Arsenal v Manchester City
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: March 29, 2014 17.30 PM BST
The Gunners did their best to get all three points against City, but it was definitely a point gained not two dropped. Some encouraging performances from certain individuals such as Rosicky, Cazorla and Flamini, and collectively a brilliant response from the draw against Swansea. Here are the player ratings:
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Wojciech Szczesny | 7.0: Was unfortunate with the first goal, making a superb save from Dzeko’s shot, and bar the shaky moment when he palmed the ball into Dzeko’s path he commanded the box well and made a couple crucial finger tip saves and goal box claims.
Bacary Sagna | 6.5: Got forward well and dealt with the threat of Clichy/Nasri. In fairness most of the attacks were down their right but a consistent performance from the experienced Frenchman.
Per Mertesacker | 7.0: Positioning wise he did well against a speedy and clinical city side. Crucial block from Silva’s strike around the 60 minute mark. Got stuck in when he could and overall a solid display.
Thomas Vermaelen | 7.0: Decent outing from the Belgian. Could have been a little quicker to prevent Silva claiming the opening goal, but was disciplined with going forward and did well defending set pieces.
Keiran Gibbs | 7.5: Did his best against a dangerous Zabaleta and Navas, but was often over-run in the first half. Rarely got beyond the City right-back, but when was a threat that helped subdue the Argentine in the second period. Also played his part in the Arsenal equalizer. He did well.
Mikel Arteta | 7.0: Much improved performance from the Spaniard. A little sloppy at times but put in some crucial tackles and built a few attacks with his composure on the ball. Seems a lot more comfortable with Flamini alongside, but still a little off the pace.
Mathieu Flamini | 8.5: A little harsh to not receive Man of the Match. Hard working display from the Frenchman, pressured City when he could and tracked back well too. Was often seen further forward and was rewarded with a well taken goal after a delightful pick-out from Podolski. Very disciplined performance. Could have received a yellow and earned himself a two match suspension but he managed to avoid it – that is an achievement in itself.
Santi Cazorla | 8.0: A much better performance from Santi. He got at City, using his quick feet to work the small pockets of space. Troubled Hart with a long range effort, but apart from that was unable to create any clear cut chances. Still, it’s good to see the Cazorla we all know and love back in action.
Tomas Rosicky | 8.5: MOTM. Arsenal’s best player today, brilliant display from the Czech, very energetic from the experienced midfielder scaring City with his bursting runs. Bit fortunate not to receive his marching orders after his tackle on Silva, knowing Mike Dean he could easily have. But put in a crucial sliding challenge to quell a late surge from City and was Arsenal’s best attacking outlet.
Lukas Podolski | 7.5: Superb ball to tee up Flamini for the equalizer. Lost the ball that led to City’s opener, was sometimes sloppy in the first half and gave away a silly foul to Navas around the 60th. But a good attacking performance from the German, justified his inclusion and really put it in a shift. Subbed around the 78th minute.
Olivier Giroud | 6.5: Rarely had any chances and was extremely isolated. Did his best when he was involved with his hold-up play much improved from the last two fixtures. Had a chance around the 77th but produced a strike even Per Mertesacker would have done better with. He unfortunately lacks the bit of speed to get just ahead of his attacker from some of Arsenal’s dangerous balls today.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 7.0: Came on for Podolski after 78 minutes and got stuck right in. Really got at City’s defence and was exactly what this Arsenal side needed – speed and agility. But it was the right move to include him later on rather than from the get-go.
Yaya Sanogo| 6.0: Replaced Giroud late on to add a bit more spark up front, worked hard but wasn’t able to be too involved. A couple good flicks with his head and take-downs.