It was on a Sunday, the 24th of October, 2010. the 9th match of the season with Arsenal behind the newly arab petro City with 3 points. Adebayor had scored a hattrick for city in the Europa League and it was like a preparation for the gunners visit.
The gunners had Fabianski in goal, Djourou and Squillaci were the center back pairing with Clichy and Sagna manning the flanks. Denilson and Song were the defensive midfielders with the trio of Nasri, Fabregas and Arshavin attacking. Moroccan Chamakh was upfront alone. Szszesny, Koscienly, Eboue, Bendtner, Gibbs, Rosicky and Walcott were on the bench.
The citizens had Hart, Richards, Kompany, Boateng, Boyata, Milner, Barry, Silva, De Jong, Yaya Toure and Tevez on the pitch with Given, Bridge, Lescott, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Adebayor and Balotelli.
It was a game tagged: Cash vs Class.
City had spent 100million that summer and within 5 minutes they were down to 10 men. Boyata had fouled Chamakh as the last man and he had to have an early shower paving way for an Arsenal routing. The sending off may have paved the way for the gunners but Arsenal out played their counterparts.
20″ Nasri and Arshavin played a one-two on the right-hand side of the area and the Frenchman escaped the attentions of Gareth Barry to fire past Hart at the near post. 1-0 Arsenal.
Fabregas went on to miss a penalty after being hactched by Kompany. But Arsenal pressured on in the second half camping in City’s half until Song swung in an upper cut goal that more or less cemented the tie. Adebayor had come in before the goal but he could do nothing.
Bad boy Balotelli had a stint but could not muster a goal for the blue half of manchester.
In came Bendtner, just back from a lenghty injury on the 84th minute and within 4 minutes the Dane had scored a goal. Nasri prevented the ball from rolling into touch and feed Bendtner. The tired city defence couldnt catch up with the sudden ball and the Dane scored one of his best goals in Arsenal colours.
with 62% of possesion, the Citizens were outplayed and Arsenal held on for a first clean sheet in 16 away games and only their second league victory on the road since March 2010. Vintage.
That was 3 years ago. tomorrow is another day to inflict a defeat to this money laden city side. Of the 11 players that satrted that match only Sagna and Fabianski is still at the Emirates. How time has flown. Nasri and Clichy jumped ship to City. All of our bench that day are still around except the lovable Eboue who is in Turkey. Hope he wont be banned for his Madiba shirt.
On the city side, Hart is shaking now, Vieira has retired and his mouth is running like that tap saying Arsenal dont have winning team, Adebayor is lost at the lane, Balotelli went home and Barry wanted more playing time.
Szczesny has risen to number one and Koscienly has a partnership with Metersacker that scares opponents. With the best away defence and the best away attack, Arsenal must fancy winning City at their back yard.
The pace of Walcott, the trickery of Ozil, the agility of Flamini, the engine of Ramsey, the zeal of Rosicky, the no-nonsense Koscienly, the calculated Metersacker, the forward runs of Gibbs, the flicks of Giroud, the saves of Szczesny, the will of Wilshere and the Tactics of Wenger would hopefully see the gunners through.
Be it 3-0 win like that match or a mere 1-0 arteta-like win, Arsenal must overcome the Citizens.