Arsenal Leave Eastlands Shell-Shocked
Once A Blue sent Vital Manchester City the following.
The time has now come for fellow blues. I'm sure last nights game was eagerly anticipated by all, both sets of fans, both teams and more importantly both managers.
A near full house at Eastland's witnessed another victory over Arsenal, a team who are fast becoming fierce rivals to us. The match didn't need any added incentive, it was the quarter-final of a cup competition. However, with Ade playing against the Gunners, Arsenal losing here on the past two occasions and a much needed trophy for the blues some extra spice, mainly Arsene Wenger's bitter taste, was added to the pot.
People can say what they like, 'It's only the Carling Cup, It doesn't matter, no one cares'. But it does matter, to me, to you, to Hughesy and it sure as hell mattered to our players out there.
Some scripts write themselves and this competition looks tailor made for us. Not only did we comfortably brush aside the much talked about young guns, but we now have a semi-final tie against the old enemy. The last time we won the competition, we played the rags over two legs in the semi-final, winning 2-1 and drawing 2-2, a similar situation arose last night as the semi-final draw was made. Manchester City will play Manchester United. We all knew it, and I for one am delighted, another who looked equally as pleased was our boss Hughes. As the draw was announced at COMS last night, Hughes expression said it all, he's up for it, the players are up for it and come January let the battle commence.
Before this draw the small-matter of beating Arsenal's highly-rated young guns stood before us. This wasn't an easy draw, Arsenal have reached at least the quarter-final stages of this competition since the 2002-2003 season, showing they don't take it as lightly as the bitter and twisted Wenger suggests.
I think most, myself included, were expecting them to play with no-fear and give us a bit of a game, However, from the off we stood firm, battled for every ball, played fluent football and never took our foot off the gas. This was a very encouraging display, we were highly motivated and really looked like this competition was a high priority of ours.
Man of the Match Shauny Wright typified our display last night. A never say die attitude, mountains of effort and technically sound. Wenger's answer to most critics of late is that his side are still much more technically gifted than all, surely he missed last night's encounter then. Arsenal's young side were blown away from the start, efficient passing, quick feet and good interchange from a City side brought several chances in what was an entertaining match. The first half score line of 0-0 was a poor reflection of the match and was delaying the inevitable, us scoring.
The running and effort of the whole team was vitally important if we wanted to succeed. SWP, Tevez, Bellamy and Ireland were running the show, all the aforementioned were a constant threat.
The first half looked to have set the second one up perfectly for us. After a fantastic burst and shot in the first half, it wasn't long until Tevez threatened again. This time however, Tevez found the back of the net with a screamer, off the under side of the bar as it nestled in the far corner.
WP then rampaged down the right wing, a constant threat all night, SWP unleashed a thunderbolt to all but end Arsenal's Carling Cup hopes. The celebration that followed showed exactly how relaxed the players were.
With both goal scorers later substituted, the match was dead and buried. The constant threat was still there though with more chances missed tonight than Bolton get all season. Cue Manchester City's main youngster, Vlad Weiss, this kid can really play and after excellent work by the superb Bellamy, Weiss made it three, showing where the young talent really lies.
An all-round superb performance by a much slated blues. A special mention must also go to the defensive unit, after recent heavy criticism, excluding Shay, the back four looked settled. Strong, confident and really up for it. Not a bad night at all for us blues.
The recent bad-taste after the match by Arsene Wenger, ensuring he takes the headlines, will be forgotten in time as the history books will say Manchester City 3: Arsenal 0.
The icing on the cake was the eagerly awaited draw, with City playing the Rags, in what will hopefully be more than just a revenge mission.