Well, that was eventful at Anfield, but life moves on and we’re switching our attention to Manchester City and Arsenal. Not bad, is it?
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Full-Time: Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Javi Garcia, Toure, Silva, Sinclair, Aguero, Dzeko
Subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Rodwell, Barry, Nastasic, Tevez, Balotelli
Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla, Gervinho, Podolski
Subs: Martinez, Andre Santos, Giroud, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Coquelin
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
16.00 – Some interesting team news from this one.
Thomas Vermaelen called in sick so Laurent Koscielny fills in, while Aaron Ramsey is named in a front three. Olivier Giroud – Arsenal’s version of Fabio Borini – is on the bench.
A small surprise on the Manchester City teamsheet as Carlos Tevez drops down to the bench, and Sergio Aguero is partnered by Edin Dzeko.
16.02 – The match kicks off.
In response to Oisín Barrett – no Nasri. He suffered a hamstring injury against Real Madrid.
16.08 – The teams are not giving each other much time of the ball, but the match is currently without incident.
We would like it to be with incident.
16.11 – David Silva finds Yaya Toure with a delicious backheel, but the midfielder’s shot is blocked by Arsenal captain (on the day) Mikel Arteta.
16.14 – Don’t expect much from Kieran Gibbs today. I moved him into my Fantasy League team earlier this week, widely considered to be the kiss of death for any decent young footballer.
16.17 – Spot poll: What do you think of Niall Quinn as a co-commentator?
16.18 – Chance for Arsenal! Gervinho is released by a brilliant pass from Ramsey, but the Ivorian’s first touch is far too heavy and nothing comes of it.
16.20 – Abou Diaby snuffs out the danger as Aguero turns in the box. The Argentine is still down, but it looks like a laces issue and not a knee problem.
16.28 – Joleon Lescott shows his lack of pace as he allows Carl Jenkinson to outsprint him down the Arsenal right. The youngster crosses for Podolski, who blazes over with his weaker right foot.
In other news, Jonjo Shelvey – sent off for Liverpool against Manchester United – has tweeted the following…
‘I apologise to the fans for getting sent off but no way was I pulling out of that tackle in a game of that importance. Im sorry.’
‘I have also apologised to sir Alex , just where I come from people don’t grass people up to get someone sent off.’
You will hear more about this.
16.30 – Santi Cazorla, being his usual brilliant self, tries to slide in Gervinho but the striker just fails to reach the ball.
16.34 – Arsenal are playing at a great pace, keeping the ball well, drawing fouls from Manchester City. Ramsey is fouled by Toure, Cazorla steps up the the free-kick but it’s too far out and Joe Hart is not troubled.
16.38 – Gervinho drives at the City defence but his shot does not trouble Hart. Some fans thought it was in, as it grazed the side netting.
16.42 – Much better play from City, who go on the attack for the first time in the game, effectively. Dzeko seems to be constantly taking up the wrong positions, but…
And as I type that, City have scored!
A corner, needlessly conceded by Kieran Gibbs, comes in and Arsenal fail to pick up Joleon Lescott. Easy header for the England defender.
Mannone tips over a shot from Dzeko.
16.45 – Zonal marking is idiocy, to these eyes. What is the point of marking space, when it just leaves other areas for opposing players to move into.
More often than not, defenders are static – as Arsenal’s were for the goal – and the attackers have the advantage.
16.48 – Half-time at the Etihad, and Manchester City lead Arsenal 1-0 thanks to Joleon Lescott’s header.
17.04 – The teams are coming back out on to the pitch, and Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville still can’t get to grips with the fact that Cazorla’s name is not Cazola. Somebody buy them an ‘r’.
Jack Rodwell is on for Manchester City, replacing Scott Sinclair.
17.08 – Arteta is penalised for fouling Dzeko and this is another dangerous situation free-kick. The ball falls to Aguero but he blasts over from an impossible angle.
17.11 – City have started this half well, as though they realise that Arsenal are vulnerable from wide positions.
The Gunners counter, start to string a few passes together, hoping they can get the urgency of their first half performance back.
17.13 – Aguero screams for a penalty after a challenge from Koscielny, but the fact that the striker went on to take a shot counts against him. Had he scored, like against QPR under similar circumstances, he might have kept quiet.
More bad news for Liverpool fans (as if they need it) – it looks like Daniel Agger suffered a medial ligament injury against Manchester United earlier on, and could be out for the rest of the season.
Fabio Borini and Martin Kelly were also injured.
17.19 – Arsenal are playing in front of the Manchester City defence, there’s been no penetration in this second half. This is not the match it was billed to be, but there’s still time.
17.22 – A brilliant cross-field ball from Cazorla to Gervinho. Unfortunately, Gervinho isn’t very good and he loses control straight away.
It seems that Tottenham have turned the tables on QPR. 1-0 behind for much of the game to a Bobby Zamora strike, they now lead 2-1 after an Alejandro Faurlin own goal and a strike from Jermain Defoe.
17.26 – A change for City, as Edin Dzeko is replaced by Carlos Tevez.
17.30 – Gervinho fouls Ramsey, and the Welshman is hobbling.
Yes, you read that right. You’d think Arsenal would have enough to deal with, without resorting to self-harm.
Walcott and Giroud are coming on. Podolski and Diaby are being replaced.
17.34 – City’s attempt to play offside backfires as Mertesacker tries to play in Giroud, but the Frenchman fails to read it and Joe Hart gathers the ball.
17.39 – Yaya Toure bounds forward… and forward… and forward and finally plays in Aguero. Koscielny, however, does enough to put him off and Mannone saves.
17.42 – A fine save by Joe Hart as Cazorla finally finds some room. Corner for Arsenal.
Then a goal for Arsenal! The Spaniard’s corner is headed out by Lescott but into the path of the Arsenal’s central defender, who lashes it past Joe Hart. Well deserved from the Gunners.
17.44 – Wow! How are City not 2-1 up?
Silva heads into the Arsenal box and an overhead kick from Vincent Kompany is saved by Mannone. The ball falls to Koscielny, who kicks it straight to Aguero, and somehow the striker shoots wide with the goal gaping. So lucky for the Gunners!
17.47 – Balotelli is on for Manchester City.
17.49 – Gervinho opens a chance up for himself but lashes the ball over. If he had any composure, he’d be lethal, but he doesn’t, so he isn’t.
Javi Garcia is booked for trying to mount Carl Jenkinson. Not sound.
17.52 – Whoever placed a bet on there being a foul throw in this game (Yaya Toure the culprit) is smiling.
17.55 – That’s the end of that. Full-time, and it’s finished in a draw. Arsenal played the better football but were hindered by the woefully poiseless play of Gervinho up front.
City were not at their best and Sergio Aguero will need another game or two to be near his best, so they’ll be content with a point.
Thanks for keeping up…
23.21 – Colsaerts, step up now. He does. Excellent stuff from the Belgian, he chips to within four feet. Dustin Johnson cheers Europe up by duffing his bunker shot.
Poulter might have to go solo on 14 as McIlroy is nowhere(s) in particular. The Englishman is in the bunker at the front of the green though. So is Dufner.
23.18 – Kaymer knew it with about two feet to go. He dropped his club and went sprinting for his teammates. I bet the Americans can not believe it!
I’m so, so happy. 17 and 18 were not perfect putts. On 18 I just wanted to get it in but it was too hard. I’m so happy for José because I know how much he wanted it. I just thought,on 18, just don’t do it like (Bernhard Langer) and I’m so happy I got it.
- Martin Kaymer