Report: Man City 0-2 Arsenal (inc. highlights)

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Staring XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Ozil, Walcott

Arsenal produced their best performance of the season as they beat reigning champions Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad.

A Santi Cazorla penalty put the Gunners ahead on 24 minutes before Olivier Giroud doubled the lead with his head in the second half to seal three fully deserved points.

Pre-game

Arsene Wenger made two changes to the side that beat Stoke last weekend with Hector Bellerin replacing the injured Mathieu Debuchy and the fit again Aaron Ramsey coming in for Tomas Rosicky. David Ospina retained his place between the sticks leaving Wojciech Szczesny to join the likes of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs on the bench.

First half

Discipline isn’t a word often associated with Arsenal’s away days in Manchester, but that’s exactly what we showed in an excellent opening 30 minutes.

A second minute caution for Laurent Koscielny aside, the Gunners were very calm and composed in a compact 4-1-4-1 formation that throttled the creativity of David Silva and subsequently the threat of Sergio Aguero. Francis Coquelin, sitting in front of the back four, was particularly impressive making a number of important interceptions and tackles that broke up the home side’s possession.

Arsene Wenger’s men weren’t overly adventurous going forward although both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez enjoyed the occasional scampering dribble.

On 17 minutes Arsenal fashioned their first clear opening. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stole the ball on the right wing, darted to the touchline and crossed for Giroud whose diving header at the near post was deflected for a corner by Vincent Kompany.

Midway through the first half our patience finally paid off. Monreal and Giroud combined on the edge of the box and when the Spaniard burst into the box he was clumsily clipped by Kompany. Referee Mike Dean had no choice but to point to the spot. Santi Cazorla stepped up and calmly beat Joe Hart with an effort to the left of the England keeper. (1-0)

We looked tempted to chase a second in the minutes after taking the lead, but importantly found a way to stymy our usual gung-ho attitude. Part of that was because our passing game wasn’t great; too often the ball just seemed to bounce off the shins of messrs Sanchez, Chamberlain and Giroud. Cazorla was tip top though. The little Spaniard really is a magician when he’s on his game.

City had much more of the ball, but rarely did they get behind our defence. Watching them pass, pass, pass and go nowhere was akin to a million and one performances we’ve put in at the Emirates against stubborn opponents. It was almost fun to watch. David Ospina didn’t have a save to make as we made it to half-time with our lead intact.

Second half

City brought on Stevan Jovetic in place of James Milner at the break pushing David Silva out wide in an obvious attempt to get him on the ball.

Aguero signalled the start of an onslaught cutting in off the right and firing a shot goalwards with his left foot. It needed a save and Ospina delivered. Five minutes later the Colombian parried a Jesus Navas stinger. Then Fernandinho fired over from close range.

The game was far more open. At the other end Sanchez skipped away from Pablo Zabaleta only to mess up his shot. Ramsey did the same not long after. So often it looked like we might create a clear opening only for the final ball to go awry.

Just after the hour mark City brought on Frank Lampard for Fernandinho. Arsene Wenger responded by putting on Tomas Rosicky for Chamberlain.

Almost immediately we doubled our lead. Jovetic hauled Sanchez down as the Chilean broke at pace and from the resulting set piece Olivier Giroud nodded in Santi Cazorla’s lofted cross from close range. The Frenchman threw himself to the turf as he celebrated in front of the travelling Gooners with gusto. (2-0)

A mix up between Ospina and Monreal nearly saw the Spaniard hack the ball into his own net as City came back again. The ball looped over the bar before the two held an inquest. In truth, clear-cut chances for the home side were few and far between. A Jovetic shot that clipped the outside of the post was the closest Pellegrini’s men came to reducing the deficit.

As the game entered the final ten minutes Wenger decided to batten down the hatches. Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey were withdrawn, Mathieu Flamini and Kieran Gibbs came on and we shifted to a five-man backline with Monreal pushed into the middle alongside Koscielny and Mertesacker.

Flamini had an amazing chance to help Giroud to a third in the final minute but his pass across the box was snatched away by Kompany. It wasn’t to matter in the end as we saw out the remaining four minutes of stoppage time to bag a priceless victory.

In the Sky Sports studio Thierry Henry summed it up perfectly. “Amazing!”

A quick word on Santi Cazorla…what a player, what a man. An absolute beast of a performance from the little Spaniard.

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Unnecessarilystupid

I like this Arsenal. Tough as nails and we’ll worth the win.

Would all those negative bastards from the lineups thread please repeat their ridiculously comments here please. You know who you are and frankly I wonder why you bother supporting arsenal.

kampala gooner

Yeeeeeee ha

Dracular

Doing the Santi Dance!!!

vasderam

Santi’s jingle! Lovely fella! What a game!

https://vine.co/v/OjIvah0mFYe

Gospina

OOHHH YEAH!
(By the way did anyone else notice what a cunt that Kompany is?)

mc1892

.. Why? Kompany is one of the nicer footballers in the prem I think, always happy to shake hands and admit when City deserved to lose. Honest player too.

squiggle

And then the Ollie slide.

squiggle

Finishing with the Ollie slide.

Hurensohn

Is Santi a beast or a unit?

lollo

now that’s more like it …. I like it.. the players like it .. the manager likes it .. the supporters like it .. the press don’t like it !! we didn’t follow the script !!! ( Stephen H

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

I feel like Coq’s transformation is evidence of how much a player on loan can develop when he truly thinks he’s going to miss his chance, rather than the loan deals where players seem to just coast and feel secure that there going to make it anyway.

lollo

now that’s more like it …. I like it.. the players like it .. the manager likes it .. the supporters like it .. the press don’t like it !! we didn’t follow the script !!! ( Stephen Howard !) wanker

lollo

why the fuck would any Arsenal supporter thumbs down my post ?

Erwandy

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOSPINA!!!!!!

Sol4real

Szczesny needs to find a nice comfortable spot on the bench because he is going to be there for a long time

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Bench for one please, in the smoking section.

fabulous

Haha, I’d keep Ospina in the 1st team next week for that chant alone. Fucking hilarious. Arsenal fans, never fail with their enginuity 😉

Remember the invincibles

We had no injuries today. Mike Dean was actually good today and we have a plan B. What the absolute fuck, wenger out

Previgo

So who said we cant win a big team? *confused here* we actually did it at the etihad? What?? The home of the f*cking champions? I’m so impressed.. And what a shout by coquelin, give him a new deal please! And welsh jesus.. Take a bow son! Santi? Ozil still has a long way to go, ospina? Sczsney will have to make do with the bench for now, monreal? Looking like the guy i knew at malaga, snachez?? Just sanchez as usuall! Nice game.. Coyg! The only bitter pill to swallow is we actually help that c*ntrinho at the top… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

We incidentally helped the arrogant one and his bunch for now cause we will take three points from them next game. The bitter pill is that Man $hitty will go after our players again. They have seen the quality we have. They were able to give Adebayor almost three times his salary. Imagine Cazorla, Sanchez, Koscielny.

Andy Mack

Mike Dean was a cunt as usual, but a little less so. He went back to give HB and Kun a card but ignored the 5 players Santi went past as they kicked chunks out of him.

neder

I actually thought the ref had a pretty good game overall… No bad decisions and honestly quite excellent with always seeking the advantage. Credit where credit is due.

F3AR-BONER

Overall good game for him, except Kompany should have been sent off for a second yellow when he took Alexis out early in the 2nd half on the edge of their box. Very clear cut decision in my humble opinion.

assistantref

Kompany should have got a yellow for the penalty, he did get a yellow for a foul that was a yellow all day long, then didn’t get a yellow for taking out Alexis when that is an iron-clad yellow 100% of the time.

Basically Kompany should have had 3 yellows in the game and got away with only 1.

I’m glad it didn’t matter but it is a pretty sad reflection on the refs that a ref only making two big mistakes in a game counts for a “good game” nowadays.

JJ's Bender

We know and they know… Supporting Arsenal is more than just wanting shiny metal things – its the journey too.

Fantastic result, effort and tactics.. Get in!

Special shout out to one Mr Mike Dean, who however much it makes my bones boil, was on spot (i mean several levels of cuntishness less than he normally is)

Stillmatic

Where are all the “But Coquelin has to do it against a top team” bashers now? e payed even entertains the champions.

Fireman Sam

To be fair, I think a lot of us were crossing our fingers for Coquelin for this game, hoping the lad would keep up his good form so far.

And boy oh boy, he fuckin did.

Respect le Coq!

twitchy gooneeeszdzf

IM RELI NERVAS ABOT COQALIN AND BERRIN !!!!!!!!!!!

loose_cannon

MENTAL STRENGTH

gooner

the only sad thing is knowing that Santi will be dropped without batting an eyelid once wilshere is close to being fit

tommygun

not a chance. how much of ozil did you see today?

Yas

Santi’s hightlights vs man city….. your welcome! 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHeqf-dcXCM

Benis

Statement.

enj

we won against a big team oh yeah it feels good. Also watching rozza and santi is better than porn and at the end when one player tried to chip the ball over bellerin as if clichy was faster…. I laugh at you city in the most posh snobby laugh I can think of (hahahahaha)

Norn Iron Gooner

Get the fuckin Coq out!!

AlbaGooner

Enough with the Coq jokes already. It was funny the first time but getting tiresome now

Remember the invincibles

omg santi Cazorla. Omg santi cazorla. Omg santi cazorla. Omg santi cazorla.
Omg Coq as well. I’m going to call my girlfriend now and tell her all about Coq. I’m going to say say it’s hard, it’s strong in the air, it gets in good positions and it’s even intelligent. Can we please not underestimate Coq from now? I have as much hope for him as I do for Wilshere.

ghanagunner

well you get my vote for comment of the day. fingers crossed your coq stays consistent all season long

ENJ

If your girl doesn’t like coq as much as you she’s got to go.

GoonerN16

I was with you until you mentioned Wilshire….

Springbank 1962

Almost as important a monkey to get off our backs as the FA Cup win. It shuts people up. What will they say now? We’ve players back. We’ll strengthen in the transfer window.

We’re still in the three competitions that matter.

What’s not to like?

Chair

WHY CAN’T WE PLAY LIKE THAT EVERY WEEK?!

spinner

Santi Cazorla you little Spanish wizard!

pi

he was genius tonight – created so many moments of brilliance, dancing around their challenges for 90 minutes.

DCgooner

Well, I am one of those who have criticized Santi on this very forum. But, he has massively upped his game the last month or so. We have not seen him play this well in a long while and when he turns it on (as he has for the last 5 or 6 games) he’s an absolute joy to watch. He was so awesome today I was sexually aroused just watching him play. Keep it up Santi!

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Damn near perfect defensive performance by the boys. Ballerrin, Coq, Cazorla all immense today. I love Ramsey (he was good today too), but he’s gotta stop fucking around in own box. I will be smiling all day.

Cracked

Balls… Errr I mean bloody brilliant!

SB

Sexy

WizardOfOzil

Coquelin: on loan at Charlton Athletic a few weeks ago. Looked every part as good as either of City’s multi-million midfield duo today. Just amazing.

Well done to the players and a huge amount of credit to Wenger. Great performance.

Matty

Even Mike Dean didn’t f**k us over..best away team performance for a long time

AK 57

Brilliant. Awesome. Fantastic. F*** in hell.
All myths sabotaged
Wenger doesn’t do tactics
We play like home at away matches.
Coq can’t do it against by boys.
Arsenal don’t win against big teams.
Arsenal can’t win in Manchester
Santi is a mere mortal like rest of us.
Arsenal players are like son in laws

sanogo's missed kick

“Santi is a mere mortal like rest of us”

Whoever believed that one is still waiting on Santa Claus for their xmas presents! I hope Mesut is comfortable on that bench cos he’s gotta lot to do to shift Santi!

Stone

I don’t agree with you, but the question now becomes: How do we fit them together?

Stone

Santi has been brilliant and this performance today was nothing short of majestic. Silva who? The question now becomes: How do we fit Santi and Özil together?

Pearson

“Wenger doesn’t do tactics” isn’t a myth, it’s a fact.

Today, however Mr Wenger DID apply tactics. Thank you Mr Wenger. Well done!

AK 57

He does. He is subtle with it. Check out our defensive routine against FKs in West Ham game. It is completely different to what we normally do.

John C

Dude it’s taken him 6 years to do what half this message board has been saying all this time, Wenger’s tactics were hardly a revelation

Arteta's hair

Santi has the ball control of a pornstar

Giroud Awakening

Right now, Cazorla has to be one of the top 10 footballers in world football. To think Ozil has a job to get back into the starting XI. Incredible footballer.

assistantref

He’s got that little trademark shimmy where he switches the ball from foot to foot in a split second that nobody seems to know what to do about. He pulls it off several times per game on average and nobody ever seems to catch on. It’s brilliant.

pi

hell to the muthafuckin’ yeah

Mozilla

ohh santi cazorla

D

ohh santi cazorla

InTheNorthBank

Sunday night blues? No chance. Tomorrow will be the easiest Monday rise and shine in a long time. Up the Arse.

RSAGooner

Insane!!!!

PS well in blogs for the super quick report!!

Maniac

What a team effort, what great tactics and what a result! Absolutely buzzing!

SB

Coq has definitely played himself him in

JJ's Bender

GET IN YOU RED BOYS

naija gooner

Comment:OH SANTI CAZORLAAAAAAAASAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

DialSquareGoon

ARSENAL! ARSENAL! No one gave us a chance! Every single player stepped up for the badge! And Cazorla, what a player, with that little dance after HFB’s goal! Coquelin, playing out of his skin! I’m fucking over the moon!

leroy

bellerin has earned his place in the starting XI

Tob

All I do is win win win no matter what… huuuuuurrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy

AlbZ

Thierry Henry should definitely continue to comment Arsenal games. Seems to be a lucky charm…

Brilliant performance. Santi sublime, Tomas excellent after coming on and Coquelin very assured… (proved it to everyone saying he had to do it against top opponents) 🙂

BringBackSeaman

4
If Koscielny does the 90 minutes I will eat my hat
——————-

Would you like Brown or Red with that?

🙂

Gunner

Santi for president!

maddyclaires

Great win. But still have a negative…those saying we don’t need a CDM are totally rubbish….coquelin is doing great and competent but let’s face it, he’s not a super super player (yet). Just imagine if we really did replace arteta/flamini earlier in the season…we would be near the top of the table…and myths are not debunked in one match….

SDDutchGooner

we haven’t had a win like this in a while. Just enjoy it.

Abzey

We’ve won our last 9 games I think except just one we lost at Southampton and a draw vs Liverpool. I think the team has taken a turn around since the Stoke game for sure. Our main priority is a CB not a CDM right now…

Canon Fodder

How can you say that we have won our last nine games with a losses to Stoke and Southampton and a draw against Liverpool?

Abzey

Key word is ‘except’. Plus the Stoke away game isn’t part of the last nine games…

Goonerboy

My problem with your comment is that assuming coquelin was a player that wenger just bought in this window, based on his performances you would have been calling him the TGCDMTEL and how vindicated you are now that wenger has bought a CDM. It seems people just love the euphoria of buying a new player.
I am not sure that the mythical DM that we should have bought could have played better than the COQ did today. If the coq continues to play like this then we don’t need a new DM we are better off getting a defender.

arsepedant

My problem with your comment is that it’s just plain mean-spirited. Are you only happy when you’re unhappy about something? For fucks sake, not only did we win today, but we won convincingly with a superb team performance at the home of the defending champions! Just for once, please quit your incessant whining.

John C

I think the point he’s getting at is that many fan’s have been calling for a defensive midfielder and a more conservative approach for several years and low and behold after 5/6 years of not doing it and losing we decide to do it and win.

I think yesterday’s performance justifies the calls fan’s have been making for the signing, or in this case just playing a defensive midfielder.

Scott P

Can’t stress enough how impressed I was by the fullbacks and Coq… Navas, Silva, Milner totally shut down. And Cazorla!

Ex-Priest Tobin

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO

johnnycash

Look, I think we have to put this in context..

This was not our first team! No Ozil, walcott, wilshere, szesncey, debuchy, welbyeck! Thats almsost half a team, we beat the scum with a depleted team, on and up guys! They were terrible, anyone fancy the league!

voldermort

That is our first team if they perform like that. Who knows what our first 11 are. We have had many poor performances this season with what many would call a very good team on paper.
Best performance so far by a huge margin. So for me none of those can be left out until or if our levels drop again regardless of who’s missing out. Most teams and players thrive on competition and that’s what we now have.

ghanagunner

I am crossing my hands and hoping Coq

gee

Our Coq was enormous!

Filled the hole and was solid throught.

shouts to the whole team all outstanding including bellerin but carzola is the man. wilshere should forget piro, he could learn a thing or 3 from Santi. in grreat form so far

The COQ = LANS?

Coquelin has really rejuvenated and balanced Arsenal’s play. He fights, gets into duels and wins a fair amount of them. Even when he doesn’t win it statistically he rarely loses them 100-0 to open space for the opposition. His tackling and involvement makes it uncomfortable for the opposition. Positionally he’s been very disciplined which in my opinion is a huge factor in the fact we’ve seem to be less vulnerable on the counter attacks. Some have suggested he’s a time bomb for his tackling, but I don’t agree. The two-footed one against West Ham was stupid but he did it… Read more »

onearsenewenger

SANTI=SEX GOD

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

But I thought ‘Sex God’ was the perfect description for Alexis?

And what about Giroud?

arsepedant

Yeah, seriously, did you see that pose after he scored? I immediately thought he should be doing that on a red velvet couch wearing nothing but a leopardskin thong.

Ozillllllllll

They were all bosses today

F3AR-BONER

What a collective team performance!!! Santi obviously MOTM but huge shout out to Coq, that is exactly the type of personality this team has been missing. Get in boys, this season is still set up to end very well for us!

diefenbaker

Fook yeah
About time…how good was monreal, bellerin, le coq today, the sight of Rosicky coming on , massive massive
Special mention for that santi tackle and taking on the whole of citeh

happy gunner

Oh my ducking god. I think I’m in heaven. Santo cazorla take a fucking bow son. Who the fuck is Silva?!?? Giroud your touches were incredible And my oh fucking my. Blogs I think you need to write a personal apology to le coq and say your going to be his slave for the next year. He was immense. Oh and keep ospina pls, if every time he’s going to keep a clean sheet without him having anything to do. Yes he had to make a couple of routine stops, and we can’t tell if he’s good or not because… Read more »

Andrew

Love the Ospina chant. OOOOOOOOOOSPINA!!!

A Yank

When I saw Bellerin and Monreal on the wings thought we’d be toast, but that was an outstanding defensive performance. Coq mightn’t be a world beater yet, but the results since he came back into the side have been hard to argue against.

Also… last two impressive away wins (Citeh, West Ham) we’ve ceded the majority of the possessions and looked to score on the counter. So those who cry “Wenger never learns”* probably might want to line up some new complaints.

(* this likely includes me).

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

This has been coming for weeks now. Two things are responsible for this turnaround: (1) reduced injury list, and (2) emergence of Francis Coquelin.

EhhIForget

OOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSPPPPIINNAAHHHHH!!!!!

goonerodst

Coquelin MOTM followed by Monreal then Bellerin. Great effort and a lack of complacency was evident today which is refreshing to see once again against a big team.

Is this the spark the team needs to surge up the table? Whatever, lets enjoy this victory and apply some of the tactics and determination in the future. Somebody beer me! NOW!

To Pooh is To Do

If you think $hitty are a bigger team then The Arsenal, you are beyond delusional..

Crew

Cazorla brilliant today. Though massive credit for Coquelin and Bellerin who were fantastic today. Ramsey and Monreal were good too. Coq might be the DM we need so much. Much more mobile than Flamini/Arteta and also releases the ball forward quickly with calmness. Great performance all around today!

BringBackSeaman

4
If Koscielny does the 90 minutes I will eat my hat

Would you like Red or Brown with that Blogs?

ksv710

coquelin…damn boy, i guess that answers the question of whether he can cut it against the big boys

SB

Hope Ramsey is not injured

WENGER OUT

I’m kidding please keep him.

Cazorla was the man of the match but Coquelin has been a revelation. Maybe we didn’t need to spend 100 billion pounds on Khedira.

Fatgooner

Best performance in years!

We finally showed that we can go somewhere like City and defend like demons. We were disciplined, hard-working and, best of all, organised. Even City fans can’t argue that we were the better side. And when the chances came, we took them. Class.

You have to ask why, when we can play like this at the champions, we have had so many pathetic performances away from home in recent years.

For fuck’s sake let’s just keep this up!

Giroud Awakening

When Fatgooner is happy, you know Arsenal have just dicked all over the Champions. Great performance indeed.

PGunner

You know it’s been a good day when 90% of FG’s comment is positive (and for the record I agree with the other 10%). Happy days! Wenger, Coquelin, Bellerin and especially Cazorla..great day at the office! Everyone else played very well too. Smiling and will be for some time!

True Red

OK, who are you and what have you done with the real Fatgooner?

Arsepedant

Let’s not get too snarky here. FG’s been criticized for negativity in the past (and I’ll admit to some of that), but he’s also made some pretty insightful comments lately and there’s no reason to piss on his parade now.

WengersMagicHat

OMFG what a game!

Dial square

Coquelin will save Arsene about £10 million…

over and over again

What a fight, what a team. When Arsene spoke about team spirit and togetherness he meant it, and today that was plainly displayed. The world is better if you’re a Gunner.