UK time is: 12:20:02
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Arsenal 2 Manchester City 0

With Arsenal getting a head of steam prior to the international break, there was always the lingering anxiety that our rhythm had been disrupted- particularly as messrs van Persie, Diaby, Eduardo and Nasri had hobbled home amongst the walking wounded (none of the aforementioned strangers to the comforts of the treatment room). Still, as we supped our afternoon ales in the glorious London sunshine, the feeling of bullishness was tangible, a winter of frustrations forgotten in the Highbury sunshine. 'An early goal will see us right today,' was the chipper prediction from yours truly. Clairvoyance indeed.

Four minutes in Bacary Sagna raced down the right flank, only to be barged not once, but twice by a helpless Wayne Bridge. He would hobble off injured not long after. From the resulting free kick, Cesc Fabregas flighted a free kick into the box away from the keeper, Onouha got sucked in towards the bucaneering Toure leaving Adebayor completely free in the area to check his watch, correct the wind resistance, rearrange his boxers and head the ball into Shay Given's far corner. It was a gratefully received favour from the Citeh defence to leave Arsenal's sole aerial threat unmarked in the box in the first five minutes. However, City were in no immediate mood for abject surrender. Wright Phillips was their most clear and present danger, as he sauntered down the right hand side, his cross took a ricochet off of Gael Clichy and Manuel Almunia had to be sharp to react to prevent the ball snaking past his front post. Almunia was again at the forefront of the heroics when he beat away Wright Phillips shot with his legs.

The Gunners were showing signs of being their old effusive selves in attack though. The excellent Denilson was once again smartly onto a loose ball on the edge of the area, Adebayor took the ball from his toes and had his shot blocked by Richards. Toure took the ball on the right, sauntered into the box, dancing around Zabaleta, before having his shot held at the front post with Song on for the pull back. Even so, I can't think of many centre halves in the Premiership that could dribble into a crowded area with such poise. But once again, defensive frailties would be exposed by the visitors. de Jong used the full back instincts from his youth to manouver up the right touchline, fed Wright Phillips who picked out Gelson Fernandes who had found a pocket of space vacated by Gallas, fortunately for us he snatched at his shot and clipped the outside of the post. A collective intake of breath sucked the air out of the stadium momentarily. City used the chance as fuel for a further forray, yet another Wright Phillips defence splitting pass sent Bellamy clear, but Almunia was smart off his line to thwart the chance. My principal criticism of Almunia has been how cumbersome he is off his line, yesterday Almunia looked a much better keeper all around and while the victory ended up being relatively comfortable, amongst the literatti of praise for Fabregas and Adebayor, it is worth remembering Almunia's contribution in the first half.

The Gunners had one final flirt with goal with a quite startling piece of interplay. Arshavin fed Clichy on the left hand side with his options limited, he tucked the ball back to Arshavin whose radar suddenly flickered and he fed Adebayor, he returned the favour with an improvised first time backheel flick and Arshavin's low shot was beaten out by Given. It had been a fairly impressive first half with some positive attacking play, however, with Arshavin being asked to play behind Adebayor, City found joy down our left hand side in the diminutive shape of Wright Phillips. In the second half, Fabregas moved further forward and Arshavin stayed more steadfastly on the left. It meant his effectiveness was slightly subdued yesterday, some tinkering and adapting to be done there before everybody is on the same wavelength. To be expected really. Injuries to Kompany and Bridge had slightly interrupted Citeh's flow at an important time.

However, if an early goal in the first half was exactly what the doctor ordered, an early second half strike was the prescription for a fever. It arrived through the same symbiotic partnership which forged the first and the same duo that tore up Premiership defences last season. Fabregas, with the incredibly able buffer of Denilson and Song behind him, moved further forwards and gave us all a reminder of what we have been missing. An inch perfect chipped past floated over the follicles of Richard Dunne, Adebayor showed commendable poise and composure to take the ball into his stride, saunter past Given and slot the ball into the empty net. The Adebayor of two years ago would possibly not have controlled and finished quite so elegantly. Fabregas was probably making those sort of passes in the womb. Adebayor's finishing has come on a lot this season, I can't recall too many he's missed yet this year.

City really did throw in the towel at that point and Arsenal, at the beginning of a punishing schedule, had the sort of game they really wanted heading into a key Champions' League game in Spain on Tuesday. Alexandre Song headed Fabregas' corner inches over the bar, it would have been a goal richly deserved for him. Whilst Denilson's progress, demonstrated ably again yesterday has been obvious for some time (well, it has been to those of us who do not falsely consider Flamini some kind of demi God all of a sudden), the progress of Song over the last month has been astronomical. Seeds of talent have been visible, but he really seems to feel at home in this team now. Fabregas and Adebayor were to combine again to nearly complete a hat trick of destruction, Fabregas pulling back from the touchline for Adebayor, but his shot was well saved by Given. Wenger was afforded the luxury of removing Fabregas, Walcott and Adebayor. The Gunners could have had a third, Clichy played a through ball to Adebayor only for Coward Webb to pull the play back senselessly for a non injury to Arshavin and Richards. Arsenal were then asked to give the ball back to Given. An incredibly easy match to referee ruled completely incompetently by Webb. The Gunners final chance came when Sagna pulled the ball back to Eboue, only for the Ivorian to slice wildly over. We have our Eboue back it seems and right now, it seems we have our Arsenal back too.LD.






Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



For the very latest Premier League odds

Free 15 bet when you spend 5 on The New Football Pools




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 5 2009

Time: 12:22PM

Your Comments

Good write up LD and with NIck Ramsey coming on the momentum seem to be maintained. Toure is really looking the Toure of old. p.s http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/250240/Rosicky-in-reserves-return.html better start getting ready hat stewed or boiled??
alwaysgunner
Good write up LD and with NIck Ramsey coming on the momentum seem to be maintained. Toure is really looking the Toure of old. p.s http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/250240/Rosicky-in-reserves-return.html better start getting ready hat stewed or boiled??
alwaysgunner
A comfortable enough outing yesterday made so partly by the early goal and the first half clean sheet though it wasn't an entirely convincing defensive performance. Shouldn't one of the midfielders have been tracking Fernandes? This formation/selection worked in this game - I am not so sure it will always serve us as well.
Amos.
A comfortable enough outing yesterday made so partly by the early goal and the first half clean sheet though it wasn't an entirely convincing defensive performance. Shouldn't one of the midfielders have been tracking Fernandes? This formation/selection worked in this game - I am not so sure it will always serve us as well.
Amos.
I like the way that Song has taken up the "Vieira" role whereas Denilson plays the "Petit/Gilberto" position, allowing him to roam forward. This is not picked up by the general fan, as Song is always referred to as our main DM, but he did that half and half role well. Denilson was sublime.
Tom14
I like the way that Song has taken up the "Vieira" role whereas Denilson plays the "Petit/Gilberto" position, allowing him to roam forward. This is not picked up by the general fan, as Song is always referred to as our main DM, but he did that half and half role well. Denilson was sublime.
Tom14
Great report though i'm certain it was Song who flicked the ball to Arshavin not Adebayor which again demonstrated his understated technical ability..
Anon 1
Great report though i'm certain it was Song who flicked the ball to Arshavin not Adebayor which again demonstrated his understated technical ability..
Anon 1
"...completely free in the area to check his watch, correct the wind resistance, rearrange his boxers and head the ball into Shay Given's far corner."...LOL..nice one LD. All I have to say is that, may momentum continue on Tuesday...I really want us to close the deal in Spain so that we focus more on FA's game with Chelski but in other hand it seems AW may have a lot of options for rotation once the other shot term injured players are back...Hooray !!!
CoastarianGooner
"...completely free in the area to check his watch, correct the wind resistance, rearrange his boxers and head the ball into Shay Given's far corner."...LOL..nice one LD. All I have to say is that, may momentum continue on Tuesday...I really want us to close the deal in Spain so that we focus more on FA's game with Chelski but in other hand it seems AW may have a lot of options for rotation once the other shot term injured players are back...Hooray !!!
CoastarianGooner
By the way Anon1, I too thought Song flicked the ball and not Adebayor as he was at the centre of the box.
CoastarianGooner
By the way Anon1, I too thought Song flicked the ball and not Adebayor as he was at the centre of the box.
CoastarianGooner
It was Song. He is a very good attacking player. I actually think he is more suited to that role than at CB or DM.
Tom14
It was Song. He is a very good attacking player. I actually think he is more suited to that role than at CB or DM.
Tom14
Yeah, it was Alex, although occaisonally I get confused, too, with that hair, in fact so did the MOTD commentator, although that doesn't surprise me, now the general public miss another chance to agknowledge Song's offensive ability. It was also Richards, not SWP, who's shot Almunia saved after SWP's turning Clichy and run down the left.
ArsenalRob
Yeah, it was Alex, although occaisonally I get confused, too, with that hair, in fact so did the MOTD commentator, although that doesn't surprise me, now the general public miss another chance to agknowledge Song's offensive ability. It was also Richards, not SWP, who's shot Almunia saved after SWP's turning Clichy and run down the left.
ArsenalRob
Yeah Tom, I'm beginning to think that about Song as well. He really is a well rounded player, and I think Wenger should focus on developing him further rather than Diaby as I feel he's a much better prospect.
TPowell
Yeah Tom, I'm beginning to think that about Song as well. He really is a well rounded player, and I think Wenger should focus on developing him further rather than Diaby as I feel he's a much better prospect.
TPowell
Song is playing so well at the moment, he's improving every game. I am so happy with the 3pts, even happier now that poor Villa lost at OT.
hackneyval
Song is playing so well at the moment, he's improving every game. I am so happy with the 3pts, even happier now that poor Villa lost at OT.
hackneyval
Diaby should be sold in my opinion.
Tom14
Diaby should be sold in my opinion.
Tom14
LOL hackneyval..I saw the match and Manure were not good defensively at all without Vidic..if Villa were on form they would have thrashed Manure...also, the first 10mins the ball possession was 70% in favor of Villa in OT!!! Now that gives ne hope of getting 3pts from Manure when we meet them based on this weekend's performances :)
CoastarianGooner
LOL hackneyval..I saw the match and Manure were not good defensively at all without Vidic..if Villa were on form they would have thrashed Manure...also, the first 10mins the ball possession was 70% in favor of Villa in OT!!! Now that gives ne hope of getting 3pts from Manure when we meet them based on this weekend's performances :)
CoastarianGooner
just a few corrections: the foul from which we scored on Sagna was by Robinho, while Bridge was injured in a sprint with Theo. Gelson Fernandes was played onside by Clichy while Gallas, Toure and Sagna were in a perfect line. The one-two was Arshavin-Song-Arshavin and not Adebayor. I am an arse I know :) Btw, Almunia was just excellent. I can't make up my mind who do I want to win the title less: the scousers or the mancs.
G4L
just a few corrections: the foul from which we scored on Sagna was by Robinho, while Bridge was injured in a sprint with Theo. Gelson Fernandes was played onside by Clichy while Gallas, Toure and Sagna were in a perfect line. The one-two was Arshavin-Song-Arshavin and not Adebayor. I am an arse I know :) Btw, Almunia was just excellent. I can't make up my mind who do I want to win the title less: the scousers or the mancs.
G4L
Tom14..Diaby can be a good utility player like O'Shea unless if he demands first team place permanently..but the way things go I feel Denilson is cementing his position to a permanent one..by the way, do u think AW should use the same team for Villareal's game only to replace AA with Vela? I liked the idea of Denilson and Song together in the middle with Fabregas to concentrate on making up goals..I really can't wait for Tuesday..48hrs to go!!!
CoastarianGooner
Tom14..Diaby can be a good utility player like O'Shea unless if he demands first team place permanently..but the way things go I feel Denilson is cementing his position to a permanent one..by the way, do u think AW should use the same team for Villareal's game only to replace AA with Vela? I liked the idea of Denilson and Song together in the middle with Fabregas to concentrate on making up goals..I really can't wait for Tuesday..48hrs to go!!!
CoastarianGooner
G4L..let the Scousers win for a change otherwise the Manure will keep bragging a lot..I don't about you but back in Kenya, Gunners will prefer Scousers to win over Manure due to magnitude of supporters (Scousers are few).
CoastarianGooner
G4L..let the Scousers win for a change otherwise the Manure will keep bragging a lot..I don't about you but back in Kenya, Gunners will prefer Scousers to win over Manure due to magnitude of supporters (Scousers are few).
CoastarianGooner
I think it would be a mistake to sell Diaby, he has great potential and needs to stay fit for a long period to show us what a good player he can be. Dont forget not long ago we where all moaning about Song, Denilson and Eboue and look at the improvement in these three players in the last two to three months, no reason Diaby can't do that to, after all Wenger seems to have great faith in him
Armory
I think it would be a mistake to sell Diaby, he has great potential and needs to stay fit for a long period to show us what a good player he can be. Dont forget not long ago we where all moaning about Song, Denilson and Eboue and look at the improvement in these three players in the last two to three months, no reason Diaby can't do that to, after all Wenger seems to have great faith in him
Armory
I was not moaning about any of those three Armory, they seem to be able to come in as backups (and Denilson as first choice) and perform really well. They also seem to accept their position. I get the feeling that Diaby would either have to sit his career out at Arsenal and make no progress, or move to a Bolton/French club to suceed. He is not good enough for us.
Tom14
I was not moaning about any of those three Armory, they seem to be able to come in as backups (and Denilson as first choice) and perform really well. They also seem to accept their position. I get the feeling that Diaby would either have to sit his career out at Arsenal and make no progress, or move to a Bolton/French club to suceed. He is not good enough for us.
Tom14
From where I was sitting in the stadium yesterday, I still heard a couple of boos when Eboue came on. Whether these were ironic or not I don't know - if not, then as has been commented here previously, we have some idiotic Arsenal fans. Actually Song has won the fans around because they were singing "we've only got one Song" in the red section yesterday. He was really impressive yesterday, not least aerially. He should have actually scored with his header, it was a very good chance IMO. I also do like the solidity that the Denilson and Song partnership gives up with Cesc having more licence to roam. Although, Cesc likes to dictate our play and get involved everywhere. He really is the heartbeat of this team as someone said.
Gooner_Vin
From where I was sitting in the stadium yesterday, I still heard a couple of boos when Eboue came on. Whether these were ironic or not I don't know - if not, then as has been commented here previously, we have some idiotic Arsenal fans. Actually Song has won the fans around because they were singing "we've only got one Song" in the red section yesterday. He was really impressive yesterday, not least aerially. He should have actually scored with his header, it was a very good chance IMO. I also do like the solidity that the Denilson and Song partnership gives up with Cesc having more licence to roam. Although, Cesc likes to dictate our play and get involved everywhere. He really is the heartbeat of this team as someone said.
Gooner_Vin
Apologies for some of the errors, I usually watch a highlights stream before writing, but this was a bit of a rush job at my mate's house this morning so I had to do it all from memory. Personally I'd be ok with Liverpool winning the league, United I'm numb to, I just don't want Chelsea doing it. My big fear is that United could win the title by beating us at Old Trafford, that I don't want.
Little Dutch
Apologies for some of the errors, I usually watch a highlights stream before writing, but this was a bit of a rush job at my mate's house this morning so I had to do it all from memory. Personally I'd be ok with Liverpool winning the league, United I'm numb to, I just don't want Chelsea doing it. My big fear is that United could win the title by beating us at Old Trafford, that I don't want.
Little Dutch
GV, I like the Song - Denilson thing too, but I feel that Cesc could play that role, whilst defendign a bit more, he is good enough and well-equipped to do that, he did last year. We miss out on nasri or van Persie in the previous team formation, is Song worth that?
Tom14
GV, I like the Song - Denilson thing too, but I feel that Cesc could play that role, whilst defendign a bit more, he is good enough and well-equipped to do that, he did last year. We miss out on nasri or van Persie in the previous team formation, is Song worth that?
Tom14
I'd hate both scenarios, but, although I don't particularly dislike Liverpool more than Utd or Chelsea, I have enjoyed their lack of success, so I think I'd rather Utd, then we have the chance to rob it from them next season. It'd be sweeter than grabbing it off the scousers.
ArsenalRob
I'd hate both scenarios, but, although I don't particularly dislike Liverpool more than Utd or Chelsea, I have enjoyed their lack of success, so I think I'd rather Utd, then we have the chance to rob it from them next season. It'd be sweeter than grabbing it off the scousers.
ArsenalRob
Yeah I agree Tom. But perhaps when we are facing a tough long-ball-team away, Song's aerially ability could make the trade off worth while. When Cesc plays a bit further forward he is still very effective, but I prefer him deeper where he sees more of the ball and can influence play a lot more.
NoFitState
Yeah I agree Tom. But perhaps when we are facing a tough long-ball-team away, Song's aerially ability could make the trade off worth while. When Cesc plays a bit further forward he is still very effective, but I prefer him deeper where he sees more of the ball and can influence play a lot more.
NoFitState
I expect Denilson, Song, and Cesc to be deadly in Spain on Tuesday. Unless van Persie recovers in time for the trip then we will lineup in a 4-5-1.
gunnerkid107
I expect Denilson, Song, and Cesc to be deadly in Spain on Tuesday. Unless van Persie recovers in time for the trip then we will lineup in a 4-5-1.
gunnerkid107
I know what you mean, and I agree with it completely, GK, but surely 'deadly' isn't the word to describe Alex Song?!
ArsenalRob
I know what you mean, and I agree with it completely, GK, but surely 'deadly' isn't the word to describe Alex Song?!
ArsenalRob
The fact that Denilson and Song started alongside Cesc meant he didn't have to work as hard as he usually would, and also helped free him up for attacking forays, he was sublime on Sat, a joy to watch. And i must be a 'general fan' Tom cos i really didn't think Denilson was sublime, one huge City chance came from him squandering posession, not saying he was poor, as he got better as the game went on but definitely wasn't without fault.
shewore
The fact that Denilson and Song started alongside Cesc meant he didn't have to work as hard as he usually would, and also helped free him up for attacking forays, he was sublime on Sat, a joy to watch. And i must be a 'general fan' Tom cos i really didn't think Denilson was sublime, one huge City chance came from him squandering posession, not saying he was poor, as he got better as the game went on but definitely wasn't without fault.
shewore
Also - Song as a very good attacking player? Do me a favour! I like Song, i really do, but wouldn't go that far!
shewore
Also - Song as a very good attacking player? Do me a favour! I like Song, i really do, but wouldn't go that far!
shewore
The Boss has a problem! Nasri, Song, Denilson, Cesc, Walcot, Arshavin, Diaby, Rosicky (if ever fully fit again), Ramsey, Wilshere (in time) and even Eboue, who does he play, who does he leave out and in what formation? Nice problem though and a lot better than wondering how to find a decent midfield from the available players. Great game on Saturday, I thought Song and Den were terrific in midfield. Cesc was Cesc and Ade looked hungry again. Even Theo put himself about a bit and tackled back well. Shame about the one or two defensive errors from Gael and Gallas. I am getting a bit concerned about Gael!
norfolk dumpling
The Boss has a problem! Nasri, Song, Denilson, Cesc, Walcot, Arshavin, Diaby, Rosicky (if ever fully fit again), Ramsey, Wilshere (in time) and even Eboue, who does he play, who does he leave out and in what formation? Nice problem though and a lot better than wondering how to find a decent midfield from the available players. Great game on Saturday, I thought Song and Den were terrific in midfield. Cesc was Cesc and Ade looked hungry again. Even Theo put himself about a bit and tackled back well. Shame about the one or two defensive errors from Gael and Gallas. I am getting a bit concerned about Gael!
norfolk dumpling
shewore, of course Song was not playing like Hleb, but he was attacking in a different way. He caused problems with his running and he has serious skill at times. He did defend at times, but overall, he attacked more. And also, of course Denilson made a mistake in the game, it happens. But there were occasions where every player made a mistake. On the whole, he was sublime.
Tom14
shewore, of course Song was not playing like Hleb, but he was attacking in a different way. He caused problems with his running and he has serious skill at times. He did defend at times, but overall, he attacked more. And also, of course Denilson made a mistake in the game, it happens. But there were occasions where every player made a mistake. On the whole, he was sublime.
Tom14
Good performance and result. Its just a shame that Denilson and Song have taken this long to play well - a miscalculation by Wenger IMO. But the team has a nice settled look to it, and we seem to have a lot of options for players and formations. A 4-4-2, or a 4-4-1-1, or a 4-2-3-1 all look likely with the personnel we have. A season or two ago, I would have been resistant to anything but a 4-4-2 but I'm warming to different formations now, as it gives us an air of unpredictability.
prits
Good performance and result. Its just a shame that Denilson and Song have taken this long to play well - a miscalculation by Wenger IMO. But the team has a nice settled look to it, and we seem to have a lot of options for players and formations. A 4-4-2, or a 4-4-1-1, or a 4-2-3-1 all look likely with the personnel we have. A season or two ago, I would have been resistant to anything but a 4-4-2 but I'm warming to different formations now, as it gives us an air of unpredictability.
prits
They (particularly Denilson) have played this well all season (well, not every game) but our attacking play was just awful, nobody to pass to and nothing coming from their tackles/blocks/interceptions. it is like a player who sets up lots of chances, unless they go in, it is ignored.
Tom14
They (particularly Denilson) have played this well all season (well, not every game) but our attacking play was just awful, nobody to pass to and nothing coming from their tackles/blocks/interceptions. it is like a player who sets up lots of chances, unless they go in, it is ignored.
Tom14
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Arsenal Articles

The Transfer Deadline Day Live Blog (Monday September 1 2014)

Transfer Deadline Day Live Blog (Monday September 1 2014)

Arsenal Fail To Cap-italise (Sunday August 31 2014)

Chambers Rewarded For Early Season Form (Thursday August 28 2014)

Arsenal Keep Calm And Carry On (Thursday August 28 2014)

Giroud Has Surgery, Out For 4 Months (Wednesday August 27 2014)

Stats: Arsenal v Besiktas (Wednesday August 27 2014)

Arsenal Draw Southampton In League Cup (Wednesday August 27 2014)

Archived Arsenal Articles

List All Vital Arsenal Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Leicester City 1 - 1 Arsenal
Everton 2 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 2 - 1 Crystal Palace

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
4. Man City 3 2 0 1 3 6
5. Liverpool 3 2 0 1 2 6
6. Spurs 3 2 0 1 2 6
7. Arsenal 3 1 2 0 1 5
8. Southampton 3 1 1 1 1 4
9. Hull City 3 1 1 1 0 4
10. Stoke 3 1 1 1 0 4

Breaking League News

Coates Now a Black Cat Target.
Sunderland : 01/09/2014 11:53:00
Boyd First In on Deadline Day!
Burnley : 01/09/2014 11:52:00
Dudgeon Extension And Boyd Exits
Hull City : 01/09/2014 11:50:00
Duffy Exit Confirmed
Everton : 01/09/2014 11:37:00
After Alvarez, Defenders a Priority.
Sunderland : 01/09/2014 11:30:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Which players will we bring in before the transfer window closes on Sept 1st?
Suggested By:  
Defender 12%
Midfielder 3%
Forward 25%
More than one of these 48%
None 12%