• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

City chase consolation against Arsenal

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The last has not been seen in the English Premier League. The quest for the prestigious tittle comes alive this weekend as Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

The two sides met earlier in a pre-season friendly where Arsenal defeated City 3-1. Theo Walcott scored the first in the opening stages before providing assists for Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud. Alvaro Negredo scored consolation goal for City.

Both teams are meeting for the second time in the Premier League this season; first leg saw City humiliate Arsenal 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium.  Goals from Argentina prolific striker,Aguero, Negerdo, YayaToure and a brace from Brazilian midfielder Fernandino gave the sky Blue side the needed goals that sunk Arsenal. City are second on the table below leaders Chelsea, but with two games in hand.

Manuel Pellegrini side is seeking to ignite their title chance after losing out in the FA Cup and Champions league to Barcelona.  A must win for the team will see them claim the top spot, provided Chelsea slip against Crystal Palace.

City kept a clean sheet for the fifth-successive game for the first time ever in the Barclays Premier League.

Pellegrini revealed that he is very pleased with his side defensive record, especially since the turn of the year.

The Chilean manager identified his side’s balanced approach to attacking and defending as the key factor in the convincing 3-0 win over Manchester United.

City have now won three consecutive games at Old Trafford for the first time in 42 years after EdinDzeko’s brace and YayaToure’s late strike sink United.

It was an unexpectedly quiet night for Joe Hart in the City goal but that was testament to the equilibrium that exists in the collective, according to the Blues’ boss.

“I think that we really did a very good performance in all senses,” Pellegrini said.

“We scored three goals, we had three or four more clear chances and I really don’t remember one single clear chance United had to score.

“We were a very compact and aggressive team from the beginning and we started for the three points from the first minute.”

Arsenal has struggled with form in recent matches due to injuries to key players and poor level of consistency in the past few months.

One of which is bashing received from Chelsea on Wenger’s special day. The Blues humiliated Arsenal with a 6-0 victory on Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge for Arsenal.

After the trashing at Stamford Bridge, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal needed a win at all costs.

After having their confidence shaken by their mauling at the hands of Jose Mourinho, this was never going to be a comfortable night for Arsenal. However, supporters arrived at the Emirates Stadium hoping for an emphatic response rather than more collateral damage.

Mathieu Flamini’s injury-time own goal put the final nail in the coffin of Arsenal’s title hopes after gifting Swansea a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

They finished the night with a costly draw. A season that looked like sustaining a title challenge now threatens to dissolve into a customary fight for fourth place.

On the same evening, Everton won convincingly at Newcastle. They’re now just six points behind Arsenal, with a game in hand and a fixture between the two sides at Goodison Park to come.

Is Arsenal’s assault on the title over? This is a must win game for Arsenal following their Chelsea drubbing and they failed to deliver against Swansea. Now six points off Chelsea and three behind Man City who have two games in hand, it looks like the Gunners have missed out on their first title since 2003/04.

Should Arsene Wenger get another chance to put this right? Like David Moyes at Manchester United, there is no longer any guarantee that time is what the manager needs, nor that money might better be spent under a different leader.

This collapse against rivals is now as much a trademark for Arsenal as their counter-attacks were.

Arsenal still have an FA Cup semi-final to play and perhaps claim the Cup as a consolation for their fans and also put an end to their nine years trophyless spell.

Anthony Nlebem