Arsenal were well beaten by defending champions Man City as both teams had a man sent off in a fiery game at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. The hosts were at a disadvantage for most of the afternoon as Laurent Koscielny was sent off for a foul of Edin Dzeko after just 10 minutes. The referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot after sending Koscielny off and Dzeko stepped up only to see his penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
A dramatic start at the Emirates. The decision to send Koscielny off definitely helped City, but it was a rugby tackle by Koscielny and you can’t have too many complaints. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sacrificed early on to bring Per Mertesacker on in Koscielny’s place at the back and Arsenal didn’t have anything going forward.
It didn’t take City too long to take advantage of their extra player, as a quick free-kick by Barry allowed Carlos Tevez to put James Milner in the clear. Milner took full advantage as Arsenal’s defence were caught napping and beat Szczesny with a powerful finish.
City piled on the pressure and Javi Garcia headed wide with their best chance before scoring the second. The second came in the 32nd minute. Szczesny did his best to prevent Carlos Tevez from scoring after Pablo Zabaleta beat Kieran Gibbs down the right hand side, but after the Polish keeper denied Tevez, Dzeko got his revenge on Szczesny by tapping in the rebound for City’s second.
By then you could tell Arsenal were out the game. They needed something before the half if they were to stand a chance, but being a man down they never looked capable of coming back into it.
Lukas Podolski and Jack Wilshere were the bright sparks in the first half, positively going forward when they could and creating rare chances for the Gunners. Arsenal were so sloppy with possession too. They gave the ball away way too much yesterday, which was practically suicide a man down against a team of City’s quality.
Garcia then saw another header of his go desperately close as Wilshere headed off the line to prevent Arsenal going into the break 3-0 down.
The second half was better from Arsenal, but they still lacked anything going forward. Szczesny denied Tevez when he was clean through on goal by bravely diving at his feet.
One of Arsenal’s rare attacks saw substitute Olivier Giroud head over the bar before the referee levelled the players up by sending Vincent Kompany off for a foul on Jack Wilshere. Personally I saw the red card as two committed players going for the ball. Not a red card for me.
Despite both sides having 10 men, Arsenal still struggled to create chances. Theo Walcott had Arsenal’s best chance in the dying minutes, when substitute Joleon Lescott cleared off the line as Walcott probably thought he had scored.
Swansea in the cup replay next for Arsenal, a game they must win if they want to win a trophy this year. The Gunners are falling behind and I can’t see a top four finish unless they strengthen in January. Tough league fixtures ahead at Chelsea and against Liverpool coming up and Arsenal could fall really far behind the teams ahead of them. Mikel Arteta is out for 3 weeks injured, although 3 weeks normally turns into 3 months with any Arsenal player!.