Well it's three more points but it wasn't a great performance from Arsenal. Manchester City had won three in a row so it's good to get a win against them but I was really hoping for better play from the squad with Gilberto and Adebayor back in the squad.
We've looked scrappier this new season than we did last year. It seems that our defending has been much better, (our only 2 allowed were mistakes by Jens) and we seem to work very hard to open up the scoring. Last year we would allow the first goal about 75% of the time and even though it's early in the season, it looks like our mentality has changed. It's good to see a 1-0 victory where we weren't nearly at our best, yet still prevailed against a side in good form. It makes me feel optimistic about the year, and I think if we can keep up this determination we can go a long way. So on to the match report now...
The starting lineup looked like this:
And on the bench we had: Denilson, Song, Da Silva, Fabianski, Bendtner
So we started the match and it was pretty back and forth in the beginning with no real great chances for either team to score. Van Persie shot from about 25 yards out but sent it over the bar. Mpenza had a few chances for City but he was a bit shit the whole match really.
Richard Dunne and Micah Richards have been good so far this season and they really were looking impressive even against our high powered offense. Richards particularly looked very good and if we could get him at Arsenal I'd do it in a second. He's a strong player that we could use. Our defenders are fast but we don't have one that is just a monster like Richards.
In the 19th minute Sagna had to come off after running into Flamini, and Denilson came on for him, which shows our lack of depth. Flamini moved to right back and Denilson moved into the midfield.
Later in the first half it looked like City might get the first goal. Elano was playing well and they made a few chances with some surprisingly good attacks. Van Persie wasted another chance as well as Flamini and the tide shifted back to Arsenal.
The best attack of the first half was set up by Adebayor. He sent Fabregas through on the right channel and he sent a low cross to Van Persie at the far post but slid and missed. Van Persie had another chance from a cross from Rosicky but wasted the volley well wide. Adebayor missed a chance from a cross as well.
The first half ended a very entertaining one, but frustrating for an Arsenal fan because we had all those attacks and no goals, which seems to happen every game.
The second half started with a good shot from Adebayor which was tipped wide. City then had a great chance when Elano passed back to Petrov on the wing and he sent a shot across goal that went just wide. Almunia then saved well from Mpenza and City had a penalty claim denied.
Richards made a bad tackle on Hleb in the 65th minute and we were awarded a penalty. Van Persie stepped up to take it and I just had a bad feeling about it even before he took it. Is it just me or does Van Persie always take penalties to his right? Anyway, he stepped up and shot right but the keeper saved with his feet and it was another chance wasted.
Fabregas had a good hard shot from range shortly after but Schmeichel was on his game and tipped it over the bar.
In the 80th minute Fabregas got the ball and played a one-two with Hleb and sent a rocket into the top of the net from an angle. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Eduardo had a chance but it was saved. The goal had really taken it out of City and the game was pretty much over. Three more points and City's first lost this season.
Man of the Match: Cesc Fabregas scored the only goal and it was a good one. I also thought Toure and Almunia played well.
Needs work: Our depth. Having two midfielders playing in defense is ridiculous. We need to bring Djourou back if we can or bring in someone.
Sparta Prague again on Wednesday. Cheers to the win.