Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
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Monday, 15 September 2014

Arsenal impressive in entertaining draw with Man City

Before the international break Arsenal had had perhaps a slow start to the season but they showed no signs of rustiness as they secured a 2-2 draw in an entertaining fixture against Man City. It was already the second time the sides had met each other this season after the Gunners victory in the Community Shield. However, this time round it was more of an evenly fought contest which saw both sides come from behind at some point in the game. Aguero opened the scoring for City before a superb attacking display in the second half led to goals from Wilshere and Sanchez. It was a goal six minutes from time that decided the game though as Demichelis found the net and City's equaliser.

Arsenal made two changes from the side that faced Leicester almost two weeks ago as Wilshere replaced Cazorla and Welbeck made his debut in place of Yaya Sanogo who didn't make the squad at all. 
Jack Wilshere ran the show whilst former Gunner Samir Nasri (right) started on the bench
This match, coming just four games into the new Premier League season perhaps held extra significance considering our form against the top sides last season. We held City to a 1-1 draw last season at the Emirates but it was out 6-3 defeat away from home that we needed to avenge for. Everything looked rosy having gone 2-1 up but we showed signs of our former selves by conceding the equaliser in such a desperate way.

Similarly to last season Wenger allowed the full backs to move on up the pitch, and because of that we almost conceded more than we did. It was because of that that we did concede though. Navas was allowed to run freely down the right hand side with Monreal no where to be seen, the Spanish winger then found Sergio Aguero who got ahead of Szczesny to put the away side in front.

Arsenal's start up to then had been promising. We'd gone close on a few occasions but it was debutant Danny Welbeck who came closest. He picked up the loose ball before dinking the ball over Hart and off the post. It would've been the dream start for a man that swapped Manchester red for Arsenal red on transfer deadline day. Welbeck offered the Gunners something very different, something we haven't had for a few years in the form of pace upfront. Walcott had played up top on a few occasions but not to a consistent level. Welbeck will hopefully provide us with that consistency, and after a promising debut will look to score goals whilst Giroud is out injured.

It was the way with which we dropped all three points that was extremely disappointing though. A corner came in and Arsenal's zonal marking came back to haunt them as Demichelis somehow found himself unmarked to head home from 12 yards. After the quality of our goals, it was a big let down to go and let the game go like that.

Arsenal's goals came from the games outstanding performers. There have been questions raised recently over Jack Wilshere's role in the side and having played in a more deep lying role for England, he was granted a more attacking one against City. It appeared to pay off as he scored the equaliser and put in a brilliant midfield display both defensively and going forward. He linked up with Ramsey for his goal before beating Joe Hart at his near post with his weaker foot. Sanchez's goal was ever more impressive though. He's had a fine start to life at Arsenal, scoring in each of his last three games. Wilshere headed the ball back into the box before the Chilean side footed home an exquisite volley. It was a goal worthy of winning any contest, but sadly it wasn't to be.

Apart from the defensive display there were two other negatives. The first was that of Mesut Ozil. He was once again asked to play out on the left flank and he was rarely involved. It's such a shame to see a player who was considered one of the best players in the world before he joined us, playing out of position. 3 assists in his last 19 Premier League games backs up just how averagely he's performed recently. No runners in behind and having to play out of position are just two of the reasons for his dip in performance. It appears that for Wilshere's benefit and inclusion in the team, Ozil is having to suffer as a result and it isn't helping the German at all. As for the other negative, that fell to Mathieu Debuchy who after a string of consistent performances picked up a bad looking ankle injury that looks as though will keep him out of action for 2-3 months.

Our next game sees us travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League as the group stage gets underway. We beat them 1-0 last season away from home so here's hoping for a similar result!

The team's line-ups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy(81), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini(90), Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Welbeck(87).
Subs: Ospina, Chambers(81), Gibbs, Arteta,(90), Oxlade-Chamberlain(87), Cazorla, Podolski.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Lampard(45), Milner, Navas, Silva, Aguero(68).
Subs: Caballero, Mangala, Sagna, Kolarov, Sinclair, Nasri(45), Dzeko(68).

My man of the match: Jack Wilshere.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg. 
Attendance: 60,003. 

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