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Arsenal 0 - 0 City

An injured Shay Given awaits treatment during yesterday's goalless draw at The Emirates against Arsenal. (Picture from getty images)
An injured Shay Given awaits treatment during yesterday's goalless draw at The Emirates against Arsenal. (Picture from getty images)

The press reaction to yesterdays result and performance has largely been negative, stating that a perceived lack of ambition is set to cost us in our bid to finish in fourth place come the end of the season.

At the start of the day though, if offered the chance to finish having bettered Tottenham's result then most would surely have happily taken that option. A point gained rather than two dropped then. Let us not forget that this was a trip to Arsenal, a fixture we had failed to win at for some thirty-five years.

It was clear from the formation - 4-5-1 with Patrick Vieira in for Emmanuel Adebayor - that Roberto Mancini sent out that he was happy with a point, particularly so with Tottenham losing earlier in the day. Had Tottenham won (or perhaps even drawn at Old Trafford) it could well have been a different matter.

In the first half the midfield trio Mancini adopted snuffed Arsenal out, restricting space and time on the ball as they harassed the home side to deny many opportunities. Craig Bellamy was very good in a more defensive role, however it was not really suited to Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips would have been a better option with a more sparkier demeanour and sounder defensively. It is a worry for Johnson's World Cup hopes that has largely failed to shine on the big occasions - something Fabio Capello will surely have noticed.

With a lack of attacking emphasis from ourselves which left Carlos Tevez isolated, the first half drew to a close as non-descript encounter although there was concern that Arsenal began to get a stranglehold on the game in the latter stages.

I was sure Mancini was happy to maintain the status quo so was surprised to see Emmanuel Adebayor introduced so early into the second half. Mancini may well have thought Vieira had done his job in the sense that the game was still there for the winning at that stage and the plan was that now was the time to open up.

Adebayor worked tirelessly and was constantly involved but he and Tevez failed to suficiently link up to really create clear cut opportunities.

That said, we were enjoying a good spell of pressure - our best of the game - when Shay Given went down injured after making a smart save low to his left. It was later confirmed that Given will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a dislocated shoulder. The stoppage undoubtedly took some of our momentum away, and as the side looked to protect substitute goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen (the first Faroese to play in the Premier League) it became apparent a 0-0 return was satisfactory.

With three games now remaining the situation is clear. Three wins from the final three games will guarantee a top four spot. As it is, yesterdays point ensures that with beating Tottenham, seven points could well be good enough depending on how goal difference plays out.

However you look it though, it looks clearer that it will come down to a winner takes all game against Tottenham - as we suspected all along when the rescheduled game was first announced.