1 nil, eh? Really could and should have been more! We dominated right from the get go, with City not posing as much of a threat as you would have expected. Having said that, the last two matches against City at the Emirates ended nil nil, so City’s blunt attack wasn’t really a surprise.
No real surprises in our line-up too, after Gervinho picked up a knock, with Szczesny; Gibbs, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Sagna; Benayoun, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott; van Persie all starting.
The first half was full of Arsenal chances- we could have had a penalty early on, as van Persie was felled in a City sandwich, but the referee blew gave a corner. City had a bit of bad luck early on, as Yaya Toure had to come off , as he’d hurt his knee in a collision with Song. Van Persie could have scored after 16 minutes as well, but Vermaelen forgot what end he was at, and cleared the ball off the line! Or rather, van Persie hit the ball in Vermaelen’s direction, but as he was on the line, it bounced off him and on to the crossbar.
Balotelli really could have finished Song’s career off with a leg breaker, not even 30 minutes into the first half, but luckily Song’s foot wasn’t planted, so he was able to pull it back without any damage. Balotelli wasn’t even booked for it, as the referee missed it. I really don’t know what he was doing on the pitch really, but he was more harm than good- to both teams!
The only two City chances in the first half I could remember were one from a corner, with Balotelli’s effort cleared in the box by Gibbs, and the other, Szczesny was out of his area quickly enough to snuff out any danger.
It’d been all Arsenal, and City were lucky it was still nil nil at half time, and that they were still with 11!
The second half pretty much carried on from the first, and maybe City wormed their way back in just a little bit, but not much to really trouble City. With Spurs drawing the day before, it was really up to us to take advantage and go two points clear.
City did have one decent effort in the second half, but Szczesny watched the ball closely and tipped it over the bar. Can’t remember who’s effort that was, but it was a decent one.
Robin had another frustrating evening, having a fabulous first time effort from a Sagna (or was it Song?) come off the post. Even more frustration for Robin, having an effort rightly (boo!) ruled off for offside. Good goal though, but he went JUST a bit too early, before Song was able to release the ball. Good combination.
The next major effort we had, howewe did not score, I will never know! Sagna played the ball into Theo, who went for placement. It was the perfect shot for that ball, but Hart was not having any of it and palmed it away. Vermaelen was following up and really should have scored, but only managed to direct it into the path of Benayoun, but his body position was all wrong, and even though he was literally on the line, no joy.
It was one of those crazy no-goal situations that make you wonder if was just going to be one of those nights. A third 0-0 against City at the Ems in a row. But there was no real threat of a City win, however. It was entirely up to us how many points we took from the match, and it was beginning to look like it’d just be the one.
But thank God, Arteta had other ideas. He nicked e ball off a City player, advanced to the box and let one rip from long range! It was curling away from Hart and nestled perfectly into the bottom corner of the net, 3 minutes from time! Fabulous fabulous goal to win the match! Loved the fact that we did the Poznan- Man City’s usual goal celebration- afterwards. Awesome!
And to crown it all off, Balotelli FINALLY got his red, after a tackle on Sagna. Second yellow. He really should have gotten it months earlier! Crazy dude.
Ramsey should have put the icing on the cake in the final minute of injury time, but like the commentator said, he missed it by a MILE! It was a counter-attack after a City free kick just outside our 18, I think. It was a poor one- into the wall- and we countered, and after beating the last man, Ramsey REALLY should have scored, or at least passed to Robin who was in a great position, but he did neither. The game was already won though, so I guess we could forgive him that. Like someone joked on twitter, Kony could breathe a sigh of relief! Apologies if you don’t get that reference!
All in all, that was an amazing match for us, the only sour point being Kos’ yellow, as it means he misses the next 2 matches. No matter, we’ll handle it, I’m sure. (I hope!)
I always view City matches almost as Derbies these days, given our recent history, so getting a win is always especially sweet. And we can laugh at Nasri, as that win almost guarantees that they won’t be winning any trophies this year. Should have stayed, mate. But I guess he has his bank balance to console himself.
I wish I could write a bit more, but I need to dash!
Spurs lost today, meaning if we win on Wednesday away to Wolves, we can go FIVE points clear, with only five games to go. How sweet would that be!?
Come on, Arsenal!!!