Bitter Sweet: Arsenal 2 – 2 Man City – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 2 – 2 Man City

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After an (agonizingly long) international break, the Premier League was back. Manchester City were due a visit to the Emirates, where Danny Welbeck was about to make his debut.

For the first twenty minutes, it was all Arsenal.

Alexis and Wilshere were driving forward at every opportunity, whilst Welbeck was making himself a nuisance for Kompany and Demichelis in particular.

The ball looked to be going in, but it could only bounce back off the far post…

This resulted in a few half chances, and one very big change for Welbeck. He picked up a loose pass from Silva and ran at Joe Hart, before going for the chip. The ball looked to be going in, but it could only bounce back off the far post. Danny did everything right, but it just didn’t go in.

Pretty soon though, Man City stuck back – and they only needed one chance.

Navas picked up the ball on the right and crossed for Aguero, who had made a great run behind a sleepy Flamini. The Argentine finished with ease from close range. Typical Arsenal, you might say.

The Gunners started the second half in a positive way, with lots of energy.

But once again, they couldn’t produce the goods in front of goal. Manchester City, despite Arsenal’s guile, weren’t stressing too much. Until the sixty-fourth minute, anyway.

It was then, that Arsenal got their goal. After Ozil brought the ball forward, Arsenal’s midfield suddenly switched on. The ball ended up being battled over in the middle, before eventually getting to Wilshere in the box. Jack beat Clichy cheekily, and then finished beautifully with a chip-shot past Hart. It was a stunning goal.

But there was more to come.

[Alexis] volleyed it first time inside the box, smashing it past Joe Hart. It was another stunner of a goal.

Ten minutes later, Jack Wilshere popped up again, this time to head the ball into the path of Alexis. The Chilean volleyed it first time inside the box, smashing it past Joe Hart. It was another stunner of a goal.

Unfortunately though, City weren’t done. In the eighty-third minute, Demichelis won his header after a corner. The ball whizzed towards the top corner, and Szczesney could only get a hand to it as it made its way into the back of the net. It was a painful goal to concede.

The game ended with both sides sharing the spoils. Not the result anybody was looking for, but a draw is certainly better than a loss.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Szczesney: [7/10]

Made a brilliant to deny Dzeko in the dying seconds, and commanded his area well throughout the game. Did well to get a hand to Demichelis’ header, but probably should have left it for Flamini to clear. Not his fault though.

Debuchy: [6.5/10]

Mathieu made some important tackles today, especially inside the box. However, he didn’t help enough going forward at times, and wasn’t as solid as he usually is. Carried off with what looks to be a bad injury – let’s hope it isnt.

Mertesacker: [6.5/10] 

Aguero’s pace exposed him once or twice, but no more than it exposes any other defender in the league. Had a fairly decent game overall.

Koscielny: [7/10] 

Laurent was aggressive in the tackle, proactive and strong. Did very well to keep possession a number of times too.

Monreal: [6/10]

Arsenal’s defensive weak link today. Wenger’s insistence on playing Ozil on the wing didn’t help the Spaniard, but it’s fair to say that Navas had the more enjoyable day. He should have done better in the lead up to Aguero’s goal.

Flamini: [5.5/10]

Made one good tackle the entire game, and was useless for the rest of it. City were strolling past him, he fell asleep for Aguero’s goal, and he simply wasn’t up to the physicality of the game. Arsenal are in trouble in the defensive midfield area this season. Again.

Ozil: [5.5/10] 

Played out on the wing once again by Wenger. Tracking back has never been on his CV, nor was it a part of his game today. He made some sloppy passes, but made some good ones too. Glimmers of class in his game, but utterly wasted on the wings.

Wilshere:[9/10] – MOTM

Jack ran the game at times today. He stood up to Fernandinho in the middle, muscled and dribbled his way into space, passed well and took his goal beautifully. Also grabbed an assist for Alexis’ volley. Sit down, pundits.

Ramsey: [6.5/10] 

Aaron clearly wasn’t fit today. He struggled to keep up with the game, passed poorly and let off some silly shots. However, he still managed to grab the assist for Wilshere’s goal.

Alexis: [8.5/10] 

What a player we have here. Alexis hustled all game, winning the ball, turning players, creating chances and inspiring attacks. His goal was pure class.

Welbeck: [7.5/10]

Danny worked hard today, and very nearly got a goal, had it not been for the post. He went in hard on Kompany and Demichelis, tracked back, and made intelligent runs. I’m starting to like him.

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Substitutes

Chambers: [6.5/10]

Was a bit off the pace, understandably, after replacing Debuchy. Did well enough though.

Arteta: [N/A]

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Bitter Sweet

City were missing key players today, and Arsenal should have won.

However, their squad is like no other, and their key players are replaced by others who are just as good. City are not an easy side to beat, and Arsenal did very well at times during the match.

The weakness, was defensive midfield. Flamini wasn’t protecting the back line enough, and City found it too easy to expose him. Arteta, who is now back from injury, is only a slightly better option. That’s worrying.

In the end, a point will have to do. Our campaign may not have started well, but it could be much, much worse.

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