Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City: A travesty! Should have won, should have.

Unbelievable!

I typed up almost a whole post. Firefox crashes and I’ve lost it. Feels like the story of this match actually. Looked for all the world that we were going to take all three points, but at the end of the day, after all the hard-work, we’re left with a measly point. Unbelievable.

Oh wait, there it is! Phew! If only I could say the same thing about those three points…

…………………………

I am starting this post, even though the game is still on, so I have no idea how this post will end. 73 minutes gone, still nil-nil. To be honest, we should be like 3-0 up, if not for those goalposts, ridiculous! Someone said on twitter that City should buy them. Would NOT actually be surprised if that happened!

But anyway, back to the game, nil-nil, 15 minutes to go, and I’m really starting to feel the nerves. The starting XI was:

Fabianski

Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Walcott– Cesc – Nasri

Van Persie

No changes until the 70th minute, Arshavin coming on for Theo, who’d done really well. Even had the chance to open the scoring, but new Manchester City target, aka the woodwork, denied him. He did seem a tad offside, but the flag stayed down!

80 minutes gone now, still no goals.

The match, especially the first half, was completely dominated by us (Wilshere just got subbed on 81 minutes, for Nikky B). From the get-go, we were on top, Robin almost opening the scoring after a Wilshere cross, but the ball only just evaded him. We continued in that vein, although City did have a chance or two of their own, but Fabianski might have well not have been in goal.

We were doing well in the final third in the first half, but not so much in the second, or maybe City simply improved defensively, but it is a very frustrating match to watch. It’s going exactly how it went in this same fixture last season at the Emirates, defence v attack, with defence winning. Maddening! It should be the other way round, shouldn’t it? City have been ultra-defensive, and it would be an injustice if they won, or even drew this game.

Oh no, Sagna might be off here! Actually, it’s Zabaleta who’s off! I thought Sagna headbutted Zabaleta, or rather they both headbutted each other, although it wasn’t really a headbutt, mainly a light coming together of heads. BOTH players have been sent off, actually. A bit of a nothingness, really, but if anyone deserved a Red, it’s Sagna.

After all that drama, we’re into injury-time. 4 minutes of it, but only 2 left now. The game’s been really scrappy last few minutes, and it does look like it’ll be yet another 0-0 draw at the Emirates between us. A shame really, as we’ve deserved to win both games. We’ve got a free-kick now, outside the box, and in truth, it’s likely to be the last kick of the game. Come on, Robin! Great effort, but straight down Hart’s throat.

And that goes the whistle.

Well, if it’s any consolation, Chelsea have just lost. To Wolves. An own-goal, too. Doesn’t get much better. Except at the moment, there aren’t in the title race. Sp*rs lost too, 2-1 to Everton, but that does not make this result any easier to take. Need to remind myself that we actually did not lose, but I’m sure City’ll feel as if they won. Well, they should, because I don’t think they deserved anything from the game!

Regarding our performance, we did everything we could possibly have done, except put the ball in the back of the net. Joe Hart was busy all through, and a couple of great saves kept his team in it. It did look like it’d be one of those days where it just wouldn’t work out for us, and it turned out to be so. Can’t blame any of the players, it was just bad luck. Van Persie played all game, and he showed some great touches and is definitely regaining his sharpness. Cesc played well as usual, Jack was brilliant, everyone was doing well, it just looked for all the world that we would win. Very gutting.

I can’t really say much about the defence, seeing as it was barely troubled! But positive signs. Djourou was assured, Koscielny was so comfortable, he even made the odd drive forward! It was a good defensive performance, given the circumstances, the only blot on the copybook being Sagna’s Red card. Petulant stuff.

Ofcourse, the title race isn’t over for us, but it’s beginning to look like it’s out of our hands. 4 points behind Manchester United, having played a game more. But then again, they only need to go on a bad run like Chelsea, and it’s all looking good. No need to give up just yet, we just need better luck. And we don’t need to play against 10-men-behind-the-ball-City anymore this season!

I’ll leave you with what Arsene had to say (I’m off to stew some more!):

“We faced 80% of the game playing against 10 men in the final third, so it was very difficult. We are frustrated, but I’m proud of my team individually and collectively. It’s more of a positive 0-0 than a negative one.”

It’s not over until…

  • bayo

    if arsenal can be consistent Manchester united would still have to play Chelsea, Manchester city ,tottenham and Liverpool.

    They would loose nothing less than 6 points from this matches but we need to beat them at the emirates

  • manthan

    It was a frustrating game to watch, no doubt. Echoes of Inter and Chelsea parking the bus in front of Barcelona crossed my mind. However, you can only play the team in front of you, and the team in front of us came to defend and catch us on the break once or twice if they could. We still have a game in hand on City and squeezed four points out of them this season when we only got one last season. Chelsea and the spuds both lost their matches, which opens the gap between us and them. The biggest issue is that we are still 4 points behind Man Utd who have a game in hand on us. Luckily, they still have to face Chelsea at home and away as well as Man City at home and the spuds away. We also have another chance to take some points off of them when they come to the Emirates in April. Theres still hope, but Man Utd are definitely in the drivers seat. Maybe some of you dont want to hear this but we played a good game today. It was very much a team performance where no one player had to step up to save our butts. Defensively we had a decent game, though we were never really threatened. I think that with the chances we missed, quite a few balls off the post, and Man Citys stubborn defense, we were a bit unlucky to come away without a win. It happens though. They concentrated so much on not conceding and rode their luck quite a bit at times themselves. At the end of the day, not a terrible result, but one that is extremely annoying. If we keep playing in this same manner I still think we have a good chance at stringing together a very good run of results for the next couple of months. We dont have another league game for a while with FA Cup and Carling Cup matches around the corner, so we’ll just have to accept the result and focus on pushing ahead in the cup competitions. Keep the faith.

  • Fo

    DEBS!

    Amazing match report – we have missed your reports. Where have you been???

    Thought we were excellent throughout the match, very frustrating to see the team sit back.

    They had 4 defenders, 3 defensive midfielders and also took off Jo and Tevez and basically just defended… terrible from Man City…

    Although, any idea what Zabeleta said to Sagna??

  • devday

    Interesting to see the reaction of Mancini and Man City – they are extremely happy with their point and call it a “moral victory”.

    Complete and utter nonsense from moneybags Citeh.

  • jeteen

    For once I agree with Wenger’s post game assessment. We did everything but actually score.

    If we keep playing with that kind of committment then we will win most of our games. City have spent a fortune and have a great defensive set-up and an excellent goal keeper. £350m and they posed less threat to our goal than any team I’ve seen us play this season or last, CCup and FA Cup against championship sides included. West Ham this season were probably the most defensively minded “lets see if we can nick a point” team so far this season. They were more threatening than City last night.

    What does this say about Sheik Mansour? He doesn’t care about football. Love him or loathe him, at least Abramovich actually likes and understands football, has developed a love of Chelsea and sacked their best ever manager when he thought they were too boring.

    And what about the number of City fans? They had the absolute minimum allocation ususlly seen for bolton, Blackburn and Wigan or those far eastern european teams in the CL. I know it was midweek but that wasn’t the support of a big club. Maybe the City fans are tiring of seeing a mutli-million team of defenders.

  • Berth

    Dev did you get to observe how the tempo of the game dropped when Theo and Jack where substituted- it took away the English grit and passion; both replacement (arshvin and B25) looked out placed.

    People were also critical of V.P though; I don’t know why people with little imagination support football these days. And boy did I enjoy the expression of Sagna and Fab; it shows passion.

    Finally Dev let Wenger know if u see him that selling Fab next summer will be a very bad idea and he should seriously also consider bidding for Mr Hazard to replace the rapidly devaluing Arshavin.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    all is not lost, we still have a game in hand over city which if we win it takes us a point above. plus we have 2 more winnable premier league games this month, away at west ham and home to wigan, whereas man utd have got tottenham away birmingham at home and blackpool away, which they may struggle with. yes we were unlucky last night and should have won, but it isnt over yet.

  • yemi

    Le boss has said he is not buying, apart frm a CB if TV suffers a set back

  • tyoung

    Song was magnificent!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    song is always magnificent he breaks up the play like a paper shredder

  • Berth

    Whats up folks with Songs new look.

  • devday

    @Berth

    Of course, Arsene tried to inject something different into the game but Bendtner and Arshavin unfortunately forced the game down a notch. I am quite annoyed that Walcott and Wilshere came off as both were playing well…

    If either had scored the winner, I wouldn’t be saying this of course!!! I though Chamakh would come on as he is the player in form. But Arsene is Arsene and decisions are his!

  • Fo

    @ Berth:
    I love the new look!