Sunday, 23 November 2008

Manchester City 3: Arsenal 0. Much needed win for Hughes.

The final result is great, beating Arsenal in the premier league for only the 2nd time. Yet does Arsenal current crisis take away something from the win? The had no Adebayor, Fabregas, Walcott, Eboue, Sagna and of course William Gallas who rocked the Arsenal dressing room this week with scathing comments about the players commitment and desire. Wenger was forced to play reserve defender Gavin Hoyte who had a torrid time dealing with Robinho. An out of form city beat an out of form Arsenal who were heavily demoralised and weakened through injures.

The 1st half was very unimpressive. Both teams failed to keep on the ball and chances came few are far between. It wasn't until just before the brake, stevie Ireland got lucky with a ball squeezing through two Arsenal defenders leaving him to finish coolly over Almunia. Neither side looked good for the win at half time, but city managed the get the confidence boosting 1st goal. Arsenal attempts had mostly fallen by the way side.

The second half saw city playing the better football. The work rate from the players had improved greatly; we defended solidly, although we were not really tested at the back. One good effort from the 'over rated' Bendtner was all Arsenal good manage on target, that was comfortably saved by Joe 'miracle man' Hart. The Second city goal was a real treat, Robinho released by a dogged run of SWP who had stolen the ball from Van persie, who spent most of the game cheating. Robinho finish was brilliant and certainly stole the headlines in the press. City were unlucky to go three up with a goal being disallowed for offside, although replays show it should have stood. Danny Sturridge capped of the afternoon, winning a penalty, and it was a penalty, the defender was clumsy and Sturridge like every other striker went down under the pressure. He finished well after insisting to take the penalty, even though Elano is our team penalty taker, and he didn't look best pleased at Sturridge decision. In the end city could have had four or five goals.

I am not overly enthused about the result; we couldn’t have picked a better time to play Arsenal. Hughes still insists on playing Vassell, who for all his hard work simply just isn’t good enough. His work in the 1st half was atrocious, giving the ball away, running away from the opposition towards our goal, he isn’t up to standard and is taking up wright-phillips best position. Benjani spent most of the game offside, he is another who works hard, but who knows what has happened to Jo, he didn’t even make the bench. Jo is a very talented player and he needs to chance to play more games and find some form. The defence were solid, but were not over worked, an on form Arsenal may well of exposed the frailties. Steven Ireland and Robinho were giving 100% from the word go and it’s great to see. Even if the 1st half didn’t get going, Ireland was getting stuck in the middle of the park. Elano came on and showed his class immediately, winning the ball and releasing Robinho with a world class ball, which should have been another goal. He again played a brilliant ball to Zabaleta across field, he really is a good player, and it’s crazy he’s behind Vassell in the pecking order.

Hart: Surprise appearance, made a good save. 7
Zabaleta: Times his sliding tackles really well, will get sent of again. 7
Dunne: Decent game, ball watched a bit when bendtner had his shot. 7
Richards: solid, distribution not great, but tackled well. 7
Garrido: another good game from the spaniard. 7
Kompany: passing was awful, tackling was good.7
Ireland: effort, drive, and a goal. 9
Swp: great work rate, won the ball for the 2nd goal. 8
Robinho: King! 9
Vassell: frustraing, works hard . dont like him. 6
Benjani: tried hard, always offside. 6

hamann: replaced robinho. 6
Elano: great passing. 8
Sturridge: got a penalty and converted it. 8

ref had a decent game, reluctant with the cards, but officated pretty well.

villian: Van persie: he simply cheats, if he spent more time trying to score, rather than falling over, he may get somewhere. Should of been booked for kicking the ball while hart was kicking. The gk is still in controll of the ball at that point, van persie, who has already shown this season that he is petulant, acted with blatent disregard for the rules.

- were not out of the woods yet, Schalke and united next... a very tough week.

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