City get past Arsenal
Written By: Robert Halter
Arsenal had held the upper hand over Manchester City at home in the league with the Citizens not scoring an away goal there since the 2006/07 season and their last league win dating back to October 1975. Now thirty seven years on, the reigning Premiership Champions City trailed their Manchester rivals United by ten points in second place and knew that only a win over the Gunners would keep their title hopes alive in their January super Sunday clash at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal were forced to play the game with ten men in the tenth minute, when Laurent Koscielny received a red card and conceded a penalty for pulling down Edin Dzeko in the area, as referee Mike Dean made the decision. But Dzeko’s spot kick was saved by the legs of Wojciech Szczesny, who then had the fortune of turning the ball against the inside of the left post before retrieving the rebound. The loss of Koscielny resulted in Arsene Wenger bringing on another defender Per Mertesacker for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. But in the twenty first minute, Arsenal were again penalised as Lukas Podolski’s soft touch on Javi Garcia won the Citizens a free kick inside the Gunners half, which was quickly taken by Gareth Barry and then to David Silva, who supplied Carlos Tevez on the right wing, and from his ball in, it was met by a thunderous strike by James Milner into the left side of the net. It was double trouble for Arsenal on thirty two minutes, when from Milner’s low strike on the right side, the slightest of touches by Tevez could only be parried by Szczesny into the path of Dzeko, who from close range turned the ball over the line to put City in the sight of victory. Two minutes from normal time in the first half, a header off the line by Jack Wilshere prevented Garcia adding a third from Milner’s corner. The Citizens started the second half where they left off, as five minutes in, Dzeko should have converted Milner’s right wing cross but put his header over. Another Gunners change resulted in Olivier Giroud replacing Podolski, before Aaron Ramsey came on for Abou Diaby. On seventy minutes, Dzeko unleashed Tevez through on goal, but Szczesny was on hand to claw the ball to safety. The best Arsenal had to offer was a miss placed header by Giroud from a Santi Cazorla free kick, three minutes later, after former Gunner Gael Clichy had fouled Bacary Sagna. On seventy six minutes, it was City’s turn to receive a straight red card, after their club captain Vincent Kompany was sent off for a two footed challenge on Wilshere. It resulted in Roberto Mancini bolstering the City defence with Joleon Lescott on for Tevez. With just a few minutes left, Dzeko made way for Mario Balotelli. On the ninetieth minute, Aaron Ramsey found Theo Walcott, who was denied a goal by a lunging clearance on the line by Lescott. In stoppage time Aleksandar Kolorov took over from Silva as City saw out a 2-0 win over Arsenal which left them seven points behind the Red Devils at the top of the table.