Date:Saturday August 26 2006
In what must have been one of Stuart Pearce's most difficult weeks as manager, fans were at last given something to cheer about as City registered a rare victory against Arsenal; the last home win against them being December 1991.
As well as being our first win of the season, it was also our first goal, albeit from a penalty, but they all count.
It was a very close and tense match which either side could have won; luckily for us it was City who rode their luck better and we hung on to win with ironically the classic Arsenal 1 - 0 scoreline.
With all the turmoil of 'that tackle' this week, the players responded well and they looked a different side from the one that disappointed so much against Pompey earlier in the week.
The first half saw both sides trading attacks with Arsenal hitting the woodwork twice with City also having a number of attempts on goal. Nicky Weaver continued his excellent early season form with a couple of fine saves with his legs and if Isaksson were fit now, Psycho find it hard to drop Weaver, but that's a nice problem for him to have for a change.
The first half was heading towards stalemate, when a clumsy challenge by Hoyte on Sinclair resulted in a penalty which was confidently converted by Barton and gave Lehmann ( surely the most unpopular 'keeper in the Premiership) absolutely no chance.
City held firm in the second half and although there were flashes of brilliance from Fabregas and Walcott, the Gooners never really looked like scoring, despite a string of dubious free kicks given outside the City area. A disappointing Henry failed to get any on target despite every assistance from referee, Uriah Rennie.
Apart from the result and the overall team performance, high-points for City were the contributions of Dunne, Distin, Barton and Dickov, but my own personal man of the match was new boy Bernado Corradi, who led the line strongly almost on his own and gave us a glimpse of why Psycho bought him. With Hamman, Isaksson,Trabelsi and Cole still to come, things should now be looking up for City.
After the game there was the customary bleatings by the Gooners about not getting decisions from the referee, but claims for a penalty when Van Persie seemed to go down rather easily were quite rightly ignored. There was of course no mention of the many dubious decisions just outside the City area, and the fact that almost every 50-50 decision went to them, but that's football for you.
Well done City; now let's build on this !
Weaver - 8
Richards - 7
Dunne - 9
Distin - 8
Jordan - 7
Sinclair - 7
Barton - 8
Dabo - 6
Vassell - 6
Dickov - 8
Corradi - 9 ( My M.O.M )
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