- English Barclays Premier League
- 13 January 2013, 4:00pm
- Emirates Stadium
- Attendance: 60,107
FULL TIME: City play keep-ball through five minutes of injury time and close out a comfortable but hugely eventful victory that closes the gap on Manchester United back to seven points. The early dismissal of Koscielny had a huge bearing on the result, giving the visitors a numerical advantage on which they capitalised with goals by Milner and Dzeko. Dzeko's missed penalty and Kompany's red card gives the pundits even more to yabber about.
90 mins: We will have five minutes of injury time. Silva is replaced by Aleksandar Kolorov.
90 mins: Cleared off the line! That's Arsenal's best chance of the entire game. Walcott is played through by a lovely ball and closes in on Hart from the right. He slots it past him, but the retreating Lescott boots it off the line.
89 mins: 'mins: 'Definite red', is the opinion of Paul in Sheffield and Paul in Leicester on the text. It's a game of opinions, gents, and you're entitled to yours.
88 mins: We obviously haven't had enough controversy yet today, so Mancini is chucking Mario Balotelli on to spice things up a bit. He replaces the excellent Dzeko.
87 mins: Barry is booked, for a foul on... guess who? Yep, poor old Wilshere, who's taken a real clattering today. That's six bookings and two red cards from Mr Dean.
85 mins: Arsenal are lumping crosses in towards Giroud, but even without their talisman Kompany, it's meat and drnk for the City defence.
82 mins: Every replay I see of Kompany's red card, the more idiotic the decision seems. Mike Dean seemed to suggest it was a two-footed challenge. That's simply not true. Wilshere had lost control and the ball was there to be won. And it *was* won! It wasn't even a foul, let alone a straight red!
79 mins: City immediately set up more defensively and play keep-ball in their own half. No flying forward in search of a third goal now it's 10 v 10.
77 mins: Roberto Mancini takes off Tevez in favour of Joleon Lescott.
75 mins: LUDICROUS RED CARD FOR KOMPANY!! Wilshere takes a slightly heavy touch, Kompany sees he has a good chance of winning the ball so slides in, wins the ball cleanly and collides with Wilshere. The fact is, he won the ball. In my view the tackle was a fair one. Mike Dean is apparently oblivious to this and whips out his red card. Nonsense. Utter nonsense.
73 mins: Oooh! The resulting free kick is swung in by Walcott and Giroud is all alone, just seven yards out. His jump is fractionally mistimed, the ball is just slightly behind him, and although he tries to adjust his body position, he can't keep the header down.
72 mins: Clichy is the latest recipient of a booking, although it's a slightly harsh one for an innocuous foul.
70 mins: What a chance for Tevez! Garcia sends Dzeko scampering totally free down the left. Tevez is completely free on a run down the middle and Dzeko tees him up. The Argentinian is one-on-one with Szczesny, tries to take it round him, but the 'keeper hits the deck smartly to claw the ball off his toe. Excellent goalkeeping, but Tevez took the wrong option.
68 mins: City are finding plenty of wide open space when they counter-attack. Gibbs has to retreat quickly to head the ball away as Tevez jumps to attempt to convert Milner's floated cross.
66 mins: Arsenal load the box as Wilshere swings a free kick into the box. Kompany heads away, Sagna sets up Cazorla from the edge of the box, but his curler is too high. The Gunners are still fighting, but the odds are obviously loaded against them and Hart is yet to be seriously tested.
65 mins: Wilshere is booked for an infringement that is missed by the cameras!
63 mins: City thread the ball cleverly into the box but Dzeko wants too much time to unleash his shot and he's crwded out by Mertesacker and Sagna. Arsenal then give it away, Dzeko gets another half-chance but once again it's blocked. As Arsenal commit more bodies forward, you wouldn't rule out City nicking a third.
62 mins: Wenger makes his final change, Aaron Ramsey coming on for Diaby.
62 mins: Wenger makes his final change, Aaron Ramsey coming on for Diaby.
60 mins: Dzeko lunges in at Wilshere and brings him down for a clear foul. Wilshere has received a fair few of those today and Vermaelen makes that point to Mike Dean, asking why Dzeko wasn't booked. Dean's response is a furious rant at the Gunners defender, making his point pretty fericously!
58 mins: City look very comfortable but Arsenal aren't giving up just yet. The crowd urge them forward, Sagna's ball in from the right is nudged goalwards by Giroud but City smash it clear.
57 mins: Oliver Giroud, just back from a knee injury, comes on for the hugely disappointing Podolski.
55 mins: Milner is a fraction late with a lunge on Wilshere and receives a booking. Ironic cheers from the Gooners.
52 mins: Sagna's cross is deflected back to the edge of the box. Gibbs has a free run at it but his blast is charged down.
49 mins: Just wide! City steal the ball from the dozing Podolski, Silva plays a lovely ball down the right for Milner who just saves it from going over the byline and chips up to the far post. Dzeko climbs all over his marker to get his head to it, but it just goes wide. Quick, incisive move by the visitors.
47 mins: Abuse is hurled at the officials again as Walcott is flagged for offside from Cazorla's pass. The decision was close, but correct.
46 mins: Arsenal, standing at the bottom of a metaphorical mountain without any hiking equipment, kick off the second half. "I'm an Arsenal fan," says Rich in Reading. Please continue Rich. "That was a penalty, a red card, poor defending on the freekick, weak by gibbs before the second. Only ourselves to blame."
HALF TIME:Boos greet the three little peeps for half time. They are directed, one assumes, at ref Mike Dean for the penalty and red card decision that has undoubtedly given City the impetus to win this game. Lots of opinions flying around about the penalty and red card. I certainly agree it was a penalty, Koscielny's foul was as blatant as they come, but I'm not certain it was a goalscoring opportunity and feel therefore the red card was unwarranted. City have run away with it and look like closing the gap to Man United back to seven points. Stay tuned for the second half.
45+1 mins: Vermaelen is booked for lunging into a tackle recklessly, carting Dzeko up into the air in the process. "When will Wenger wake up ...his defence is inept!" roars Chris in Leeds.
43 mins: Cleared off the line! Garcia climbs above Mertesacker (who came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain just after the sending-off, by the way) far too easily and smacks a header goalwards, only for Wilshere, hugging the post, to nods it off the line. Szczesny was beaten there.
42 mins: A sniff of a chance for Diaby but he shovels his shot, lifting it high over Hart's goal from the left side of the area. Loud groans from the natives.
40 mins: Arsenal produce some sustained pressure and Wilshere is fouled by Silva, 40 yards from Hart's goal. Wilshere floats it in promisingly but it's headed away very well under pressure by Kompany.
37 mins: "Ref u having a laugh never a pen or sending off," bellows Jason Williams, a Liverpool fan from Kent. "I think Mike Dean was spot on!" counters Kevin in Beckenham. I agree with you, Kevin! How is a blatant rugby tackle not a foul? It was definitely a penalty, but whether Koscielny denied a goalscoring opportunity is highly debatable. The red card was disproportionate, in this humble viewer's opinion.
34 mins: Finally Arsenal create a chance. Fine link-up play between Podolski and Diaby leads to the German smacking a shot goalwards from left of goal but it's straight down Hart's throat. It wasn't much, but it's the best thing Arsenal have produced so far.
32 mins: DZEKO MAKES NO MISTAKE THIS TIME! City are running away with this against Arsenal's forlorn ten men. Milner escapes down the right and flashes a teasing ball across the six yard line. Tevez dives at it and toes the ball goalwards, Szczesny produces a good parry but only gifts the ball to Dzeko who buries it into the net from all of two yards. A sneaky look at the linesman from the Bosnian, but the flag is down. City are cruising.
29 mins: Arsenal have a glimmer with a free kick left of the area. They load the box with bodies but Walcott's delivery is rubbish, floating it straight out for a goal kick. "I support man united so will just laugh if muppets man city drop points.they shared title with us last season neva again," says Taylor in Cornwall. Doesn't look like you'll be doing any laughing soon, Taylor.
27 mins: Another City chance as Garcia rises unchallenged to meet a left-wing cross but bullets his header wastefully wide. The action is all down one end at the moment.
26 mins: Dzeko drives the ball across the area. It was probably a shot, but it almost turns into an assist as Tevez slides in a milisecond too late to knock it past Szczesny. Seconds later, Diaby plays a brainless ball across the edge of his own box, coughing up possession to Silva. He feeds it back into the middle for Tevez to drive, but it's straight at the keeper. Arsenal in disarray at the moment.
23 mins: Podolski and Zabaleta jump for a header and the German's arm goes into the City full-back's face. It's clearly accidental, but Zabaleta throws a huge strop, accusing Podolski of all sorts of heinous crimes. Mike Dean tells him to calm down.
21 mins: WHAT A FINISH BY MILNER! Arsenal's sense of grievance gets even more acute. City win a disputed free kick, then take it quickly, with Arsenal still trying to organise themselves. Tevez dinks a cute ball into the right side of the area for MIlner, and he smashes a first time shot past Szczesny's dive and in off the far post. Unstoppable.
20 mins: Hideous finish by Dzeko! Silva nods the ball into his path on the left hand side of the area. The angle is against him but that doesn't excuse his woeful shank high into the crowd.
19 mins: Wilshere has his ankle trodden on by Garcia as they contest a tackle in midfield. The England midfielder stays down and gets a rub from the physio, but will soldier on.
16 mins: Tevez is just too short to get his head to a flick-on beyond the far post. Down the other end, Hart weakly punches away a corner that he really should have held. The loose ball drops to Walcott in the 'D' but he slices his shot horribly.
14 mins: The dust has still not settled over that penalty, with Arsenal fans chanting, "You're not fit to referee!" at Mike Dean. There were few City appeals because Dzeko didn't look likely to get the ball. It was bouncing pretty harmlessly through to Szczesny. That made Koscielny's rugby tackle all the more unnecessary and stupid. In my humble opinion, it's a good call by the referee. It was a blatant foul. It just looked very odd because no-one really appealed for it.
11 mins: SZCZESNY SAVES IT - SOMEHOW! Dzeko blasts the penalty, it hits the 'keeper's body, hits the inside of the post, rolls back along the goal line and is grabbed by Szczesny as it seems set to spin back over the line! What a truly bonkers series of events the last couple of minutes have brought us here.
9 mins: KOSCIELNY SENT OFF! MAN CITY PENALTY! This is a little bizarre. A lofted ball into the Arsenal area sees Koscielny wrestle with Dzeko and rugby tackle the striker to the ground. The ball bounces on and Szczesny lunges to touch it off Tevez's head. City's appeals are only fleeting. Everyone prepares to get on with the game, but Mike Dean blows his whistle and flashes a red card - to everybody's disbelief, not least Koscielny's! It's a penalty too, which Dezko will take...
7 mins: Both sides weaving some neat patterns in their build-up play but City look the more threatening at the business end. Barry's excellent reverse pass finds Silva just inside the box but his shot is closed down quickly and deflects over the bar.
5 mins: Milner tries to slip the ball through to Dezko but his pass is a bit clumsy, overhit through to Szczesny. "City 2 terrorize arsenal and final score 0 2 to city with tevez and balo 2 score," says Bingley in Derby.
2 mins: City get an early corner but Silva's delivery isn't too clever and Arsenal smuggle it away. It's City applying the early pressure. "Even though we both support Arsenal we cannot see them winning silverwere. Take Man city to win 2 - 1 today." say a gloomy Ian and Julie in Eastbourne.
0 mins: We are under way at The Emirates. Several big names missing from both line-ups and 900 City fans missing from the away end due to the dispute over ludicrous ticket prices, but you won't miss a thing this afternoon on orange.co.uk!
1555: After Manchester United's victory over Liverpool earlier, ten points is now the gap City have to make up. Defeat here in north London, where City don't have a great record, and you'd have to feel the title 'race' would look a bit of a canter. Send your predictions, thoughts and any burning personal issues in to me by using the boxes on your right.
1530: We have breaking news and team news from The Emirates. Firstly, apparently a 'suspect package' has been found at the stadium (several wags on Twitter have already suggested it might be a trophy, and that Arsenal officials didn't recognise what it was). No suggestion of a delayed kick off though. Now the team news - Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko start for City, Mario Balotelli's on the bench and Sergio Aguero is injured. Yaya and Kolo Toure are on Africa Cup of Nations duty and former Gunner Samir Nasri is suspended. Aleksandr Kolorov is fit again but only a substitute. Abou Diaby is back for Arsenal and Theo Walcott will play through the middle again. Olivier Giroud is only on the bench due to a recent knee injury.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 13 January 2013, 4:00pm
- Emirates Stadium
- Attendance: 60,107
Manchester City's first league win at Arsenal in 37 years was aided by Laurent Koscielny's early red card but nonetheless deserved as goals from James Milner and Edin Dzeko secured a 2-0 victory in the capital.
Arsenal were not happy with referee Mike Dean over Koscielny's dismissal and City even less so when with 15 minutes left captain Vincent Kompany was sent-off for a challenge on Jack Wilshere deemed dangerous by the match official.
Less than ten minutes had elapsed when Arsenal hit the self-destruct button. Gareth Barry's looping header back into the home side's box saw Dzeko turn Koscielny, who reacted to the danger with a challenge agricultural to the extent that it was met with a red card and penalty award.
Dzeko stepped up but saw his spot-kick strike Wojciech Szczesny's outstretched legs before coming back off the far post and rolling into the arms of Arsenal's relieved goalkeeper.
It was a reprieve that was to prove only temporary as City forged ahead on 20 minutes when from a quick free-kick Arsenal were again caught napping. After the ball was worked to Carlos Tevez his cute slide-rule pass was dispatched with venom and accuracy courtesy of James Milner's angled drive from around 12 yards.
With ten-man Arsenal looking disjointed and on the ropes City went for the jugular and delivered the knock-out blow of a second goal just five minutes later. Trademark Pablo Zabaleta appetite for the fight brushed an insipid Kieran Gibbs off the ball before he set Milner on his way down the right. Tevez's prod for goal from his team-mate's low delivery forced Szczesny into a save but he could only parry straight into the feet of Dzeko no more than a yard out.
Thereafter the rest of the first half proved to be the proverbial stroll in the park for City as only Wilshere's presence on the goal-line prevented Javi Garcia from adding a headed third from Milner's corner.
After the interval Arsenal at least dug a little deeper but still it was City who conjured the first real opportunity when Milner stood one up at the back post only for Dzeko to head over.
Wilshere drove the play forward wherever possible and it was from one of his bursting runs that Gibbs saw his drive from the edge of the box blocked by the industrious Milner.
Referee Dean was busier than either goalkeeper though for the most part of an ill-tempered rather than malicious contest that saw Thomas Vermaelen, Milner, Wilshere, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Garcia and Gareth Barry all pick up bookings.
With 20 minutes remaining and City content to hit Arsenal on the counter-attack, Tevez was guilty of profligacy when after he was played through by Dzeko an over-elaborate attempt to round Szczesny allowed the keeper to save.
Substitute Olivier Giroud will be disappointed with a headed effort wide from a set-piece but it will be Kompany's red card that will be given more column inches. The Belgian's tackle on Wilshere looked to take the ball but Dean ruled it to be two-footed and dangerous.
City spent the remainder of the contest largely on the back foot but for the most part Arsenal were restricted to no more than half chances, with substitute Joleon Lescott earning his win bonus when clearing Theo Walcott's late effort off the line in a rare moment of genuine danger.
Roberto Mancini's side kept their heads though to stay within seven points of neighbours and league leaders Manchester United.