone is available.

  • Pete

    *on par with Cashley*

    Just one thing to add regarding Ade. He better pray he doesn’t get on the wrong side of the City fans, because if he thinks the Gunners supporters were tough, we’ll experience something even worse if he falls out with them. He’s still in his honeymoon period, but give it time and the moron will put a foot wrong somewhere doesn the line causing City to fall out of love with the guy. It might come soon if he gets banned from their game away to United, as Bellamy will be their only available striker.

    Also, as much as we criticise him, lets also applaud Toure for being as good as he was towards us. Very respectful.

  • Pete

    *he’ll experience something worse*

  • Arsefan101

    We need some games fast – Liege away on Wednesday and then three vital points to win on Saturday!

  • Debs

    OMG, totally unrelated to footy, and I apologise, but Fabrez, did you see RF’s shot to give him matchpoint today? Wow! Totally unbelievable! Shot of the tournament, I’d say! What a way to forget about our football woes!

  • Fabrez

    Haha…yeah Debs…that RF shot was out-flippin-rageous! The combo of power, placement and class amazes me! Speakin of shots, Vermaelen let 1 rip from his left on Saturday…that woulda been a sweet goal had Given not stopped it! I’m doing a lot better 2day in terms of dealing with that Adebayor incident. Still upsetting but I assume the Fa will handle it fairly…

  • Debs

    Very much looking forward to the final! And yeah, Vermaelen’s strike was a ferocious one which deserved a goal! We’ve got enough threat going forward, and I’m beginning to think the reason why we concede too many goals is not because we can’t defend, as we defended brilliantly most times against Utd, but simply because we forget to, most times. Majority of our players are capable of hitting the target and scoring the odd goal, so when we’re chasing the game, they mostly end up going up to attack, leaving us pretty vulnerable to the counter. Maybe Wenger ought to tell a few of the defenders or whoever’s acting as a DM not bother venturing past the halfway line and just stay back and defend. We’ve got to have a defensive mentality as well, and be very disciplined about it.
    I think the lashings Ade’s getting in the press, those headlines are making most Arsenal fans’ days! Lol

  • Vazy

    Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor does not believe he should be banned following his behaviour in Saturday’s victory over former club Arsenal.

    The Togo star scored City’s third goal in a 4-2 win over the Gunners and caused controversy by running the length of the field to celebrate in front of away fans.

    Adebayor, who left Arsenal this summer in a £25million deal, is also in hot water after appearing to stamp on the face of ex-team-mate Robin van Persie.

    Critics have called for the 25-year-old to be handed a suspension, but he does not think he has done anything wrong and has yet to hear from the Football Association.

    “I don’t know what I have done wrong to get banned,” said Adebayor in The Sun.

    “I have not heard the police or FA want to talk to me. The club have not said anything.”

    Adebayor admits he made a mistake by running in front of the Gunners supporters after they reacted angrily and a steward was struck by a thrown object.

    But he maintains that the act was not premeditated, adding: “It was silly to run up in front of the Arsenal fans. But these people have been insulting me all game.

    “Even in the warm-up they were insulting me. They were saying things that are not nice to hear, personal things.

    “I didn’t plan it, not at all. I didn’t even know that I would score. The way things were going from the warm-up, at the end it came into my head.

    “I would like to apologise to the steward for what happened, why not?”

    Adebayor is also looking forward to playing against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on 24th April 2010.

    He said: “I can go and play at the Emirates for the return game, why not? I play for Manchester City and if they want me to go and play, I will play.”

    Adebayor also claims that Van Persie, who branded his former colleague’s actions ‘mindless and malicious’, did not accept an apology after the match.

    He added: “After the game I saw him and said sorry but he didn’t even want to speak to me.”

    one word… Cock

  • Yemi

    We all seem to forget that the same Ade had a very bad tackle on fabregas during the game !!! Such a thug !!!.
    All in all city played well, we played well but defended badly, i gues we failed to realise that city had swift players suited for couter attacks in wright-philips, bellamy and ade.

  • Pete

    After a really good win for City, I think the most worried people in the aftermath of Saturday is Mark Hughes and the City fans. Adebayors had a brilliant start for them, yet just 4 games into the season he’s already shown them an ugly side to him, and his manager is probably going to think it difficult to control his behavior as the season goes on. The one thing thats actuallt united all the newcomers to City like Barry, Lescott, Santa Cruz and Ade is that they all became really unpopular with their former clubs, so that may have spurred them on to made a good start. But now they can proably expect more diva behavior from Greedybayor, and their fans will probably treat him more harshly than we ever did. What they fail to realise is he’s not the type of player whose going to play every game as well as he did on Saturday. And they seem to have more than one bad apple in their squad now. But he’s not Arsenals problem anymore, and good riddance to him.

    Looking forward to Wednesdays game. It’ll be good to see us playing a proper Champions League game, rather than a qualifier. Seeing as he’s banned, I guess a plus side is that at least Eduardo will be fresh for Saturdays Wigan game lol 😛

  • Debs

    Eduardo’s ban’s been annulled! Whey! :) Awesome news!!!

  • Vazy



  • Debs

    Definitely true, Vazy. Confirmed on the Arsenal website.

  • Pete


    Can’t believe they actually went back on their decision. What a complete waste of time that been.

    Welcome back Dudu. Hope he scores at Standard Liege on Wednesday 😀 😀 😀

  • Fabrez

    I finally appreciated what Arsene was talking about when he said Boruc touched him. Boruc’s knee touched Edu’s foot. You can only see it from 1 angle…tha angle directly behind Edu. And of course Edu made the most of it cuz it didn’t really knock him over but by law he didn’t fool the ref! I honestly didn’t see it before. Amazing that the press persuades you see what they want you to! Yes EDU!!! 😀 Good 2 have u available buddy! 😀

  • Vazy

    Yea finaly got round to looking at that Debs! Amazing news about Eduardo!!! It will be good to see him play against Standard League


    on a complete side note anyone read this yet? (from sky sports)

    The Premier League have introduced a home-grown player rule which will come into effect from next season, alongside a limit on squad sizes.

    From the 2010/11 campaign, the 20 Premier League clubs have voted to introduce measures which will see all teams required to have eight home-grown players out of a squad of 25.

    Chief executive Richard Scudamore confirmed the changes, with clubs only able to make alterations to their squads during the two transfer windows.

    “As of next season clubs will be required to have a squad named of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown,” Scudamore said.

    “The definition of home grown is trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system.

    “Clubs will have to declare their 25 at the end of August when the window shuts and then again at the end of January.”

    Players who are aged under 21 are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad.

    Scudamore does not believe the move will encourage clubs to hoard young foreign players and claims the England team will ultimately reap the reward.

    “It’s not in the club’s interests to stockpile players. It will make buying home-grown talent more attractive,” he said.

    “We’re not going down the route of a nationality test but what this will mean is that you just can’t buy a team from abroad.

    “We think it will give clubs an extra incentive to invest in youth. We think that one of the benefits will be that it will help the England team.”

    All 20 Premier League members also agreed to adhere to a set of financial reporting rules designed to protect the viability and sustainability of the clubs.

    “They will all have to annually submit accounts and future financial information,” said Scudamore.

    “At all times the board of the Premier League will be applying a test which basically says this: can the club fulfil its fixtures, pay off its creditors when they are due and also to meet obligations to the Premier League’s contracts and partners?

    “If the board believe a club is at risk of not meeting those obligations, it has to then step in and agree a budget for the running of that club. Any transfers can be embargoed.

    “It’s absolutely crucial that these clubs are run as ongoing viable concerns. These financial rules apply immediately.

    “This is tied in, and we passed the rule during the summer, to a ‘fit and proper person test’. At our club meeting last week, the clubs absolutely endorsed our position of not linking expenditure to income.”

  • Fabrez

    Debs… I’m gutted! And u know what I’m talking about!

  • Debs

    I do know! Lol. But really though, I can’t begrudge him. If at all I’d want anyone to beat him , I’d choose him. And like Rog said, the best player won! Surprisingly, I’m not too disappointed, because I guess it was bound to happen sometime, and he couldn’t have chosen a more deserving opponent. But still though, at one point in time, it seemed as if he had the match on his racquet, but for some inspired stuff from the new kid on the block! Totally deserved! It might sound a bit mean, but I’m very happy JMDP won his first GS before AM! lol
    Still though, it’s been a great tournament for Rog, what with having his kids and all. I’m happy the match ended up as an epic, because it didn’t look like that for a while.
    But our man will be back, you can bet on it! This defeat has just blown the GS ‘title race’ wide open for next season!
    Hopefully our Gunners will be awesome on Wednesday to ease our pain just a little bit! :)

  • Debs

    And Vazy, the new rule is an interesting one, but I think we’ll be fine, because I think we do have quite a few homegrown players, but if we end up being short, at least we know we’ll be getting a new signing! lol

  • Fabrez

    Yeah debs…agreed! Gutted for RF but I guess a nicer guy cudn’t win huh? And harsh on AM! lol Looking fwd 2 the upcoming tournaments…kinda cool 2 have it more open…less predictable in a way. Shud b sum pretty exciting stuff! :)

  • Debs

    Yup! That’s why we love sports! :) I just hope RF doesn’t decide to call time on his career anytime soon, that’ll be a massive shame!

  • http://tttt toni

    I love CITY.