City 1 Arsenal 3

One thing you cannot afford to do against teams with the quality and potential to hurt you as much Arsenal, is to be careless in possession and make basic mistakes.

And whilst we came back into the game, the way we started the game and that we allowed Arsenal to jump out to a 2-0 lead so early made the game all but over.

Whilst we had a great chance early from Elano's delightful through ball which just evaded Stephen Ireland offside beating run, Arsenal were serving notice through some neat one touch passing, and so it was that Arsenal went ahead early through Adebayor although we did contribute to our downfall as Petrov was too slow in tracking back, Ball was beaten far too easily down the flank and to compound matters Adebayor was given far too much room in the penalty area and hit past Hart to make it 1-0.

Petrov was a good attacking option but again on a couple of occasions his driving runs stalled because of a lack of support in the attacking zones, and on the quarter mark of the game it was 2-0. Arsenal were afforded far too much space down the left hand side and Clichy swung a cross in that Adebayor headed down to set Eduardo who (although appearing slightly offside) executed the finish on the turn with a perfect technique.

In his post match interview, Sven once again lamented the slow start we made and that we had conceded 'soft goals' to put Arsenal firmly in the driving seat, and it is true that we are not a side generally built to come from behind so do put ourselves in a hole by going behind so early a game.

One thing which was noticeable throughout the game was the way that Dunne and Richards lost out in so many headed challenges - something which rarely (if ever) has occurred, and praise must go to Emmanuel Adebayor who looks a real player and is flourishing with the added responsibility since Thierry Henry's departure.

To credit us, we came back well into the game and got back into the contest, courtesy of some slack play from Gael Clichy, who allowed himself to be robbed by Corluka who showed good composure to find an advancing Gelson, who hit home well to reduce the arrears.

We were better in the second half and in the game far me, but I did feel that Arsenal controlled it for the most part and to me look as though they have a battling quality about them and will definitely be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

Whilst there can be positives to take from the game, one thing which was apparant was that despite the great strides we have made this season, we are some way off the top three in terms of real quality and the ability to put together consistent displays and runs to accumulate the necessary points to challenge Arsenal, United and Chelsea.

One thing which has to be appreciated though is the age of the squad, and we really must be one of the youngest squads in the Premier League, and whilst the play has at times been fantastic this season, it is only realistic to expect some growing pains along the way. Don't forget also, in some ways Sven is sill getting to know the squad and player and this season in many respects is one of transition and whilst there are one or two grumblings from the terraces at present, it is easy to forget just how far we have progressed over the last six months, and the potential that this squad has is something to savour as we look ahead.

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