Wow, what a game, and what a super duper Sunday that was. The Premier League has been very exciting this season and today just added to what has been a very interesting start to the season. The news that Vermaelen was out only hit me around game time… and I was a little bemused to see Ramsey start on the right of midfield.
The team that started the game was:
Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Arteta – Diaby
Ramsey – Cazorla – Podolski
Gervinho has been preferred to Giroud in recent games, and I think that’s more to do with his pace than anything else. He has the ability to dribble past and get into dangerous areas and after a fine game against Southampton, he was again preferred. He didn’t quite have the game you need from a striker as he failed to make a striking impact on the game, and it’s a bit worrying that Gervinho doesn’t quite fit the bill and Giroud hasn’t got his scoring boots on.
We dominated the early stages and brought the game to City. They counter attacked and did it well and the first half was pretty even, with Arsenal edging it through some excellent play in midfield but City always looking dangerous. However, despite the early exchanges, it was City that went ahead through a Lescott corner when Mannone lost the flight of the ball from a corner. He’d played well all game, so it was a shame that he made the mistake, but take nothing away from Lescott either, it was a good delivery and header. The goal came on the 40th minute and it was a little bit of a sucker blow.
We had been playing well in midfield and defence but without the finisher at the moment, we spurned a lot of chances. In the second half, we again brought the game to City and were finally rewarded when Koscielny poked in from rebound from a corner, emphatic and too fast for Hart to stop it. There were a few moment of heart in mouth, but we rode any late storms and the introduction of Coquelin was a sign we were settling for the draw.
A draw away at City is something that we can be proud of – the way we played was also very pleasing. Arsene spoke after the game…
I am pleased because [a point] was the minimum we deserved today. I am pleased also with the quality of our performance and our spirit. Also a bit frustrated because I feel there was room to do more. We had early chances and very late chances, especially Gervinho at the edge of the box where he missed the target. But overall I hope this will reinforce our belief and confidence and reassure us about our potential in this league.
As I write this, it’s time to board my flight, Nairobi to London after a wedding in Mombasa… next up is the Capital One Cup and I’m sure it’ll be a very different team mid-week.