Man City 0 – 3 Arsenal: three points at last

October 25, 2010 26 Comments by Sian

It’s been a while since I’ve woken up the morning after an Arsenal match thinking anything other than “Urgh, gotta avoid the papers today.” Either it’s been because we lost or underperformed or had a player sent off or got a controversial penalty, but there is usually a reason. Today I doubt many of us especially cared what they had to say because after a long time of struggling against the so-called “BIG” teams in the Premiership, we finally got three points off one of them, in their backyard, and accompanied the points with three goals too.

Obviously, the first criticism here has been that referee Mark Clattenburg killed the game off just five minutes in when he dismissed Dedryck Boyata, who I will shortly be adding to my Favourite Names list, for a professional foul on Marouane Chamakh. Er, no. That FOUL killed the game off because it DESERVED the red card he got and LED to City being left with 10 men. The only people I’ve heard criticising the decision have been City fans or the City manager and while it may have spoiled some viewers’ enjoyment of the game- well, terribly sorry about that. Besides I seem to remember fans of every other team in the world laughing their arses off at us complaining about the referee ruining the game by sending Jens Lehmann off 20 minutes into our final against Barcelona in 2006. Did anyone pity us then? No, so suck it up City.

It’s a pity for Boyata because apparently he was chosen ahead of Joleon Lescott on the day and he looked gutted to see the card. It put me in mind of Kieran Gibbs’s slip-up in the Champions League against Manchester United in 2009. OK an entirely different situation but it’s still a young player knowing his contribution to the game led to the result in a way he’ll not exactly remember for the good, so hopefully he’ll pull a Kieran and move past it. But enough about them.

Having just read the previous paragraphs back, I will also stop with the Champions League references now.

It has to be said, I hated seeing Cesc waving for a card after the foul because, besides overweight pitch invaders and time-wasting, that is about the one most unnecessary thing about football I absolutely hate. Clattenburg’s back was to him and he appeared to already have made a decision but it still isn’t something you want to see anyone doing.

After the card we spent the next 40 minutes looking extremely nervy in spite of a great goal from Samir Nasri having put us ahead in the 20th minute. People always have a field day when a side loses to a 10-man team but there is also the argument that it then becomes more difficult because of the opposition’s tendency to shut up shop and park the bus. Considering the snoozefest we endured against City last season at home where it finished 0-0, it was surprising they went for it as much as they did.

Micah Richards was on fire and Joe Hart wasn’t bad either, saving a Cesc penalty in the first half. I expected him to save it. Partly because he’s awesome but partly because Cesc has scored so many for us recently. By the way, question: what happened to the Wenger rule of the fouled player not taking the penalty? Has he changed it?

Johann DJ Ourou wasn’t spectacular yesterday and nor was Arshavin, though he did save our bacon at one point when he (wait for it, Arshavin-bashers) TRACKED BACK(!!!!!!) to clear up a mistake by DJ Ourou/The Clich’, I forget which. Sebastien Squillaci was absolutely anonymous throughout the match which is baaaaaare shameful when you’re a striker. But thankfully he’s a centre-back therefore the fact he was not a stand-out player meant he was doing his job. Much as I love the Swiss Deej and his smiley smiley self (he said hello AND goodbye to my dad down the caff once!), I’m looking forward to the day we have a Vermaelen-Squillaci partnership in what will make our back four become the Spelling Test of DOOM. Put Wojciech Szczesny in goal and commentators of the world are shagged, particularly when you consider I once heard one call Sylvain Wiltord “Wilford” for the duration of the match.

By the way if these nicknames for the fellas are becoming too random and confusing, I’ll be happy to write you a wee dictionary.

Next on the scoresheet for the Arse was Alex Song and his granny hair with a goal that was sweet as. Please watch Chamakh’s reaction when it goes in. I LOVED seeing him jump up and celebrate. So many strikers are torn between being thrilled their team is ahead and pissed off that the goal was not theirs these days that it’s great to see a guy like him. We know he’s a bit of a fairy in the box when he’s brought down but I love his attitude.

We really upped our game in the second half having been second best to Manchester City throughout the first. Oh, also in the first half there was a flurry of cards for us, the only one of which I didn’t think justified was Johan’s. The others were all acceptable but it did look for a while we’d end the match with the same number of players at the home side.

Adegimmemore came on in the second half and was standardly useless, which is always enjoyable. He did have one nailed-on chance on goal that Lukasz Fabianski, who was superb, saw off plus the offside flag was up anyway. Sing it with me City fans: “Adebayorrrrrrr, couldn’t hit a barn dooooooorrrrr…” Trust me. You’ll be singing it eventually.

A word on Lukey Fabz (an easy one for you there): Bless him and his old-fashioned little boy hairdo! He’s showing us exactly what Wenger has always known he’s capable of which just goes to show why he’s the manager and we are mere armchair pundits. I know there’s the doomboys out there who will go “Yeah we’ll just see how he gets on later on in the season…” but they can piss right off, to be honest. He’s doing his job well and if someone had said on Saturday that in a match where Joe Hart was his opposite number, he’d come out on top, would you have believed them? It happened yesterday. It seems like a miracle given his performances last year but it’s merely the work of Le Boss masquerading as a miracle. Good on him.

Big-Game Bendtner and Theo Walcott were late substitutions, Nicklas celebrating his return to fitness with another good goal. Most people’s responses were “Yeah whatever still don’t believe in him” but I’m sure they’ll be saying that when we beat Inter Milan/Real Madrid by a Nicky-goal in the Champions League final this year. That’s right, if you’re looking for a spot of realism why on earth are you reading a blog under the URL of “I believe in Arsenal”, fool?

All in all our second half was much better than our first and while the scoreline was maybe a tad flattering, I still think the boys done good. Nasri and Fabianski were my MOTM, but no one was bad. Next up we have a mid-week Carling Cup game followed by a bit of West Ham Halloween weekend action.

Spooky.

25 Comments

  1. James Dalton VII
    1494 days ago

    Very interesting review, couple of things I disagree on, but that’s opinion for you. World wouldn’t spin without it. Thought Squillaci bollocking DJ Ourou was the reason for his improved second half performance. Norman Beaton (Alex Song) was brilliant and did the work of 2 players since Denilson decided he was on “Arshavin Strike” in the second half. Keep up the good blogging

    Reply

  2. Gooby
    1494 days ago

    keep it up!

    c’mon the arsenal

    Reply

  3. Yinka
    1494 days ago

    Waited for this for like forever….. OOh Paris. ☹

    Reply

  4. ArrveePee
    1494 days ago

    Memo to Sheikh Mansour – £200,000,000 can’t buy you CLASS. Form is temporary, class is permanent. If you can’t tell, can’t wait for the Benelux duo Vermaelen and R-Veep to come back next month in time for Man U.

    Reply

  5. Daniel
    1494 days ago

    NICE BLOG!

    Great result… Citeh played with a defensive line-up with four centre-backs and three defensive midfielders – losing a man may have affected them creatively, but defensively they should have been as solid as any team, which they weren’t.

    I was proud of the way we conduted our game and stayed on our feet in the 2nd half – I was convinced we’d have ten men by half an hour.

    Some great perfomances from the likes of Song and Fabianski, as well as Nasri who ghosted past people (spooky!) lots and lots… amazing. fabregas, it goes without saing, was Lording it. Loved that run he made into the box and the cut back to Cham (when he blasted over…BOO! but Cham played excellently too).

    oh “what happened to the Wenger rule of the fouled player not taking the penalty? Has he changed it?” – That was never Wenger’s thing, it was Henry’s. This is why Wenger was so perplexed and angry that Nasri gave his to Rosicky the other week
    . :)

    Reply

  6. pantsR2long
    1494 days ago

    Top read, pretty funny as-well. I’ll be coming back to this site more often now.

    Reply

  7. Mooney
    1494 days ago

    Man Shitty fans can bitch and moan about Mark Clattenburg, but as an accredited referee myself, he got every major decision right yesterday. Andre Marriner, however, should have sent G Neville off against Stoke. Graham Poll had a piece in the Daily Mail that was pretty much on the money. As an Australian, you don’t know how nauseating it is when you agree with Graham Poll! :D

    Fabianski was Fabulanksi again this week. The Pole has vaulted into new heights in confidence. I hope he can keep this rich run of form going. Cham the workhorse was bolting around up front, causing chaos for the centre backs. Arsh was mercurial as always – I swear the man is a wind-up toy. Springs into action after half-time. Cesc needs a couple of games to get into his stride. Songinho was just a delight. Golden goal at a golden time too. Denny’s movement and passing was a huge contributor to wearing down Citeh in the second half.

    Special mension for Nas. Playmaker, dribbler, goalscorer, set-piece taker – is there anything this man can’t do?

    Watched it at a pub packed with Citeh fans. Sang songs all night like “What a waste of money”, “Nanaana….. Nasri, Samir Nasri”, “Ian Wright, Wright, Wright” – and “Is there a fire drill” when B52 tucked away the third. All in all – a great, great night. Worth staying up until 5am.

    Reply

  8. Ankush
    1494 days ago

    Nice read.

    I’m too looking forward to a Vermaelen and Squillaci partnership at the back. We will need him the most in the Spuds match because Crouch can again trouble Djourou/Kos just as Zigic did.

    Very excited for the things to come, we have some relatively easy matches next and this is the time to build momentum.

    Reply

  9. Treez
    1494 days ago

    Doesn’t it make a difference to Monday morning when you’ve had such a good result. I said before the game I’d have taken a draw but, as you say ‘ the boys done good’. Shame about all the yellow cards but do we really need the Fair Play award again? Another amusing blog. Looking forward to your take on the encounter with the Hammers.

    Reply

  10. Aziz, KL-Malaysia
    1494 days ago

    Where’s the button to link iy to my Facebook ? … ;) ;)

    We losing to Chelski was repeated 6 times the following week – I’d like to see this game as well again – LOL.
    The bl***y British media really makes me vomit, the “poor” City side was cheated by the ref and if not down to 10 the game would have been soooo different. Yes – Kiss my arse.

    Reply

  11. NYArsenal
    1494 days ago

    This blog is going from strength to strength, as Arsene likes to say. Good shit lady.

    Reply

  12. Jayjinho
    1494 days ago

    The future’s bright, the future’s Red and White:

    Not in the starting XI yesterday (and not necessarily b/c of injuries):

    Bendtner
    Gibbs
    Theo
    RvP
    Verminator
    LK6
    Wilshire
    Eboue
    TR7
    Ramsey
    Vela
    (not to mention the Carling Cup Kids)

    Reply

  13. TheArsenalKid
    1494 days ago

    you are right.
    i am not convince of djourou making it to the team long term. there is a reason why he is the fourth choice centrebacck and it showed on sunday.

    If given a choice I would rather have Song as the centreback than him

    Reply

  14. Jayjinho
    1494 days ago

    Djourou was very good in the first phase of his Arsenal career, pre-his injury problems and loan spell. I expect him to rediscover that level and become an integral part of the defense. It’s a small blessing in disguise that TV5 is injured. Allows Squillaci, Djourou and LK6 to all get experience and a taste of action. Very healthy competition and situation in the centre of Arsenal’s defense this season. Not to mention the world class ‘keeper we now have behind them. ; )

    Reply

  15. shegunner
    1494 days ago

    Woo! Look at all the comments! Nice.

    Great remarks as always.

    Me, I don’t mind yellow cards, so long as they are not for stupid things like dissent. If you are putting your team ahead of yourself and it gets you a yellow, that’s just the game.

    Fabianski dines on confidence. When he’s good it’s because he’s had his meal; when he’s poor, it’s from skipping lunch. I want to see him against MU and Spuds for sure. Clean sheets in both instances, please.

    Missing TV5 the most though.

    Reply

  16. Alan
    1494 days ago

    Brill again, bird. Nervy 1st half followed by composed 2nd half. Loved seeing Fabianski do so well and Nasri keeps on getting better and better. Quite right about Cesc – it may be what you do in La Liga, but you’re not there…yet. Great post-match interview, though – “I missed a penalty. How can I be man of the match?”.

    Reply

  17. Manchester601
    1494 days ago

    City fan here.I agree with everything said in the blog however.But in all honestly I do believe that without losing the player we would of been the better team.I consider Arsenal the best football playing team in the league and against 10 men usually make it a painful experience for the other side.However City plugged away till the end still knocking it about very effectivly.The Arsenal fans deserved to celebrate as they have not had much luck of late over the last 2 seasons at Eastlands.And for Cesc Fabragas to say we wouldnt have won with 15 men it sums him up, great playing ability but bit of a nob.
    So well done tilll next time and please do the same to the Rags.

    Reply

    • sianyr
      1493 days ago

      Hi and thanks for your comment. I can see how Cesc would wind opposition fans up a lot and the fact few people like him just goes to show how much, however I think what he meant here was that even if City had had 15 men we would still have gone for it. Lots of people post-match have only been concentrating on the fact we had an extra man and this was his response to that. You can after all only play the team put in front of you. Thanks again!

      Reply

  18. GunnerGale
    1494 days ago

    Yesterday’s match was the perfect birthday present for me — didn’t need a card or a gift after that performance. UP THE GUNNERS! A Los Angeles Arsenal fan

    Reply

  19. Daniel
    1494 days ago

    @manchester601

    Maybe u should try and keep 11 men on then???

    http://www.twitter.com/cesc4official please tell me when he has been a nob EVER!? Honestly… you have Balotelli and Adebayor AND De Jong in your team. LOL

    Reply

  20. Treez
    1494 days ago

    Well said , Daniel. I knew I’d seen that Cesc quote somewhere.

    Reply

  21. Debs
    1493 days ago

    “Sebastien Squillaci was absolutely anonymous throughout the match which is baaaaaare shameful when you’re a striker. But thankfully he’s a centre-back therefore the fact he was not a stand-out player meant he was doing his job”

    I said exactly the same thing in my post yesterday! Well, with different words!

    Great read as usual…

    Reply

  22. Tricia
    1493 days ago

    Another great blog as usual. Keep it up my dear.

    Reply

  23. TerryWogan
    1493 days ago

    Great analysis.

    The penalty rule isn’t Wengers. It’s a superstition some players have. I remember AW saying Nasri should have taken his pen when Rosicky skied his one a couple of weeks back. Nasri said he’ll take them in future if he’s fouled.

    I wonder with Cesc missing his will Nasri get the nod next time?

    Reply

    • sianyr
      1493 days ago

      Yep a couple of people have corrected me on this, not sure why I thought it was AW’s rule but the fact it wasn’t makes a lot more sense!

      Reply

One Trackback

  1. [...] There’s little sense analysing a performance by 10 men against a very strong side because it changed the game completely, but here’s what I had to say when the roles were reversed back in October 2010: [...]

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