Early red card for Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny ruined the whole tactical aspects of the game. Manchester City walked past Arsenal today without any strain to close the gap on the league leaders Manchester United. Let’s analyze the game tactically,
Going one man down to champions?
Yes! It was a soft red card decision by Mike Dean. But according to the rule books, it was a clear penalty and a red card. Arsenal payed the price for Koscielny’s stupid tackle on Edin Dzeko. Koscielny poor form this season continues. Even the missed spot kick never stopped City’s rhythmic momentum as they totally dominated possession after the red card incident. Milner opened the scoring with a brilliant finish from a tough angle and City took their well deserved lead. Then Dzeko extended City’s lead with a easy tap in. There is nothing much to talk about City’s game play in the first half. It was so easy for them. They could have scored more than four goals in the first half itself.
Much Better Second Half
With the introduction of Giroud, finally Arsenal started to sting some passes together and pegged City in back foot for most of the second half. Manchester City cleverly realized the threat and shifted to a counter attacking mode. Tevez and Dzeko missed some easy chances to finish off some breath taking counters. Arsenal started to see more of the ball after Kompany’s red card (for two footed tackle on Wilshere), but still could not break City’s defense. Only real chance for Arsenal came when Ramsey’s pinpoint pass found Walcott and the latter’s shot got cleared away from the line by Lescott. Arsenal can take some pride with their second half performance, but this is not the Arsenal we know. They have a long season ahead of them.
Jack and Zabaleta
Jack Wilshere was probably the best midfielder in the game. He was the most fouled player in the game as he teased City players with his trademark incisive runs. He never gave up till the end and unlucky to end-up on a losing side.
There is no right back better than Zabaleta at the moment when it comes to doing well in both attack and defense. He knows when to stay back and when to execute his trademark overlapping runs. Both Gibbs and Podolski struggled to deal with him in today’s game. Milner too had a wonderful game. His ball controlling skills are much better now and his direct runs and shots troubled Arsenal defense throughout the game.
Manchester city never made any tactical errors today as they did their job brilliantly without taking too many risks. But Arsenal did some blunders apart from that red card.
- Starting Diaby was the biggest blunder by Wenger today. Diaby who was injured for past three months looked stiff and movement-less in midfield. Ramsey who was played in out of positions in last few games should have started the game.
- Replacing Podolski instead of Walcott? Podolski worked really hard in the first half and should have stayed on the pitch longer than he did. I think Walcott’s contract saga played a part here.
- Giroud should have started the game. Walcott never can cope up with physical defenders. Wenger needs to make up his mind soon. He needs to either change his formation so that both Giroud and Walcott can play at front together or he needs to stick with Giroud as Arsenal’s target man with Walcott playing in the wings.
Final Verdict: Just a Sunday night party for Manchester City!
I will just leave you guys with some stats from the game,