October 25, 2010
Arsenal notched a highly significant and vitally important win at Eastlands yesterday. Though Manchester City were reduced to ten men from the fourth minute following Dedryk Boyata's sending off, it was a victory that was achieved through composure, focus and some style.
Boyata gave referee Mark Clattenburg little room for manoeuvre when felling Marouane Chamakh who was clear through on goal. Who knows how the match might have gone had it stayed eleven-men-per-side? We’ll never know. But playing against ten men presents its own challenges. Fortunately, City did not simply try to put ten men behind the ball and actually turned in a creditable performance with their reduced numbers. On the day though, Arsenal were too strong for them and the Gunners maintained their tempo and concentration levels to see the job through.
Samir Nasri - a Man in Form©PA Photos
October 17, 2010
Arsenal got back to winning ways on Saturday by beating Birmingham 2-1 at Ashburton Grove. It was a performance that was more workmanlike and pragmatic than it was stylish but, with it having been just over a month since all three points were taken in a Premier League game, the result was the most important thing.
The Gunners had the better of the early exchanges without necessarily summoning the required tempo and impetus to make a break-through. Even so, several chances were carved out, none of which were taken. Too often, the frustratingly familiar option of an extra pass was chosen instead of a shot.
Nasri Converts His Penalty Kick to Level the Match
October 5, 2010
The result at Stamford Bridge at the weekend had a depressingly familiar ring about it. In the last eighteen encounters between Arsenal and Chelsea in all competitions the Gunners have only come out on top twice. It is a dismal recent record.
However, the manner of Sunday's defeat was bemusing rather than infuriating. Arsenal actually played alright. They held plenty of possession and created enough chances to have won the match. For once, they didn’t look over-powered by their hosts and looked the better side for long periods of the game. They pinned Chelsea back without, it has to be said, necessarily stretching them to breaking point and produced some good football. And yet, "playing alright" wasn’t good enough and they lost 2-0. So what was missing?
Defensive Lapses Cost Arsenal Dearly at Stamford Bridge