Going into Saturday’s game, will Arsenal’s FA Community Shield victory over Man City put them as favorites? by SE
FA Community Shield
As sporting outfits and sportspersons always look back at the history and head-to-head records – before going into a marquee clash – let us also recollect what happened when Arsenal faced Manchester City in the annual curtain raiser at the Wembley stadium in August. With both teams set to battle it out for the first time in the Premier League season this weekend, will Arsenal’s FA Community Shield victory over the reigning English champions put them as favorites?
Recollecting Arsenal’s 3-0 victory
With both teams coming off from their respective pre-season campaigns, in addition to missing pivotal personnel in each of their starting lineups, it was difficult to anticipate what kind of a game was in store for us. But, given the brand of football, both Man City and Arsenal play week in and week out, I expected it to be a high-tempo affair. Contrastingly, it was all one-way traffic on the evening, with Arsenal pulverizing the Premier League champions by 3-0 and, thereby, taking the early honors between the teams into the brand new season.
Cazorla, Ramsey and Giroud were on the score sheet for Arsenal, who had three of their five new recruits starting for them. Sanchez, Chambers and Debuchy started for the Gunners who setup in a 4-3-3 system, which saw Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere play as the midfield three. Sanchez, Cazorla and Sanogo played as the three forwards, as the Arsenal machine functioned smoothly over the course of 90 minutes.
Arsenal dominated the midfield, owing to their numerical advantage over Man City’s midfield duo of Toure and Fernando, which was the lynchpin to the game panning out in the manner it did. Manchester City were legged in their passing and, although they created a handful of clear chances, didn’t do enough to gain anything respectable out of the game.
The awe-inspiring moment of the evening came through Giroud; the Frenchman, a second half substitute, hit a 25-yard thunderbolt, which, albeit deflected, bamboozled Caballero and left the Premier League champions high and dry.
Looking ahead to the game on Saturday
Apparently, a lot has happened since that evening in August, with both teams enjoying a mediocre start to their respective campaigns. Arsenal, albeit still undefeated in the Premier League, have looked a shadow of themselves and need to hit their strides sooner rather than later. Man City, on the other hand, after a brilliant first couple of games in their league campaign, suffered an ignominious defeat at home to Stoke City, before the international break.
Man City have plenty of injury concerns going into the game, which, however, could see them play a 5-man midfield and thwart Arsenal from enjoying large spells of possession. The home side, on the other hand, would want to get off to a good start after the international break – with a win over Man City – as the month of September doesn’t get any easier for either of these sides.
The FA Community shield win for Arsenal shouldn’t have much of a bearing, going into the game on Saturday. However, being the home side, Arsenal should harness their home support to win those three crucial points against Man City. It’s definitely not beyond Wenger’s wizards to put it past the reigning English champions for the second time this season, which, so far, hasn’t got going.