It was an unjust result after Manchester City progressed through a well worked counter attacking goal that left Arsenal asking ‘what could have been’ after dominating large chunks of the match. While their is huge disappoint of being knocked out of a cup, the Arsenal youngsters can be proud they showed up Manchester City’s stars, even if they weren’t City’s regulars.
For a majority of the match Arsenal reverted to the old 4-4-2 formation. While there were a few experienced heads in the side it was the four youngsters that shined, particularly Oxlade-Chamberlain and Coquelin. It was touch and go to say who was the most outstanding of the two, but certainly Arsenal have two great players who took their chance to impress at the Emirates.
The performance of Chamberlain certainly raises questions over Arshavin. The young Englishman is starting to prove himself, especially against this City side who would have been better than most Premier League teams and must now be pushing for Arshavin’s usual role as an impact player on the bench. The whole match Chamberlain looked the constantly threatening making defenders back-pedal when he took them on. Looked the most likely source of goals.
From one youngster to another. Young Frenchman Francis Coquelin must also not being doing his first-team chances any harm with this performance. It was between himself and Chamberlain for the best player on the pitch I feel. With Frimpong also putting in a solid performance, no doubt when Song succumbs to an injury or accumulation of yellow cards Wenger will have a tough decision on his hands between the two promising midfielders.
Overall it was an unfair result in a game that was dominated by the home side. We now look forward to the upcoming away match against Wigan at the weekend. The men from the DW Stadium lie in the relagation zone sitting in 19th position on the league table. With Arsenal’s regular players expected to return, anything but three points would be a huge disappointed considering the opposition.
on the winning goal…
It was an unfair result but I felt we were a bit naive because it was a corner for us and a goal for them. I knew that we were in trouble and I feel we didn’t take enough time to take the corner because Djourou was just going up front and he had to stay at the back on the corner. We didn’t leave him enough time to come back and that’s where we were caught.
I felt as well that we didn’t take the corners very well but overall what is frustrating that we lost a game at the moment that we looked the winner. It is frustrating because we put a lot of effort in and we were not rewarded. On the other hand I feel that considering the youth of our midfield we have battled really well and have shown some fantastic quality.
on the performance of Oxlade-Chamberlain…
We lacked a little bit of experience to be more decisive in the final third but Chamberlain looked the whole night like he could deliver something special. He has shown already tonight that he has moved forward, considering where he was in the last two months. He has improved a lot already.
The experience tonight shows that it’s good sometimes to be positive and as well patient. I was very patient with him until now and I feel that it is important sometimes that you hold them back a little bit and keep them on the training ground. He has shown that he has improved a lot.
He has surprised me by the consistency of this game. You pushed him off the ball easily two months ago but tonight you could see that his resistance in the challenges, his strength in the duels, is there. That is of course very important at the top level.
on reports of an altercation at the final whistle…
I don’t know anything about that, no.
on the midfield battle…
I feel in midfield Frimpong did well, Coquelin did well, we battled very hard in there. We were mobile, strong in the fight, we did very well I must say. Sometimes we lacked a little bit of creativity in the final third, especially in the last 20 minutes when I felt there was plenty of room to give them big problems and we missed sometimes the experience in the final ball. But I cannot fault the team, they have shown heart, quality and desire. At the end of the day it is frustrating for the players that they are not rewarded.
on whether Man City were fortunate…
I felt we made it easy for them. They had a clear-cut chance and you couldn’t see them missing. They played very well but I felt we were a bit naïve because we could stop that at the start of that move. You cannot let them get on a run like that. Overall, I felt that we were naïve and you can call that bad luck. But I don’t believe in luck. I believe we had to stop the counter-attack and you know when you are on a corner, that is your job when you are a defender. You have to stop that.
Djourou Koscielny Squillaci Miquel
Benayoun Frimpong Coquelin Chamberlain
Lukasz Fabianski | 6.5: It was a solid performance from Arsenal’s number two goalkeeper. He was lucky with Adam Johnson’s opening shot in the early stages and could not be blamed for Aguero’s cool finish to cap off a brilliant counter attack.
Johan Djourou | 6.5: A very solid defensive performance from the Swiss international. Kept Kolarov quiet and did the same when Nasri switched to his flank. Didn’t get forward to often but with the Ox in front of him there wasn’t much need to.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.0: In the air the Frenchman was very strong winning a number of headers over Dzeko. Kept the front-man quiet and also did well to nullify Aguero’s trickery with well-timed slide tackles.
Sebastian Squillaci | 7.0: A surprisingly good performance from the old head. While he wasn’t tested on many occasions the Frenchman was still solid defensively and played it simple on the ball.
Ignasi Miquel | 6.5: Did well to bounce back after being turned by Johnson early on. Was confident on the ball, but was replaced by Vermaelen after looking fatigued.
Yossi Benayoun | 6.0: Had a performance similar to Arteta’s sub-par performances. Did well to retain the ball and distribute but wasn’t overly threatening to the City defence.
Emmanuel Frimpong | 7.5: Fought extremely well in the middle of midfield, showcasing his physical presence. Held his own against City’s combination of De Jong and Hargreaves. I had to have a laugh when he showcased his Dench brand after the match and had an altercation with Nasri down the tunnel.
Francis Coquelin | 8.0: Bossed the midfield with Frimpong. Showcased his ability to get out of tight spaces and had tidy distribution throughout. Also showed his ability to surge forward and put in an excellent ball to set-up Park early on. Great performance.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 8.5: Amazing dribbling, amazing shooting and generally always threatening. The young Englishman played a stellar match and is certainly ready for the big-stage even though he is so young. Superb performance
Chu-Young Park | 4.5: Work-rate is their but it just didn’t seem to click for the South Korean. Should have capitalised on the ball played by Coquelin and scored but had bad contact with the ball on his shot.
Marouane Chamakh| 4.0: Sad to say it was another dismal performance by the Moroccan who doesn’t look like getting out of his form slump. Really raises questions over his credentials as an Arsenal player, especially with the January transfer window looming.
- Notable Substitutions