Tough night for Manchester City and Arsenal last night, both of teams playing very well although Arsenal claimed the prize for trailing Leicester City by 2 points and left Manchester City for 4 points. A lot of points in that match which made Arsenal pivotal winning against Manchester City would by my focus in this post. Here is my match assesment.
Arsenal are very disciplined and showing true spirits
After winning the death match against Olympiakos, and clean sheet at Aston Villa. Ozil and friends are high determined to taking any points as much as they can. Manchester City is the best club for testing their mental and uplift the spirit for the rest of season.
If you see my post and prediction before the match in ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER CITY : PACE OF CHAMPIONS , i was right about the score (a merely lucky i guess) but for Arsenal win it and keeping the score till the end was great. Per Mertesacker lead the lads but Alexis Sanchez still out which means Arsene prefer not risk him for saving the next part of season. Teenager Alex Iwobi and Jeff Rene-Adeleide makes it to the bench instead of Mat Debuchy who are not being seen on the list (the rumour about him leave is strong here).
Manchester City line up is so much different from my prediction, after Fabian Delph good performance in the past appearances, he get it on the list with Jesus Navas being on the bench. Sagna and Kolarov as wing back, Mangala and Otamendi as central pair, and Sergio Aguero has been picked than Raheem Sterling who has been playing well in UCL.
The match starting and in the first half Arsenal playing fast and cutting up Manchester City possesions ball. Although Manchester City could play any kinds of attacking form and breaking defence with Kevin de Bruyne and Silva but Arsenal spirit comes up with Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey who cuts up the pass to build possesions.
Last night Laurent koscielny playing a lot in opposition area and it indicates that Arsenal are enjoying and control the game. Every pass which has been cutting by Aaron Ramsey also giving Arsenal momentum for builds their counter attack. Per Mertesacker are in easy position for reading the game and command the defence from behind.
Hector Bellerin playing forward-go back with never intended to stop breathing. With combining Joel Campbell, Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin focused Arsenal playing on right and it makes a lot of space for Ozil, Walcott and Giroud breaking through on the left. Intensely after 4-5 fast break, in 33th minutes, Arsenal made first goal with Walcott from the left side. Ozil passing through Monreal, but Walcott take the initiative to take it and shoot past Joe Hart and Eliquem Mangala beautifully.
It means Walcott 13 goals after 17 past appearances with Arsenal which proving him as one of the strikers who developed beautiful in his 26 age. Thierry Henry must be proud with his legacy in his shirt right now. Walcott goal is giving Arsenal uplift and if you watch Arsenal against Manchester United counter attack whose reproduce 3 goals means Arsenal always loose their handbrakes after scoring one goal in first half.
And it just went right, Arsenal picking up the ball again after Aguero beautiful back pass to Kevin de Bruyne which almost made a goal in few centimeters. Walcott passing from the left to Ozil who looks Giroud movement, with good timing Ozil passed it and Giroud runs it past Otamendi with one smooth shoot, he kills Joe Hart between the legs. Giroud record goal in 12 goals in 14th appearances makes Arsenal looks good in Premier League right now. Arsenal made it 2-0 in first half, impressively well for all around.
Second half starts, and Manchester City playing well with a lot pressure for making a goal, but Campbell almost made a goal through Flamini crossing on the left but his shot is far up too high. Kolarov free kick with Aguero header is very threatening Arsenal but beautifully Cech cluctches it in his hands. Arsenal is safe once more. Raheem Sterling solo effort too is stopped by Monreal and Per Mertesacker cut the crossing immediately.
But in 81 minutes, with passing by Raheem Sterling.. Yaya Toure jingle it past Petr Cech and beautifully in, Yaya Toure playing very well all around the game and the impact for Manchester City is high. In the last few minutes both clubs counter attack each other but the score doesn’t change. Arsenal beautifully defends and makes Sergio Aguero and David Silva disappear on field.
Manager reaction, Analysis, and What Next?
Arsene Wenger has told media the result didn’t send any message to any premier league but giving a picture about Arsenal togetherness, stature and disciplined play instead. And he told about the chance of winning the title still not decided and this match is important to proving Arsenal are here to fight. He praised Ozil for being class and exceptional player on the pitch. and about the game he said,
“We are more mature to defend. We have moments. Today we turned between playing very high and very deep. When we were playing very deep we were not too much in trouble. They have players who can tuck in like De Bruyne and Silva who you do not want to get on the ball in the last 30 yards and overall we did that tactically well.” Wenger , 2015.
And Manchester City manager, Pellegrini disappointed about the result despite telling media that the boys is playing well and better than Arsenal. He told BBC here,
“You could see that there is exceptional life in this team and when we did not have the legs anymore, we relied on spirit and that got us through in the end.
We did better than Arsenal but we didn’t win and that is all that matters. We didn’t deserve to lose the game.” Pellegrini on BBC,2015.
Well. Kevin de Bruyne and Yaya Toure are playing very well, which Yaya Toure manage to get 1 beautifully goal, but Mangala and Silva is gone and didn’t have any impact. David Silva get a yellow card and frustated against Ozil and Ramsey, Mangala is off when he must keeping Campbell and Campbell almost made 1-2 goals out there. And his partnership with Otamendi didn’t fruitful, it gives a fact that Manchester City really need their captain back for stability performance.
Man of the match : Mesut Ozil
For me, Manchester City need to give Raheem Sterling a lot of ball like what he did in Liverpool because he is a dribbler. David Silva can find space with Yaya Toure and playing easy without a lot of movements, Kevin de Bruyne is good attacking midfielder which makes Manchester City attacking option are invincible. If they can do it, Manchester City could make their performance back and it would be threat.
Arsenal are playing very good right now, despite many first team player out and injured. And winning it like this does mean Arsenal still have trump card for the rest of season so it would be exciting for the rest of season and Southampton Boxing Day match would be another good test for Arsenal for keeping their chances in Premier League title.
Christmas are close and i would like giving you Christmas jingle by Arsenal!
Merry Christmas every Gooners!
Author is Indonesia Journo who put his view in Arsenal and Football for around 2 decades.
Anzala Ryanto. @anzalariveris