Sunday, 24 October 2010

Man City 0 Arsenal 3: Rampant Gunners shoot down 10-man City with super show at Eastlands



Cutting edge: Samir Nasri celebrates Arsenal's opener

Arsene Wenger was probably the last person Danny Murphy would have named when he accused certain managers of encouraging their players to take a rather too physical approach to the game.

But Wenger appears to have drawn something out of this Arsenal team that too often seemed to be missing from their DNA.

Something that enabled them to visit Eastlands and add a touch of the dark arts to their usual artistry.

There was nothing too crude or reckless. Nothing that even went close to inflicting serious injury on a player. But against a physically powerful Manchester City side that out-muscled Chelsea not so long ago, the lightest team in the Barclays Premier League proved they can mix it with the big boys.

While the dismissal of Dedryck Boyata after only four minutes had a significant impact on this fiercely contested game, such is the quality of Roberto Mancini’s side that they still made Arsenal fight for their victory.

Wenger said they were no longer ‘a soft team’ and they demonstrated as much with four yellow cards, all collected inside the first 35 minutes, as well as goals from Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner.

You're off: Boyata sees red from Mark Clattenburg

They were excellent in securing only their second win in nine away games in the league, with Cesc Fabregas, Nasri and Lukasz Fabianski particularly impressive. Fabregas reacted with incredulity when he was awarded the man of the match champagne.
‘What?’ he said. ‘I missed a penalty. How can I be man of the match?’

But he was terrific, providing his usual exhibition of the beautiful football as well as the gritty determination required when going toe to toe with someone of Nigel de Jong’s notoriety. For City, it amounted to the end of a rather depressing few days.

Denied the chance to revel any longer in the apparent break-up between Wayne Rooney and Manchester United — one banner yesterday declared the stadium a ‘Shrek-free zone’ — they then had to deal with the double disappointment of first seeing United win and then their own chances of closing the gap on Chelsea disappear.

Last action: Manchester City's Dedryck Boyata was sent off for this challenge on Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh

It leaves Arsenal, City and United tied on 17 points, but five points adrift of a Chelsea side looking an increasingly good bet for back-to-back titles under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.

His friend and old Milan rival is unlikely to admit as much, although Mancini struggled to face up to the fact that Mark Clattenburg was correct to send off his 19-year-old defender for denying Marouane Chamakh a clear scoring opportunity — created by an excellent ball from Fabregas — with a foul challenge.

Clattenburg does have a slightly unfortunate manner at times, not least in the way he engages with players. But he was right to issue the red card and he was right to award the penalty Fabregas subsequently missed.

Gunning down: Samir Nasri hits the Gunners opener

On a day when City paid an emotional tribute to Malcolm Allison, the chances of honouring the great man quickly diminished. Boyata was dismissed, Yaya Toure was moved from midfield to centre half to provide necessary cover and City lost the upper hand.

Which was a pity for City, given how explosively they started. David Silva squandered a super chance to score when he met a ball from Carlos Tevez with a flicked effort that was all too easy for Fabianski to save, and soon after that it took a fine interception from Bacary Sagna to deal with the danger posed by Micah Richards’s cross.

Even after City had been reduced to 10 men they created chances, with Tevez guiding a shot into the arms of Fabianski. But shortly after Johan Djourou had directed a header over the City bar when he should have scored, Nasri scored his seventh goal in six starts.

Up ended: Nigel De Jong sends the Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas flying

His impressive 20th-minute strike came courtesy of a delightful one-two with Andrey Arshavin that caught a static City defence by surprise.

The battle in midfield intensified and it was Fabregas who dominated, bursting into the final third of the pitch and inviting Vincent Kompany to bring him down as he accelerated into the area. Right again, Clattenburg pointed to the spot.

Lifeline: Joe Hart saves Fabregas' penalty just before half-time

But Fabregas shot to his right, Joe Hart guessed right and the England keeper made a brilliant save. With Tevez struggling with what looked like a thigh injury, Mancini sent on Emmauel Adebayor. But there would be no repeat of last season’s drama.

Nothing for the former Arsenal striker to celebrate. Fabianski stopped the one decent effort he unleashed, having already denied Silva.

Gunned down: Song doubles Arsenal's lead with this well taken strike

By the 66th minute Song had increased Arsenal’s advantage, finishing a swiftly executed move that began with Arshavin and continued with Nasri, Fabregas and Chamakh before Wayne Bridge got the last touch prior to Song’s right-foot shot flying past Hart.

With City now chasing desperately with the assistance of Mario Balotelli, a third Arsenal goal was always likely on the counter-attack and so it proved. One nice ball from Nasri and Bendtner was clear, guiding his shot beyond the advancing Hart.

Thanks for the memories: Manchester City players and supporters paid tribute to ex-manager Malcolm Allison - who died last week

Wenger will still have his issues with his players, given how many chances City created despite the loss of a man.

But if anyone had doubts about Arsenal’s ability to remain in the title hunt alongside City and United, this would have gone some way to erasing them. For once they showed a bit of steel as well as style

source :dailymail

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