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October 24, 2010
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 47393
S. Nasri 20'
A. Song 66'
N. Bendtner 88'
90' + 3'
FULL TIME: Manchester City 0-3 Arsenal - A fantastic passing display from this gifted Arsenal side as they end up with a comfortable win to claim all three points and lift them above City and into second in the Premier League. As well as Arsenal played you can't help thinking that if Boyata had remained on the field and match remain at eleven each, we may have seen a far more competitive and even scoreline.
90' + 1'
Chance for Arsenal right-back Sagna as the tired legs of the Manchester City back four gift him time and space on the right flank. The Frenchman, however, fires a low effort wide.
Assist Samir Nasri
Goal Nicklas Bendtner
GOAL: Manchester City 0-3 Arsenal: Nicklas Bendtner raps up the game for Arsenal as Samir Nasri releases him down the channel. The Danish striker brings the ball inside before coolly curling the ball around the outstretched Joe Hart and into the goal.
Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner completes his return from injury as he replaces Marouane Chamakh at the head of the Arsenal attacks. England international Theo Walcott is also given some time on the pitch by Arsene Wenger as the tireless Cesc Fabregas is afforded some well earned rest.
Excellent play from Cesc Fabregas as even with ten minutes to go the Arsenal captain has the stamina to drive into the box, battle with Vincent Kompany and lay the ball on a plate for striker Marouane Chamakh. The Moroccan, however, under pressure from Jerome Boateng fires the ball over the bar and turns away in disgust.
The session of keep-ball begins in the Arsenal midfield as they look to wear down the clock and, perhaps, draw the Manchester City defence into frustrated fouls or out of position.
Arsenal are now doing what they have proven they can do so well. The technically gifted midfield are passing the ball eloquently, frustrating the Manchester City players who know that one misplaced Arsenal pass could result in them launching a counter-attack.
Yellow Card Vincent Kompany
A large chorus of cheers ring around Eastlands as big money signing Mario Balotelli enters the fray to make his debut home and Premier League appearance in place of Gareth Barry.
Goal Alex Song
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey reflects on the performance of Alex Song: "Is that game over? Song's 's magnificent toe-poke has put clear daylight between the two teams for the first time. Not bad for a defensive midfielder."
GOAL!: Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal - Excellent finish from Alex Song as Andrey Arshavin places a weighted ball to Samir Nasri on the right flank. Nasri, on the edge of the area, plays the ball back to Fabregas who looks to find Chamakh in the area. The ball falls to the Arsenal midfielder Song as Kompany sticks a foot out to attempt to deviate the ball away from Chamakh. First to the rebound, however, Song then proceeds to fire a ball into the top corner of Joe Hart's gaping goal.
Arsenal look to make the advantage of having an extra man on the field count as they continue to probe and pull the Manchester City backline this way and that. City, however, continue to look dangerous on the break as the speedy threat of Micah Richards, bombing forward from right-back, looks to get in behind Gael Clichy.
Great chance from Adebayor as Kompany executes a near post flick from a Milner corner. The former Arsenal striker rises highest but powers his headed effort over the onrushing Fabianksi and over the bar.
Good save from Fabianski as Manchester City work the ball well on the right flank to gift Silva an opportunity coming into the area from the right side. The Spaniard directs a top-poked effort at goal but the Polish 'keeper smartly diverts the ball wide.
Unexpected hesitancy from Joe Hart as a misplaced Samir Nasri ball goes deep into the Manchester City half. The 'keeper begins to charge out before returning to his goal and gifting the ball to Andrey Arshavin who powers into the box before releasing the ball to Samir Nasri who is eventually crowded out by the City defence.
In what represents a major blow for Manchester City, Carlos Tevez is substituted for Emmanuel Adebayor due to an injury. It remains to be seen whether Tevez will recover in time for the Manchester derby in two weeks time.
Arsenal release the pace of left-back Gael Clichy down the left flank as he fires in a crossed ball into the area. The excellent Hart is equal to the cross as he dives forward, arm outstretched, to stop the ball from reaching Fabregas.
Excellent skill and strength from Chamakh as he goes head to head with Boateng on the left flank. The Moroccan wins the battle at the edge of the pitch to play a composed pass to Fabregas, arriving in the penalty area. Fabregas and Nasri both show a lack of clinical finishing as they play the ball between themselves before Fabregas rolls a tame shot in the direction of Hart.
One change for Manchester City as Wayne Bridge comes on for Yaya Toure. The midfielder is thought to have picked up a slight knock to the back.
45' + 3'
Wayne Veysey, Goal.com's man at the ground, brings us his thoughts on the fiery first half: "What a superb and open first half. A throwback to the Arsenal away performances of the Henry-Vieira-Pires-Bergkamp days. But they have looked far from watertight at the back and City have showed enough attacking quality to get back in this game."
45' + 2'
HALF TIME: Manchester City 0-1 Arsenal - Another reckless challenge from Manchester City as De Jong hacks down Fabregas just outside the penalty area to signal a dangerously placed free-kick. The floated ball is, however, headed away powerfully by Kompany as the referee signals half time.
Wonderful block by Vincent Kompany as Samir Nasri brings down a Fabregas cross in the penalty area. The Frenchman then shifts the ball inside to Denilson who lashes a powerful drive towards the goal but to no avail as the onrushing Kompany stretches wide to alleviate the danger.
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey, currently at Eastlands, brings us a statistic on Cesc Fabregas' penalty miss: "Great save from Hart. Fabregas slightly telegraphed the spot-kick and it was at a nice height but it was right in the corner. The first penalty, I believe, that Fabregas has missed from Arsenal (out of six attempts)."
Penalty save Joe Hart
Missed Penalty Cesc Fàbregas
PENALTY SAVE: Joe Hart dives spectacularly to his left to powerfully beat a well-placed Cesc Fabregas penalty away.
PENALTY: Excellent decision from the referee as Vincent Kompany mistimes his challenge on Cesc Fabregas, just inside the area,
Yellow Card Johan Djourou
Almost a chance for David Silva as Micah Richards, again venturing forward, cuts inside before working the ball to captain Carlos Tevez. The Argentinean then spots the run of Silva and attempts to slide a ball from outside the penalty area and into the Spaniard's path. Unfortunately for City, Tevez's pass is a little to heavy and rolls into Fabianski's gloves.
Silva and Tevez continue their effective link up play as the Spaniard brings down a long pass excellently whilst flicking the ball with his chest in the same motion. Tevez eagerly picks the ball up on the edge of the area before attempting a shot as Fabianksi's goal.
Yellow Card Alex Song
The game seems to be really opening up with both sides having equally sustained attacks before finding themselves on the back-foot due to the swift counter-attacking of both midfields.
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey expresses his surprise at the open nature of the game at the usually tight Eastlands: "This is a wonderful game. Arsenal are just incapable of shutting up shop. They look far from watertight at the back and Tevez looks in lively, uber never-say-die mood. City have had three decent chances to score (two before Boyata was sent off) in an unusually open game at this stadium."
Yellow Card Cesc Fàbregas
Marvelous chance for Manchester City as right-back Micah Richards, finding himself in a forwards position, is slotted through by James Milner. The City defender turns inside, evading the Arsenal defenders, before curling a powerful shot just wide from inside the area.
The sending off of Boyata has caused havoc with Mancini's tactical plan as he now slots Gareth Barry into the left-back position, switching summer signing Jerome Boateng inside in a clear effort to try and restore some much-needed width to the side.
Wayne Veysey, Goal.com's representative at Eastlands believes it will be difficult for the home side to force a way back into the game: "It's a long way back for counter-attack specialists City now. A lovely one-two between Nasri and Arshavin put the Frenchman in and he continued his excellent scoring run by slotting just inside the post. A simple but brilliant goal."
Assist Andrey Arshavin
Goal Samir Nasri
GOAL: Manchester City 0-1 Arsenal - A typical Arsenal goal as Arshavin and Nasri play a delicate one-two on the edge of the City penalty area. Nasri, striding into the six-yard box, executes a delicate drop of the shoulder and slots the ball into the top corner of Joe Hart's net.
Arsenal are now presented with an opportunity as a finely weighted cross finds an unmarked Johan Djourou just seven yards from goal. The Swiss defender somehow manages to direct his header not at goal but over the bar and into the stands.
A half-chance for Manchester City captain Tevez as hesitancy in the Arsenal defence allows Silva to guide a ball to Tevez, just inside the penalty area. The Argentinean, however, is quickly closed down by Arsenal left-back Clichy, forcing the City player to snatch at the shot.
Yellow Card Gareth Barry
The dismissal of Boyata looks to have affected the rhythm of play as neither side seem able to cement a real sustained spell of possession on the game. Meanwhile, the game looks to looming into a disciplinary nightmare for referee Clattenburg as Gareth Barry goes in late on Fabregas, warranting a booking. Arsenal's Alex Song then commits a similar challenge but the referee refuses to caution the Arsenal player, rendering some furious exchanges between the referee and the City players.
Cesc Fabregas looks to have taken a knock for Arsenal. The skipper trudges off the field with the aid of the Arsenal Physio as he retreats to the touchline to assess any significant damage.
Yellow Card Denilson
Red Card D. Boyata
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey offers his view on the Boyata sending off: "Boyata deservedly sent off for his lunging, last-ditch tackle on Chamakh. As the last man, he had no choice but to tackle the striker but he got his timing horribly wrong. Great movement from Chamakh and even better slide-rule pass from Fabregas."
Instant action here at Eastlands as Chamakh is put through on goal by a crisp through ball from Fabregas. The inexperienced Boyata clumsily hacks the Moroccan down and Mark Clattenburg swiftly brandished the red card to signal his dismissal.
An early chance for Manchester City as Carlos Tevez skips away from Johan Djourou at the by-line before aiming a low cross at David Silva. The Spanish midfielder, running into the six-yard box, attempts a backheeled flick that is excellently tipped away by Arsenal 'keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Arsenal get the game underway at Eastlands as they look to control the possession from the back four right from the off.
A fitting tribute to former manager Malcolm Allison as both sets of players engage in a minutes applause along with the fans.
Goal.com's man at the ground Wayne Veysey lets us in on the scene unfolding at Eastlands: "Afternoon from a heaving and sun-lit City of Manchester Stadium. A real big-match feels to this. Arsenal's away fans are so different from the home faithful. They are making far more noise already than we heard at a deathly silent Emirates Stadium in midweek."
It is worth remembering that this match represents an emotional day for Manchester City fans. Prior to the match there was a service delivered by a local priest, celebrating the life of former Manchester City manager Malcolm Allison, who sadly died this week. The service included tributes from City chief executive Alastair Cook as well former Manchester City players Mike Summerbee and Tony Book.
Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, looks likely to aim to stifle the fluid passing of Arsenal with his preferred counter-attacking 4-5-1 making use of the dynamism of captain Carlos Tevez.
Arsene Wenger's men come into this match three points behind both Manchester sides, hoping to gain the three points needed to move them further up the table and back into contention along with London rivals Chelsea.
Now to the visitors Arsenal who name an all French speakinng back four as Swiss defender Johan Djourou comes into the team ahead of Laurent Koscielny. Brazilian midfielder Denilson, prided for his work rate, is also included in the starting eleven with Arsene Wenger possibly keen to frustrate Manchester City's creators. Fabianski; Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy; Song, Denilson, Fabregas; Nasri, Arshavin, Chamakh
Let's start with home team Manchester City who name young Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata at centre-back along with compatriot Vincent Kompany. The recently in-form David Silva is also given a place in the starting line-up by manager Roberto Mancini. Hart; Richards, Kompany, Boyata, Boateng; De Jong, Barry; Milner, Y Toure, Silva; Tevez
Good afternoon and welcome to goal.com's live coverage of the highly anticipated Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal. I'm Eliot Rothwell and I will be guiding you through all today's action, as Manchester City look to put pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.
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