It was clear from the way Arsenal started this away game against the current Premier League champions, as well as the starting line-up selected by Arsene Wenger, that the Gunners had learned some painful lessons in recent years and were determined not to be too open.
We have seen some of these big away games practically over before they got started when we went in with attacking intent, so Wenger;s tactics were sound. Despite a bit of early nervousness, the Gunners did well to stay compact and deny the City players any time or space with the ball, but that also meant we were not doing much at the other end and were largely relying on a quick counter attack which Alexis nearly produced a couple of times in the first 15 minutes.
A Cazorla corner caused confusion in the Man City box but HGart got away with a flapped punch out. And we grew in confidence and started to press forwards more and got a great reward for our good start, when Monreal won a 25th minute penalty after being blocked by Kompany. Super Santi smashed it home with confidence.
And the Gunners were clever and composed and made sure for the next 10 minutes that we gave no easy chance for the home side to equalise. But we had put a lot of effort in and towards halftime we started to flag a bit and City really put us under pressure. But we stayed strong and got to the break still ahead.
City brought Jovetic on for Milner and went 4-4-2 and for some reason we let ourselves get drawn into a more open game. Silva had moved to the left and was starting to find more space and it seemed to throw us off our plan. But we were also thinking about hitting them on the break and killing the game off and we came really close twice in as many minutes but Ramsey fired just over on the first and Cazorla’s control let him down on the second.
We were committimg men forwards though and it was leaving us exposed so with half an hour to go, we seemed to calm down and go back to the first half tactics a bit more. Rosicky came on for the Ox to freshen things up and perhaps combat Lampard coming on. And our job got easier agter Giroud pounced to head our second from a Cazorla free kick, meaning there was no need to push players forward. Someone needed to tell Bellerin though.
In general ythough, we defended really well and still had some chances to score a third. Gibbs and Flamini came on for the last 10 minutes for Ramsey and Alexis who had run themselves into the ground. A brilliant performance and a long awaited away win against one of the really big rivals. Man City 0 – Arsenal 2 COYG