A match that came in with headlines and implications galore certainly didn’t disappoint! And, if I am to get up early for a game, I better not be let down (selfish, I know). The Etihad seems to bleed goals, usually from City, but today both teams had their far share of goals. But, it was City who (thankfully) scored the most.
Right at the start, City looked to send a message to not only Arsenal but the league as well. We ramped up the pressure and took the game to the Gunners, and our efforts were rewarded in the first 15 minutes as Aguero connected with a beautifully flicked on header.
As you’d expect against a side like Arsenal you are going to give up a goal; it really just depends on how you respond. After Yaya’s momentary lapse in control, which led to the first Arsenal goal, he and City quickly responded. A goal against is like a cup of coffee in the morning for the working stiff, it just seems to give us that kick in the butt we need. Our reaction to each Arsenal goal is a nod to the resiliency of the boys, especially after last season when we were far from resilient at times.
Once both teams got a goal the game began to open up, especially once Fernandinho got his first Premier League goal, to put City up 3-1. It was end-to-end, gripping stuff. Understandably, once we went up 3-1 we sat back and looked to counter, but Arsenal made us pay for being conservative; closing the gap to 3-2. But, whenever Arsenal made an effort to get back into the game City would take the level of play up and hold possession until we found another goal. Just like clock work, we found the goal to extend the lead again. The third Arsenal goal, albeit deserved, was really the result of laxity from our back line. Kompany seemed to lose the run of Mertesacker who headed home the goal.
Today was a real treat; something a kid only gets after eating everything on his plate, including the VEGETABLES! I often have to soften my excitement after we score a goal to take in the exquisiteness of our play; it sometimes leaves defenders looking for their jock strap in the box. Negredo’s goal was a great example of a total team effort goal. The pass from Toure was spectacular, but the low cross from Pablo to find the feet of Negredo? Such a delight. I could go on about each of our goals, but I don’t want to write a novel ;). In previous games we looked outstanding, but with Silva in the lineup today we just looked that much prettier in attack. He constantly finds that little space in the opposition’s defense, slips through and finds the run of a teammate.
With all of the good that came from this game, there is still the matter of Aguero’s injury. It seems that we just can’t have nice things. But, here’s to hoping he won’t be out too long and hey, we certainly have the depth. As important as this game is to our position in the league, it makes the games against the lower tier teams that much more important. Esepcially the one’s on away from the Etihad. Three points back from the top; great win and total team effort. Blue Moon!
Aguero (7) – What a finish on the first goal. It shows is class, and how good he is at top form. Please don’t be hurt too bad, please don’t be hurt too bad.
Negredo (7) – Aggressive and made great runs to put pressure on Arsenal. Goes unnoticed at times by me, but he is a willing and able defender.
Silva (8) – The master of possession, picking out teammates making runs. He just has a knack for finding open spaces in the midfield, and then beginning the attacking play. Glad to have him back.
Nasri (7) – His footwork is magnificent, although it hasn’t affected the score line, he put pressure on Arsenal all game. But, his mindset on the ball has City looking to score at any moment.
Fernandinho (9 MotM) – He made is typical quick and important interceptions/tackles. Such a waste of money, right? What a finish for his first Premier League Goal, and he deserved the second, especially because he has missed some GOLDEN opportunities in the past.
Yaya (7) – Getting forward in attack, and seeing a lot of possession around the box. Giving away the ball in midfield was certainly not his best moment. Made up for it with the pass that set up Negredo’s goal.
Zabaleta (8) – Such a menace when he makes his runs down the right, and today was no different. After pushing forward, he made sure to get back and stop the attacks of Arsenal.
Demichelis (7) – Reading the game well and making timely tackles, but like Clichy, was caught napping at times. Great flick on for the Aguero goal. Should have gotten his head on the Walcott goal, but you can’t fault him for missing.
Kompany (8) – Great reading of the game, strong tackle; simply Kompany. He was so wisely aggressive in the midfield, stepping in when Arsenal looked to begin an attack.
Clichy (6) – His form continues to improve, but that isn’t hard the way he was playing at the start of the season. He was stretch by the pacey Walcott, but who wouldn’t be?
Pantilimon (6) – Should have made the save on the Walcott shot, but it was in a tricky area. He continues to do a solid job when tested, can’t complain at all.
Navas (6) – Affecting play and connecting with Silva with a beautiful low cross for his goal.
Milner (7) – Such a presence when he comes in as a substitute, putting constant pressure on Sagna.