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The Ped Report - Arsenal 0-0 City

Both sets of fans were eagerly awaiting this one. Would there be a legacy from the bad tempered match at Eastlands where Arsenal managed to profit from City being short-handed? Or would this be the type of match you would expect from two teams probably playing the best football at this point in the season?

Arsenal clearly learned from their neighbours across North London and got out of the traps like a house on fire, bombarding City's goal for the first twelve minutes, but to little avail. Van Persie's shot found the woodwork with Hart beaten.

City's team, not designed to give the match away, surprisingly included the maligned Jo and it was mix and match again at the back with Boateng and Kolarov stepping down in favour of Richards and Zabaleta out wide and Kolo Toure preferred to Lescott against his former club.

Milner was used to hold the midfield width and offer some respite to Richards, with Barry doing likewise on the other side in front of Zabaleta. Yoyo was to be the engine room providing the link with Tevez up front and Jo playing from the left.

As the game started to break up, from the early Arsenal onslaught, Barry levelled Sagna in what did look like a leftover from the first match and was yellow carded as a result. Immediately afterwards de Jong was not quick enough but unfortunate to see himself catch a yellow card as a result of the Arsenal player being a bit too quick for him.

Next up Fabregas lost markers on the edge of the box after a neat Arsenal move and stunned Hart with a quick shot which hit the post, Andy Gray telling the world that Joe had 'given it up'. The truth was that he was wrong-footed and unable to react. Although the ball fell to Walcott who also hit the post, he was ruled offise by the World Cup Final linesman.

Arsenal were doing all the pressing and in the absence of Silva, City were finding it difficult to keep the ball and were forced to defend wide and deep to keep the Gooners at bay.

That said, towards the end of the first half Yaya started to get things going and a couple of rampaging runs created a chance which Tevez skied and a free kick from which Barry's delivery drifted over the big lads up from the back finding Tevez clear but wide of the far post. His shot came off his knee and failed to trouble Fabianski. City were lucky to survive a penalty appeal when a cross from Walcott hit the excellent Kompany on the arm in the way that it hit Everton's defenders about six times in the recent match, but on this occasion too the referee found in favour of City.

Song, looking a bit like Chicken George with his locks at odds with his colour, went down under a heavy challenge, as did Jo.

City would have been delighted to get to half time level, I suspect Mr Wenger was looking for more.

The second half got under way in similar style and by the hour possession figures were 62%-38% in Arsenal's favour. They attacked quickly and intelligently with City unable to find any outlets. A curling shot from Van Persie was superbly saved by England's number one.

Still City were finding it hard to get away from their own penalty area and this was not to improve quickly in the absence of Silva and Balotelli. Maybe City should have made sure that Dzeko was signed quickly and available for this match rather than forcing Khaldoon to tidy up the issue.

After sixty five minutes Johnson replaced Jo. Would he add any dimension to City's attack or would it be more of the same? Almost immediately a City break down Johnson's side brought a save from Fabianski.

With Johnson looking like making a difference, Arsenal sacrificed Walcott for that little squirt, Arshavin. Walcott was unhappy but none of the commentators found this anything like as interesting as they would have if it was Tevez or Balotelli.

De Jong was treading a thin line and was forcing himself not to engage in unnecessary challenges and at time Arsenal found it easier to get by him especially if they moved the ball quickly through the middle.

That nasty piece of work Van Persie was unhappy with an aerial challenge from Kompany when he didn't even jump for the ball.

Tevez was always a willing runner but again without Silva none of the passes up to him were accurate enough.

Koscielny flattened him and escaped a yellow card with the kind of tackle that would have been a nailed-on yellow if perpetrated by City.

Milner continues to disappoint me. He offers nothing positive in attack. although his remit tonight was to hold along with the holding players and he took the soft option of going down in a challenge with Clichy.

Tevez was working hard to keep the ball to give the defenders a breather but he was often alone against multiple members of the oppostion.

Arshavin clattered Zabaleta from behind and once again escaped admonishment.

Seconds later a collision between Sagna, a ghastly creature at the best of times and probably the lead Ashburton Assassin, and the robust Zabaleta resulted in both players going on a head-to-head with the aggression coming from Sagna. Mike Jones after speaking to his assitant decided to flirt both players with straight red cards. Unbelievable. What did Zaba do to deserve that?

Immediately Tevez was sacrificed for Boateng with Mancini intent upon deeping defensive numbers intact and a 0-0 draw very much on the agenda. At least there were no tantrums here!

Boateng gave away a neeedless free-kick as stoppage time came to an end and Hart was forced into one last save from Van Persie.

Nil-Nil was a great result for City and shows categorically that Arsenal cannot beat us unless we are short-handed for most of the match. They huffed and puffed , hit the post, maybe should have got a penalty but Unlucky Gooners.

The main beneficiaries tonight were Stretford's finest, happy to see a division of points here.

With the remorseless pressing from Arsenal I'm just glad City saw this match out and didn't come home empty handed. Football is not always about attack, attack, attack. Sometimes defence is just as important. Tonight was one of those times for City.

And ...finally...no I haven't given this bit to a ghost writer....may I say that I was impressed with Richards tonight. Only twice did he leave his post and he was tough and robust all night. Maybe, just maybe he is learning.




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The journalist

Writer: Tranmere Loyal Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 5 2011

Time: 9:39PM

Your Comments

200 million for that? Bottling, shivering, scared bunch of girls. Joke team.
Rocky7
But your pretty little assassins couldn't do anything about it could they. Bunch of puffs
pedmachine
Joke indeed. Come away from the Emirates, while missing our creative maestro Silva and Balotelli, with 1pt as "entertaining" Spurs lose to Everton and Chelsea lose to Wolves. A horrendous day for City as we move closer to our target. In seriousness, it was Inter vs. Barcelona from last season all over again except we didn't score like Inter did. Brilliant point, Mourinho got similar stick when he did this and... enough said.
StuMCFC
Frustrated Rocky?
Bluedub
Bluedub: He's frustrated we didn't run at them brainlessly with our best creative outlet missing and our young prodigious forward injured, allowing them to pick us apart and beat us 3-0. Difference between Mancini and some managers: Mancini is adaptable, one week will we look amazing and thrash a team like Fulham, the next we will shut up shop and grind for the points. Forza Mancini.
StuMCFC
Anotehr game down and not a bad night in other results, It was very important not to lose!
mark.mcfc
Why were you scared of a team of players with less than 20Million pounds to put together
Arseniger
I don't think its the fact you got a point.....fair play, you got your point. It was more the manner you got it. Mancini had no intention of going for 3.....says it all really. He knew if you lot actually tried to play football it would have been a cricket score.....so you had to resort to the same tactics that inferior teams always use....park the bus. To say "you cant beat us with 11" is infantile at best. Anybody with an ounce of intelligence will see you were completely outclassed in every department.....and to compare yourself to Inter Milan...hahaha. They actually won the champions league as ***** as they are now.....think about it.
gunnerman76
Think it's fair to say, Arsenal just wernt good enough. Pass pass pass etc.
eighthsin
You did say you would be a different Animal 11 vs 11? Are any of you disappointed with the performance? we aren't the best at the back thought you could have tried to break us down a little more. I think your ambitions are top 4 so in that respects it's a job well done I guess, 4 points off you this season zero conceded il take that.
Iceman10
Nice one eightsin, the fact that 300 million pound Manchester City could not even get 1 shot on target all game against a quality side would be worrying even to your lord, master and benefactor Mansour. All this petty banter aside you will see Mancini himself admit that your side is not in the same class as us - he knows the reality better than you do!
Deltaforce
Behave eigthsin, we didn't pass it against the post did we. You can't really say that if you haven't tested Fabianski once.
Iceman10
"It was more the manner you got it. Mancini had no intention of going for 3" - You can say that, but what if Tevez's volley had gone in or Milner's shot? What if one of the scarce but occasional counters had led to a goal? Then it would have been 3pts out of nowhere, that is the whole idea of it, set up for a draw maybe but know the 3pts can be taken.
StuMCFC
Bludub.....I'm not ashamed to say I'm frustrated....says a lot about both sets of fans when one group are frustrated after watching there team take apart the opposition without the reward of 3 points, while the other Set of fans are more then happy to watch there team roll over into the fetal position.
gunnerman76
So let me get this straight, Rocky....You have just admitted on the worldwideweb that your football team could not beat a bottling, shivering, scared bunch of girls? LMAO!
Johnny Baguette
Arsenal fans. No concept whatsoever of what it is like supporting your team through thin and thin in the third tier of English football. Give us a break. We are in unbelievable territory and *****ing loving it.
Johnny Baguette
Stu, the very point is that neither Tevez or Milner were good enough to get their shots on target to even vaguely test our keeper. You can big up your meagre forward play all you want but the world saw what happened today. We are a better side.
Deltaforce
City did the same thing at home to Manure. Parked the bus. It might get you a point but it wont win you anything.
Will-i-am10
Good point considering we were missing our creative spark in Silva and Mario.
me_innit
The title isn't won in the Big 4/whatever matches but against the "weak" teams, this should be known by now. We will see who the best team in the league is when the season ends. While I am not one of those who believe we can win the league, I would be overjoyed with instant CL qualification (3rd place) and a push for the league next season.
StuMCFC
Classic Mancini quote on his interview...."If you cant win, you mustn't lose" Nice to see his aspirations are as high as yours ;)
gunnerman76
Loving it. We completely strangled you, and you're all getting frustrated. Won't win anything this season with such poor finishing Haha!
scragg
Just back from the game. You guys are free to play how you want and a point away to any of the top teams is decent. Missing Silva should not take away all your creativity as some of you said. Barry, Toure, Milner, Johnson, SWP all can give you that little something. What i found most frustrating about you is that even when you had the ball past the half way line that no one pushed forward to help leaving 7-8 outfield players back at all times. It was left to Toure & Tevez to charge alone which seemed odd. Fairplay though, a point is decent away and we can probably count ourselves unlucky. WInners tonight are United.
paul_ownz
paul_ownz - thank feck you showed up on here. Just as I thought all Gooners were mentalists you start speaking with objectivity. My little Citeh can't win - if we do well, it's because we've spent all that money. If we lose, it's because you can't just spend the money and expect to win. If we play negatively, it's a case of 'how dare they spend that money and play like that'. Under Wenger, you've spent the last 15 or so seasons winning trophies and in the top 4. To be fair, you should be a superior team than a bunch of quickly thrown together mercenaries. And you are. But the gap is closing and we're now a threat, hence the sour grapes from your friends. Remember, for a lot of City fans it's still a case of 'we're not really here'.
Spooks
Kind of reinforces my previous points about City being the most defensive team in the league. Well atleast when they want to be.
TheFamousNo7
The point is that United , Chelsea and Aesenal all have a bridgehead to work from. We didn't and had to build one quickly. We have started to do this and now we are seeing the benefit of that. Whilst United run away with it playing poor football (at the admission of their own supporters) they are doing the best they can with what they've got. Gooners think they are the Barcelone of the Premier League. This result only highlights the fact that they don't do the best with what they've got. City is trundling along in unchartered territory, doing the best we can with what we can field. We've proved you can't beat us if we've got eleven on the field. With Silva and Balotelli it would have been a different story again.
pedmachine
Tippy tappy, tippy tappy, tippy tappy -MISS! Tippy tappy tippy tappy - Tackle. Tippy tappy tippy tappy....
fifthcolumnblue
@TheFamousNo7 We're a great defensive unit, Mancini started at the back and built forward, which is why we were constantly defensive at first. Now it varies. We've scored 33 goals. Spurs, the attacking team who everyone loves, have scored 31 goals.
StuMCFC
yeh and up at your place this season it was tippy tappy, tippy tappy, tippy tappy GOAL! tippy tappy, tippy tappy, tippy tappy GOAL! tippy tappy, tippy tappy, tippy tappy GOAL!
Will-i-am10
pedmachine, thanks for the 4 points and the clean sheet this season.
Deltaforce
It's pretty funny to hear Citeh fans bleat "If we had Silva and Balotelli, we'd be more attacking, blablabla..." You want creativity? Lest we forget, you've got two tricky England international wingers in Johnson and Wright-Phillips, yet they start on the bench. Lest we forget, you forked over 25 mill or something like that for Milner, an attacking midfielder who was in the PL team of the season last year. Citeh have all the tools to be attacking and creative, but Mancini doesnt let them.
krismon1
Tippy tappy has seen us score 6 goals this season against Chelsea and yourselves FCB, don't mug yourself off. The fact we didn't score last night has nothing to do with our style of play just pure bad luck.
Iceman10
Arsenal challenging for title!!! then arsenal should be able to break any kind of defence,even if the 11 opposition players are going to defend.Arsenal had their best squad on the field yestrday, but they only managed to find the City's goal frame.Arsenal lost 2 points because they cannot score in their own ground.City fielded richards and zabaleta against them,they are not even first choice City defenders.Even barry was not at his best yesterday.Still Arsenal cannot able to score.If the relegation battling teams can copy the similar style city played against arsenal then they can easily take a point from them.Arsenal dont know how to score in their own ground, when your whole team defend perfectly.Ha ha ha ha ha ha...
neverstops
Iceman10-tippy tappy goals scored against us and chelsea has nothing to do with your style of play its just luck and yesterday it was badluck.
neverstops
neverstops, in case you've forgotten, the aim of football is to score more goals than the opposition. Novel concept, eh? Arsenal tried to do that, City didn't. Money can't buy you class.
krismon1
If there was a cup for claiming the moral high ground Arsenal's trophy cabinet would be full to the brim. Stop moralising, stop moaning, Mancini's tactics might not be to your taste but the point is a MUCH better result for us than for you, and you remain 2 points behind us. In the cold hard light of day you can whine all you like about football purity and other such crap, you failed to beat us. End of.
fifthcolumnblue
FCB, in any case our trophy cabinet of 13 PL titles and 10 FA cups is pretty much full to the brim when compared with most teams and especially compared to the one you support.
Deltaforce
Your negativity cost you a champions league place last season, good to see you have learnt from that.......in the last 7 games against The spuds, us and United you have failed to score.......
iceman10
0-0 in your cup final Delta.
fifthcolumnblue
FCB, the game was hardly a cup final for us. This is a league with 17 games still left for us to play. I dont expect us to win the title but as long as the team give their best most fans will be happy.
Deltaforce
Once again, I'm only feeling frustration that we didn't play into the Gunners' hands. I can understand that frustration but what Mancini did was tactically sound, like it or not. We played far more attacking in the home game where we were down to 10 men for 85 minutes and lost 3-0. If we'd shut up shop like today it might have been 0-0. Mancini has learned the English game well and analyzes every match on a case by case basis. He's neither permanently attack-minded, ala Wenger and Redknapp, or permanent defence-minded, ala McLeish, he lines up his team in whatever way he feels will earn points for the club. Considering we're 2nd, despite being written off by all the media hacks day in, day out, as 5th place candidates again because we wouldn't "gel", you won't find many City fans crying over the occasional Mourinho job.
StuMCFC
krismon1-yesterday you tried and failed to score against us.LOL.
neverstops
Gooners - will you just admit you're team were simply not good enough. End of - simples!
Tudor
Who gives a **** what Arsenal fans think about us? Or anyone else for that matter. It was cringeworthy listening to some of your fans on Talk***** today practically begging other fans not to like us.
RobsonGreensleeves
The game was drawn --- now, on to the next one!
OziMan
 

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