For Arsenal fans, It’s a very hard pill to swallow
by Konstantin Mitov
Well lovely Arsenal people, I am gutted. I had a feeling we’d give City a proper game and I feel honestly we were unlucky. We did not deserve to lose this game. I am so proud of the boys and so deflated with the result.
So what happened? Well we put out hands down the best 45 minutes of football I’ve seen in years from Arsenal. To go against this Man City team and outplay them like we did is amazing. For me what undid us in the end was our naivety.
We gave away a silly penalty. There’s just no reason to pull Bernardo there. Did he go down before he was touched? Of course he did – it’s what footballers do. Was it a penalty? No, in my opinion, but when Xhaka is pulling his shirt, he’s giving VAR a reason to pull the ref to the cam and I just knew we were screwed. It’s just unacceptable from an experienced player like him, but you know what you’re getting with Granit.
Than Gabriel lost his head, he earned a stupid yellow and minutes later he was sent off. But after the penalty we almost immediately scored again, Ake clearing from the spot kick before Martinelli missed an open goal. If we had scored there, what a slap in the face it would have been, because City barely created chances, and yes, you are reading correctly, we restricted them.
The unfortunate truth is that despite some shocking refereeing, because Odegaard was 100% a penalty if what City was awarded is a pen, we gave in to the emotion. We lost our heads when we conceded and missed our chances, and ultimately lost a game we didn’t deserve to lose.
It’s difficult to blame the players, because the performance was stellar no matter the result, but Gabriel shouldn’t have gotten a second yellow card like that. We have to cut out these kinds of mistakes. Getting into the top 4 requires consistency and that result would’ve been so massive for us.
There are still 18 games and a lot can happen, I just feel the mentality of the squad now will be tested again. Liverpool twice in the cup and then Spurs are really tough games with a lot on the line. Partey is going to AFCON, so is Elneny, and I hope we do something in January to boost our chances for the top 4.
And getting it is massively important if we intend to keep players like Saka and Martinelli, because at this age they are sensational. Tommiyasu was fantastic again, and had Sterling in his pocket. It hurts, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to bounce back. This was literally the best team in the league, if we can dominate them, there’s nothing to fear.