Arsenal fought back to earn a creditable 1-1 draw with ManchesterCity and salvaged some pride at the end of a terrible week. With Chelsea losing out to Crystal Palace , it was an opportunity for the Gunners to sneak back into the race and for Mancity a bigger incentive to go top with games in hand. Both failed and the winners of yesterday were Liverpool. If Arsenal weren’t to win the title,I wouldn’t mind City but I can’t stand the sight of Rodgers or worse Mourinho lifting the title.
Arsenal made one change to their starting line up Podolski on for Oxlade- Chamberlain and Mancity named an unchanged line up. City started on the up and repeatedly attacked down the left, Zabaleta and Navas ran riot but the final ball let them down. Arsenal couldn’t get going and the close they came was futile penalty appeal when Rosicky tumbled in the box.
City finally struck and it came as result of Arsenal’s all too familiar failings, Podolski was dispossessed, both the fullbacks were high up the pitch, Silva shuttled down the inside left channel and played in Dzeko whose shot rebounded off post into the path of Silva who scuffed it home. Arsenal yet again self-destruct. Arsenal fans would have feared the worst Anfield, Stamford Bridge all over again?
Flamini put the ball into the net but was ruled out as he was in an offside position. Toure was booked for halting Rosicky and Kompany also got himself in the ref’s book for a cynical foul on Arteta. Rosicky got a yellow for a clumsy challenge on Clichy and Silva also received one for a dangerous tackle on Arteta. The first half ended with City in ascendancy.
The second half started without any real urgency from both sides and City could have doubled their lead when Szczesny got a hand to a cross from left that rebounded off Mertesacker and fortunately away from goal.City would rue that missed opportunity as the Gunners minutes later levelled through Mathieu Flamini. Giroud held the ball well and Arsenal worked it through midfield and Podolski crossed it from the left and Flamini hit it beyond Hart’s reach.1-1 Arsenal back in the game and in the title race.
Podolski had a great chance to make it 2-1 and from a tight angle his shot deflected off Hart for a corner. Arsenal were on the front foot and Pellegrini introduced Milner for a subdued Navas. Toure surprisingly had an undistinguished game and the game was getting to the stage where the next goal would win it.Javi Garcia’s introduction meant that Pellegrini was happy with a point and Arsene Wenger threw in the Ox to win the game and later Sanogo but none didn’t influence the game as much as he would have liked.
The game ended all square but Arsenal’s second half fightback and spirit augurs well for our run in. We more than deserved a point and the cheers at the full time whistle says it all. COYG
FT: Arsenal 1- Manchester City 1