A closer look at the Emirates stalemate.
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Arsenal tried their best to break down a stubborn Manchester City defence but ended up dropping points at the Emirates. Though the Gunners had some decent opportunities, the combination of bad luck and good keeping from Hart helped City gain an invaluable point.
The Gunners created the bulk of the scoring opportunities and though Fabregas and Van Persie were unfortunate to hit the post, credit has to be given to the Citizens for holding the Gunners to a draw. Arsene Wenger was admittedly frustrated with the defensive tactics from his counterpart Roberto Mancini and will feel that it is two points dropped at the Emirates.
Mancini on the other hand did not want his team to lose and will reinforce his team with more quality in this window. He will be happy with the point considering it was a very tough game for the team. But both managers will know that the next few games will be crucial if they are to challenge for the title considering Manchester United’s healthy lead at the top of the table.
Here are the Player Ratings for the game between the Gunners and the Citizens at the Emirates:
Lukasz Fabianski: 6
Had very little to do in the game but controlled his box well. Did particularly well to deal with an under-hit pass from Sagna.
Gael Clichy: 7
It has not been a great season for the French Left Back but against City, he showed his quality as he made numerous important challenges against Milner and later on, Johnson. Made attacking runs as well and it was a good performance from the Arsenal defender.
Johan Djourou: 7.5
Djourou has been immense for the Gunners this season and it was yet another mature display from him. Did not provide any space for Tevez and dealt with set-piece threat that City offered.
Laurent Koscielny: 7
The young defender seems to be getting better as the season has gone and was very good at the back. Still has the habit of conceding unnecessary fouls but with time, he will be a quality defender.
Bacary Sagna: 6.5
The French International was once again solid and supported Theo Walcott decently. His crosses were okay but there was no one to aim at. It was a stupid red card to get at this stage of the season and for that gets a lower rating than the rest of the defenders.
Alex Song: 7
Song has been superb this season and was again excellent in managing his defensive and attacking duties. He made surging runs from midfield and was good in dealing with the threat posed by Toure.
Jack Wilshere: 5.5
Jack Wilshere was very good in the opening stages of the game but spurned a half chance in the opening minutes. The main reason he gets a lower rating is because he lost possession some times in midfield and could have paid for it had City had more players on the break. Also, could not impose his authority in central midfield and faded off in the second half.
Cesc Fabregas: 8 – Star Player
The Captain led from the front as he was involved in almost everything that Arsenal created. Though he was tightly marked, he could find space and played some delightful through balls for Walcott and Nasri. Was unfortunate not to score but Arsenal supporters will feel confident that the Spaniard is back to his best.
Samir Nasri: 6
Samir Nasri was good in the opening minutes and his changes in direction caused problems for City throughout the game. However could not get into the penalty area too many times and could not create much.
Theo Walcott: 6
Theo Walcott might deserve more than a 6 if he had made better use of the opportunities he had. He got behind Zabaleta on some occasions but his decision making and crossing let him down. However, deserves credit for his superb energy and tried his best. He does deserve to start more games in the future.
Robin van Persie: 7.5
After missing some sitters in the Birmingham game, the Dutchman was sharp against City and looked most likely to break the deadlock. He took some great shots but a combination of luck and Hart’s display thwarted him from scoring. Should be back to his best in the next few weeks and the goals will come from him.
Andrei Arshavin: 6
The Russian was wasteful in possession and could not create any opportunities for the Gunners. Played on the right but could not deliver enough crosses into the box.
Nicklas Bendtner: 6
It was surprising to see Bendtner coming on ahead of Chamakh but he was brought on to provide more height to the attacking unit. Played on the left and had a few touches in the game. He did not do anything too productive.
Joe Hart: 7.5
His performance makes him a strong contender for the man of the match in this game. He had some fortune with shots hitting the posts but was superb when called upon and one flying save from Van Persie’s shot summed up his day.
Micah Richards: 6.5
He was solid against the threat of Nasri and Clichy. Made some surging runs but could not provide enough crosses for City.
Kolo Toure: 7
The Ex-Gunner showed his quality by providing Arsenal with very less opportunities as the game progressed. Established a good relationship with Kompany and Hart and was confident throughout the game.
Vincent Kompany: 7.5 – Star Player
Kompany has been one of the best in the Premiership this season and proved his calibre by keeping Arsenal at bay. His interceptions and tackling was crucial in breaking a number of Arsenal attacks and deserves credit for his hard working performance.
Pablo Zabaleta: 6.5
Though he did let Walcott get the better of him in some occasions, he did his job quite well. His tackling was good and justified his place in the team. He was also sent off for his quarrel with Sagna in the late minutes of the game.
Nigel De Jong: 6.5
De Jong was crucial to ensure Arsenal did not overrun them in midfield. Made a number of crucial tackles and proved why he is an extremely important player for the Citizens.
Gareth Barry: 6
He was at first overwhelmed by the slick passing from the Gunners but grew as the game progressed. The England International made some good interceptions which helped break some of the attacks.
Yaya Toure: 7.5
Toure was not in the game for the first 10 minutes or so but made some surging runs which caused problems for the Gunners. Was City’s best player in leading attacks from the midfield. His battle with Song was excellent and was even throughout the game.
Worked hard throughout the game but provided no attacking threat in the game. He was rightly substituted in the second half and with the expected arrival of Dzeko, he could be of no further use for the Citizens.
James Milner: 5
Milner worked hard and did his defensive duties in the game. However struggled to get the better of Clichy and was not effective in the game. However his support to Richards helped keep Nasri quiet throughout the game.
Carlos Tevez: 7
Tevez was typically energetic and though he was an isolated figure, he tried his best to create opportunities. The Argentine striker is a huge player for City but does need support in order to create opportunities.
Adam Johnson: 6
He looked to run at Clichy but the Frenchman was up to the task and the England winger faded in the closing stages of the game.
Jerome Boateng: N/A
He was brought on in the closing minutes to provide stability after Zabaleta was sent off.
Read more from Vijay at Arsenal Invicible
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