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Arsenal 0 0 - Manchester City 1 1

The Emirates Stadium

Tuesday 29th November 2011 8.00PM

Attendance: 60028

City Through To Semi's

City saw a break from the league tonight in the form of a Quarter Final Tie in the League Cup. This game probably wouldn`t reflect the current League as both sides made a number of changes. Indeed City made ten changes from the side that played at the weekend and the team sheet read as follows; Pantillimon, Onuoha, Savic, Kolo Toure, Zabaleta, De Jong, Hargreaves, Johnson, Nasri, Kolarov, and Dzeko. The bench for City was made up of; Taylor, Richards, Bridge, Rekik, Suarez, Razak, Aguero.

The game began with a minute`s appreciation for the life of Gary Speed who died so tragically at the weekend and then the game began. City kicked of right to left and immediately launched a long ball toward the right wing position. Kolarov had lined up as the left midfielder with Nasri central and Johnson on the right. The opening exchanges saw both teams sparring for possession. Nasri was being booed every time he went near the ball, but this was a game he had expressly asked to play in.

One duel that was looking interesting from the off was that between Chamberlain and Zabaleta, as the Arsenal youngster was blessed with blistering pace. The game was however looking scrappy as Arsenal were finding it hard to penetrate through the centre of the pitch and City were struggling to find a penetrative pass.

Then, in the ninth minute a lovely cross field ball found Johnson thirty yards from goal. The tricky winger dropped his shoulder and jinked the opposite way, made for the penalty area and unleashed a wicked shot that had the keeper beaten hands down but was just over the cross bar. First shot in anger by either side.

In the tenth minute, Chamberlain was played in as he made a diagonal run inside from left to right. He received and played the ball in one touch and the move was finished with a wonderful strike by Park at City`s far post which Pantillimon did well to keep out.

Fourteen minutes in and City saw a period of possession, but they were often harried and forced back by the young and enthusiastic Arsenal side. The possession ended in a move worked up the centre of the park and capped by a wild shot by Zabaleta under challenge.

A minute later and Hargreaves played a lovely pass over the top of the Arsenal defence. Dzeko went a fraction too early and was adjudged offside, but the pass was sublime and a demonstration of the class Hargreaves possessed.

Nineteen minutes in and Dzeko found himself on the ball in the centre circle. He chested the ball, shielded it and played a thirty yarder toward Johnson. Johnson made the by line with ease and cut a great cross back to Dzeko whose shot was blocked. A wonderful move and City looked like they had moved up a gear.

A minute later and great play by Zabaleta as Savic showed naivety and was left for dead by Chamakh. Zabaleta was on hand to make a wonderful sliding tackle to win the ball back. Not only that, but he was up first and played the ball up field.

Arsenal earnt a corner after some good play by Benayoun on twenty five minutes. Chamberlain played a short ball to the near post which was easily dealt with by City. The Arsenal youngster was looking a great prospect and was making Zabaleta work his socks off.

Seconds later and Chamberlain found himself free in the middle of the park twenty five yards out. He took two steps and unleashed a wicked curling shot which was flying into the net before Pantillimon made a wonderful save. Straight from the save City moved the ball quickly up field. A corner followed and Fabianski was nearly caught out as he flapped at the ball.

Thirty one minutes in and Mancini made an early change. Kolarov who had been playing a midfield role, was withdrawn and Aguero thrown into the fray. Mancini had seen something he didn`t like and brave as he was changed things immediatley.

Aguero was involved right away and earnt his team a corner with his third exchange on the ball. As ever, Mancini`s tactical changes had an impact on the game as City looked more dangerous with the change.

With ten minutes left in the game City were seeing more of the ball in the final third and were starting to take charge in the middle of the park. The possession stats were much in favour of City as, unusually for The Emirates stadium, City had enjoyed sixty per cent of the share.

Then, Arsenal enjoyed a couple of minutes where they pressed and probed the City line but could not pass within thirty yards of the City goal as a Blue shirt was always in the way. City were playing on the counter when this happened and nearly released Dzeko on forty one minutes before the big striker was felled by Frimpong.

As the half drew to a close, neither side seemed to be able to find that final ball, as defences were on top. In midfield, De Jong and Hargreaves were looking imperious and Frimpong for Arsenal was doing an equally good job in front of his back four. Neither side had threatened much and both would need more of a cutting edge to win in the second half.

Arsenal kicked off the second half as the same eleven that finished the first half started the second. They were immediately on the attack and Benayoun almost got goal side of Onuoha within the first minute. Seconds after this and it was City on the attack as Dzeko found himself twenty yards out, back to goal with the ball at his feet. He turned and crafted a wonderful shot which flew just wide of the right hand post with the keeper rooted to the spot.

As the game progressed, a lot was happening in the middle of the park but little to trouble either defence.

Five minutes in and Arsenal were on the front foot and Chamberlain was again giving Zabaleta a torrid time, but whilst the home side had three shots on target, none of them really troubled the City stopper.

First yellow of the game was awarded to Hargreaves as he struggled to keep up with a surging run from Frimpong. He did look to have nicked the ball but the ref saw it as a yellow card offense. City defended the free kick brilliantly and Johnson played the pass of the game through to Aguero who fluffed his lines and mis-controlled the ball.

Fifty six minutes in and Savic went on a surging run into the opposition half. He played a cutting pass between full back and centre half for Zabaleta to run onto. The full back put a great cross into the box which Dzeko met at the near post. His contact was not perfect, and the ball rolled tamely into the keepers hands. This was a chance missed.

On the stroke of sixty minutes, City burst into life, Johnson and Aguero exchanging passes, supported by Onuoha and De Jong. The ball was moved cross field to Nasri and then back across to Johnson. Finally a pass found Hargreaves unmarked a good thirty yards out. He took aim and shot but the ball flew high and wide of the Arsenal goal.

On the stroke of seventy minutes, the first sub of the game for Arsenal saw Gervinho replace Park as Wenger tried to inject some extra pace in his forward line.

The game was still very much there for the winning, but both defences had been on and neither side had been able to find the perfect final ball.

Two minutes later and Toure was called into action as Chamberlain put a great cross into the box, toward the far post. With Chamakh bearing down on the goal, Toure leapt magnificently to head the ball clear.

With fifteen minutes to go Chamberlain was involved in a great move again, losing Zabaleta with ease and putting a great cross into the box that found the feet of Gervinho. The Arsenal forward took the ball and shaped to shoot before being dispossessed by a wonderful tackle by the ever vigilant Kolo Toure.

With twelve minutes to go, City had probably their best chance of the game as Zabaleta put a cross straight onto the head of Dzeko. The big striker once again failed to hit the target with a good chance. .

Next followed two substitutions. First Razak for Hargreaves for City and then Arsenal subbed Miqel replacing him with Vermaelen.

On eighty two minutes Arsenal broke whilst City were camped in their half. Chamberlain again found himself on the ball. They won a corner which was cleared to Dzeko on the left of the City midfield. Dzeko broke with pace and found Johnson at the edge of the centre circle. Johnson found Aguero twenty five yards from goal. The striker took two touches and buried the ball into the net past the despairing Arsenal stopper. From Arsenal corner to City goal in four seconds.

Wenger`s last attempt to influence the game came within a minute of the City goal as he replaced the dangerous Chamberlain with Asharvin.

Arsenal were running out of time and were in danger of losing their first ever English cup game at the Emirates Stadium. City though, were defending well and throwing themselves in front of every ball launched into their box.

The fourth official added three minutes to the regulation time as Arsenal won a corner. Fabianski was called up for the set play. Pantillimon gathered the ball and tried to play Aguero in whilst the keeper was still in the City half. Luckily for Arsenal, the ball stayed up to long and Arsenal were able to recover.

In the dying seconds, Toure gave Arsenal a last chance committing a foul thirty yards out just to right of centre. City dealt with the free kick and the ref blew up for full time.

This wasn`t City at it`s best, but a lot of reserve players had decent games and the big players in Johnson Aguero and Dzeko all had a hand in winning the game for City. The Semi Finals were next for City.

Star Player

Kolo Toure

Played a great game today looking solid in the tackle. His positioning was excellent and he won a number of key headers.

Player Ratings


Pantillimon - 8

Made three outstanding saves today and his distribution and positioning were excellent.

Onuoha - 7

Put in some good tackles and looked effective when going forward. Could have put in a few more crosses though.

Kolo Toure - 8

Had an excellent game and looked very very solid.

Savic - 7

Wasn't troubled in the air and looked more settled than in his last game. Made a couple of good forward runs with good passes.

Zabaleta - 7.5

Up against a much quicker player but stuck to his task well and recovered well when beaten for pace. Also put in some good crosses.

De Jong - 7

Solid in front of the defence and for the most part found a Blue shirt with his forward passing.

Hargreaves - 6.5

Looked settled in the team and patrolled the midfield. His range of passing was good.

Nasri - 6.5

Played his heart out and was at the end of some tasty tackles by a number of Arsenal players. Brave to want to play but struggled to make an impact on the game.

Kolarov - 6.5

Struggled to make an impact as carrying an injury. Ended up having an early bath.

Johnson - 7.5

Set up Aguero for the winning goal. Worked hard for the win today.

Dzeko - 7

Was in the right place for the chances today but his execution wasn't perfect. Did make a brilliant run from defence to start the break that ended up with the winning goal.

Aguero - 7

Didn't have a brilliant game tonight but did his job and scored the winning goal. Never stopped running.

Razak -7

Came on for Hargreaves and didn't look out of place.

Manager Rating

Mancini

Won a difficult game and got his team through to the semi final.




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The journalist

Writer: Redmond6 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 29 2011

Time: 10:13PM

Your Comments

36 years since we won at Arsenal. Another record broken.
Johnny Baguette
Yea , especially when Aguero cost more than entire Arsenal 11. Well played though. Make sure you dont let Utd win this one.
Sajit
Win the carling cup and qualify for Europe next season great return on the ????????????m investment
nickster
No mate - we'll qualify for Europe on league position and leave the Europa spot to whoever finishes 6th - probably united the way they're playing.
fifthcolumnblue
Oh the bitters are here again with the tired old money argument that has been boring us to tears for 3 1/2 years now. We play lethargic yet win away at the Emirates, that is all that will be remembered.
StuMCFC
Good report Bluerichy. Wouldn't have given either Hargreaves or Nasri a 6.5, or AJ a 7.5. Thought they were all quite poor myself. Also think Dzeko was at least an 8. I agree with your motm though, Kolo was solid and it was great to see. Stilll think he'll be hitting the road in January though.
rojo2010
It took 36 years and half a billion to beat Arsenal. What are you on about..lol
Sajit
money... mercenaries... buy success... $$$... owner gets bored... billion... million... blah blah... get a new spin, you sound dated and boring. P.S. You could buy 20 Joe Harts, 2 Vincent Kompanys, or 2 Adam Johnsons for the price that £12m academy boy Oxlade-Chamberlain cost.
StuMCFC
Who was by far the best player on the pitch. :-)
Sajit
You guys have obviously the better squad. Im not denying that. Just saying it aint nothing to shout about.
Sajit
Sajit, just better all round then....
johnkelv
StuMCFC, convenient for you to pick the most expensive Arsenal player on the pitch and then compare the cost with the cheapest City player. Convenient but it wont fool anyone. Anyway, Mansour FC got the goal through the one shot on target by the outstanding Aguero so the bragging rights rest with you so keep crowing.
Deltaforce
Plenty to shout about Sajit. We just progressed into the semi final of a cup, we're currently unbeaten in the league, 5 points clear at the top.
Bluedub
Delta, the cost was compared with the cheapest City player but I'm sure you know that already.
Bluedub
I think the point is that we removed the last piece of low-hanging fruit from the Gooner's grasp, no surprises they're feeling a bit bitter about it. Then again, reaching the semis and then the final of a competition is no guarantee of winning it, as the gooners will know full well after last season. TTFN Gooners, make sure you wrap up that little Robin Van ****** in cotton wool, otherwise you won't make the Europa League next season.
fifthcolumnblue
The familiar pattern of rival reaction to City performances is unbelievably boring. We win, it's all about how the money made the difference. We lose, it's all about what a waste of money. See Arsenal's 3-0 win in Manchester a year ago. The fact is that if Arsenal were an underresourced club going nowhere as City were before we came into money they'd have spent some serious money. City unlike Chelsea when the oligarch arrived were not an established top four team and had to spend heavily to have a chance of reaching the heights that the likes of the erstwhile big four enjoyed for years before Platini's drawbridge comes up. What Arsene has tried to do is admirable but he knows that the Arsenal aren't going to have a chance to win anything again unless there is some strong investment in his squad. Banging on about cost is just futile. Arsenal need to spend and quickly.
Johnny Baguette
How much did Arsenal spend on their stadium? Or let me rephrase that, how much did Arsenal borrow to cover the cost of building their stadium?
Bluedub
The stadium that was built as a long-term investment to ensure that they remained one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, and thus continued the so-called "Big clubs'" domination at the top of football...
fifthcolumnblue
Yes that stadium Fifth, the one that they sacrificed investing properly in their squad in order to build. The same one they're charging their fans ridiculous prices to attend so they can keep up with their repayments.
Bluedub
And they would have got away with it too if it hadn't been for those meddling Arabs!
fifthcolumnblue
Indeed. lol
Bluedub
well done City, 36 years be fecked. no doubt you'll remember that goal with the same affection that I remember the one Wayne Bridge scored against them in the CL, a major turning point.
ten men
Bluedub, FCB, the loan to build the Emirates Stadium was 260 million pounds of which very little is now left to be repaid. Overall, the contrast with City lies in the fact that our club paid for the stadium through its own resources and without any sweetheart deal with a company owned by our controlling shareholder! Any investment into our team comes from our own money as opposed to Mansour's money which buys your players. There is a distinction between City's money which can only buy so much and Mansour's money which can buy the premier league with a lot to spare. Hence, the success is attributable to Mansour and not City!
Deltaforce
Yeah, what a player that Mansour11 is eh, Delta? Do you think he'll win the Balon d'or this season?
fifthcolumnblue
Lose Adebayor, Mansour gets you Dzeko, lose Santa Cruz and Mansour gives you Balotelli, Lose Bellamy and Mansour gives you Aguero, Lose Stephen Ireland and Mansour gives you David Silva. Like it or not Mansour is your Most Valuable Player forget the Balon D'Or!
Deltaforce
Like it mate? I love it.
Bluedub
Wow, Mancini is Mansour in disguise then. Money can't buy success without a smart man on site - Mark Hughes proved that as he had us mid-table in his first season after buying Robinho and then slipping down in his second season before Bobby Mancini took over and little by little put together this juggernaut. See those names Deltaforce mentions were Hughes signings (besides Ireland who just went rubbish and Mancini's choice to move him on has been fully justified now) and many of them truly were a waste of money. Mancini should be judged on his own signings and abilities though - which of his signings have been complete and undisputed failures? He has made several high risk signings and nearly all of them have come off well in some way, with the exception of Boateng who a). we made a profit on, b). probably WOULD be playing well had he not been prized away by Bayern. "Anyone can manage a club with money" is one of the biggest myths going around... these people visibly don't remember Keegan cracking, Hughes failing, and Real (with a much more superstar squad than ours) underachieving in their previous galacticos era.
StuMCFC
I just wonder how long the Arsenal fans are going to put up with the "broken record" model of management that Wenger has instilled. I mean, one day all of these young prospects will come good and actually win you something right? Oh how you could do with a few of the players Wenger inherited from George Graham, like Adams, Dixon and Keown eh? Stick with it, one day the reality will dawn on you that "Wengerball" doesn't quite work, and that your board have been screwing you.
fifthcolumnblue
Didn't hearing anyone sticking up for us when we had to put up with things like Everton poaching our manager a month into the season (Kendall). So everyone will just have to deal with us having a s**t load of money and a great squad. We're not interested in your beating and crying. We love it and there's **** all you can do about that.
RobsonGreensleeves
Be ready to ask for huge pay hikes from your bosses,city fans. With you accounting for a 200mi loss and once FFP comes into play, looks like you'll be the ones paying up not gooners. Thats if you want to keep your mercenaries.
Sajit
Ah Sajit, one of the ignorant ones. Don't worry mate you're not alone.
Bluedub
Is it simply a case of "ignorance is bliss" with you Sajit, or are you wilfully only seeing what the sensationalist media tells you to see? You seem a reasonably intelligent chap (sorry, assume you are male, apologies if not) - why don't you try to do a bit of research before spouting your ill-informed rhetoric about how City are doomed? HTF could business people that bailed out Barclays bank and then made a cool £2bn profit be caught out by such a blatantly obvious regulation as FFP? Are you suggesting that our owners are sitting in some air-conditioned office doing a face-palm and bemoaning how they've miscalculated and are about to fall foul of some blasted regulations? Honestly, some of the tripe that is spouted by our rival fans beggars belief. Our club has seen unprecedented revnue growth (ie the fastest growth in the history of any football club anywhere, ever) - we have recently signed a kit deal with Umbro worth £25m per season over 10 years, the Etihad deal could be worth up to £40m per season (oh I know, that one's corrupt you'll moan LOL) depending on whose figures you look at, and the construction of the Etihad campus which will include a hotel and leisure facilities, a promised major tourist attraction as well as the football pitches, stadium etc. - all of these things go as positives on the club's balance sheet from next season. So if this year we lost £190m, that is partly down to a one off accounting loss of £35m on player amortisation - we also overspent on wages, but most of the useless players like Tevez and Adebayor will be gone, thus freeing up millions. None of this has clearly entered your head when discussing how screwed we're going to be, but if you actually look at things objectively the plan is to be in profit within 3-4 seasons - and Platini's rules only require a club to show that it is moving in the right direction from NEXT YEAR. So we're all right jack.
fifthcolumnblue
Sajit, you obviously didn't hear Platini last week saying that they're considering fining clubs for a few years rather than expulsion from competition. But why would you..........
RobsonGreensleeves
FCB, Wengerball won us 3 championships including one unbeaten and 4 FA cups and all while we were still generating profits from our own resources. Wenger is a highly evolved manager who Mansour would love to have on board and would have had on board too if it were not for AW's principles and intense loyalty to us.
Deltaforce
 

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