Arsenal v Man City – It’s a bitter pill to swallow but I’m proud of the boys

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.


Tags Arsenal v Man City


  1. Man City’s attackers are world class divers, namely Sterling, Silva and Jesus. We only have Lacazette in the front line, who’s great in making technical fouls and in pretending to be fouled

    Sadly, the dirty methods are parts of top football competitions. Man City have successfully preyed upon our young players’ naivety and they’ll learn how to be better actors as they grow older

  2. Var inconsistency blar blar blar top and bottom is we were up for it against a tired Man City and didn’t take our’s simple if martinelli scores the open goal then it’s 2-1 and no red card situation.that’s the worst city have played all season but still won,only got ourselves to blame not var they were there for the taking

  3. So, has every single gooner worldwide noted the obvious that is staring everyone in the face?
    Mikel Arteta is the luckiest Manager we have ever had, but for just how long will his luck run out?
    Exactly a year ago he was forced to completely change his system of play against Chelsea on Boxing Day due solely to injuries. ESR came in, we dominated the game, and other than the odd match that Arteta got hopelessly wrong (Villereal- Southampton FA Cup the idiot), the new system and younger players began to show us something that was never obvious prior to Xmas.
    This season? Again it’s something that Arteta has stumbled into wen forced to drop Aubamayang. Make no mistake, if the player had not wronged, he would still be playing every game, we would still be struggling to score goals, and Arteta would be under pressure as he has been all seasons up to now.
    The question is this. Just how many more times will this novice be allowed to completely stumble into the answers to the mess he has created?

    1. Great managers are pro active good managers are reactive. Im not saying Arteta isnt a good coach/manager, he is. My problem from the beginning is, he isnt pro active. I think/though that would change as he grew into the role but i dont see that yet. Most of the best decisions in our team, have been forced. His best skills are organisation, his worst is seeing the big picture.

      1. That’s an interesting take on it Reggie and certainly not one I’d thought of.
        Two years into his role there are still things for him to contemplate and put right but over all I’m much happier now with how the team are playing. I was proud of the how much the team wanted to win. It was like a cup final loss in the way that they reacted after the final whistle.

        1. Sue P, Wenger came to this country and was probably the most pro active managers in the game. His problem was (he never lost his management skills) he lost his ability to do things ahead of trouble. He tried to follow not lead and he tried to copy Barcelona, he stubournly didn’t accept his regime had stopped working and he had lost the ability to be first with new ideas. Great managers take chances that others dont and are aware of problems before they do you real damage. They come up with new ideas before others, thats the difference. They dont throw out problems, if that problem can be turned into a positive, they work with it to improve it. One of the greatest peice of pro active management was for me done by Fergie. His handling of Eric Cantonna, 99% of all managers would have binned Eric after Palace. Your great managers do things outside of the box.

          1. Excellent post Reggie
            I’ve written on here before that I think Arteta will be a successful manager but I’m not convinced at an elite level. Time will tell

          2. @Reggie
            Well laid out Gooner.
            AWs problem wasn’t with trying to emulate Barca. It was with the players he chose to do it with.

  4. The result was fair and we will learn more from the defeat than if we had won.
    City only had two days recovery where as we had 5 days and we were at home.
    City showed their class and were exerting huge pressure when the penalty and the red card came. Their last minute goal is what a team ranked in the worlds top 3 for 5 years does.
    Arsenals finally relenting under the 2nd half pressure is only to be expected from the leagues youngest team. City rarely got out of 3rd gear where as we were in 5th from the off which is why we faded in the last quarter.
    So an expected result. Immediately we have two Carabao cup semis FA Cup tie v Forest then Spurs away in the league. We then have two games a week for the next 4 and half months FA Cup, scheduled PL games and so far 3 PL catch up fixtures. January transfer window will be interesting. It’s all go till the end of the season 🙂 The cups are a bonus but I’d rather make Europe from the league. 5th/6th was my summer prediction and I stay with this.

  5. I believe Holding was responsible for the winner. He was not physical enough to hold down a Rodri .
    Not good enough as a backup, only good at marking Diego Costa

    1. Rodri was incredibly lucky the ball fell perfectly for him. Don’t forget Holding was in a ten man side against the run away leader all the time he was on and also he has played so little football. We finally paid the penalty for playing the same team all season. That’s where European football allows more opportunity for the reserves to keep in nick. Knowing the ref had given a penalty and a red card against us would also be on his mind.

    2. What of Elneny, Why did the cross arrive in the box to start with. He had just come on with fresh legs, he should have run straight to the guy who crossed(was it Debruyne?) instead of dancing a few meters away. Always check the origin of the danger in football, Elneney was at fault.

  6. We played really well. Deserve to win, really happy for the first time even in if we lost .
    We should be 3_0 before the penalty. Our inexperienced young squad need to learnt from these.
    Couple of poor finishing and temper is the main reason we lost.

    1. Couldn’t agree more! They made the club very proud and i think they know if they keep this together they have something great brewing.

      We just need to now get in this market to replace Auba & Eddie sales with one attacker incoming, Add Zakaria to that once Elneny & AMN leave for good & Partey gone for 4weeks, Plus could pave the way for Xhaka to eventually leave as Lokonga, Zakaria and Partey, with either Øde & SmithRowe infront isnt bad now.

      Laca here to June at least to see the season out and push for Top4.

  7. We did brilliant yday, very proud of all the gunners and the fans who stayed behind at the end to show support to the massive improvements we are beginning to ser with the youngsters.

    Small factors of our own doing played their parts.

    1st half Martinelli should score at lest one of his two chances, the 2nd being that great run to just see it go by the post, plus Øde was fouled and should’ve had a penalty all before we went 1-0 up.

    We could’ve and shoulve been out of site in the 1st half. We will learn we are a very young team from that 1st half to be more ruthless, When we learn how to be we will be a force.

    2nd half we started as we left the 1st with City still not a shot on target then Xhaka 🤦‍♂️ does what he does, dive or not it was clumsy and a penalty. Its what he does so i hope Mikel saw sitting on his sofa what we do.

    We completely lose our composure.

    Gabriel gets a silly booking to which we have heard he didnt warrant a booking at all but the challenge on Jesus defo did but just before that Ake clears off line and Martinellis rebound hits outside of the post, should be burying it but watch the refs position before gabby shoots? If he scores then the resulting GK to which leads to the sending off doesnt happen.

    Not until the 93rd min did city get their 1st actual shot from open play on target, Penalty was their 1st and only up to that point.

    We done so well against the champions elect running away with the league and deserved all 3 points but its our own doing with small factors that when are kinked out of the players then we will see a challenging Arsenal side in Europe in the very near future

    1. I may well be the only gunner out there who feels that we deserved to lose that game yesterday. This may sound odd , but we must be totally critical of ourselves if we must get this team right. Our players naivety in handling a match of this nature stared blatantly at us all. They were on top of Man city all through the period before the pathetic sending off of Gabriel. Our players were naive because they couldn’t fathom within them that they were on top of the game, hence they needed a Solomon’s wisdom to manage the game to a winnable conclusion. That fact is a huge negative on our young side. As the game wore on, they should have k own amongst themselves that they had City to cleaners and didn’t need to do anything untoward to see the game through. Those two incidences that changed the outcome of the game were never necessary ( I mean the foul that led to their penalty, and the Gabriel sending off). A team that knew what they had on wouldn’t have made those mistakes.
      The second thing that cost us the match was our inability to capitalise on our dominance and superior play to score goals to finish City off in the first half. We lacked the razor-sharp finishing touch. Don’t talk of Aubameyang here because he wouldn’t have fared better here. We lacked a thorough-bred finisher, and our attackers lacked the composure and cutting-edge to rout City. Yes, we would have finished them off in the first half. They were there for the taking.
      Third thing was that we gave them too much respect. Our players probably never knew that City wouldn’t pose a tough challenge as to not even record an attempt at our goal mouth. To some extent we played with the hand brakes on, even when we were dominating proceedings. That was a grave error when playing a team of City’s status.
      Immediately we conceded the equalizer, we became anxious to regain our lead which probably led to anxiety and Gabriel’s error. Martinelli missing that golden chance of rebound was uncharacteristic, and was probably out of anxiety. Immediately after Gabriel was sent off for a second yellow. After those episodes it was all goi g to be one way, the City way. The winner was inevitable given that City knew they had numerical advantage. It was just a matter of time , of sustained pressure at our defence for an error that will lead to that winner. The rest was history.
      Now, the point is we threw away the game, and not that City won. So we deserved to lose. We must face these facts and look ahead to complete the building of this wonderful team. The building is still in process, but the major works has been done. We can point out these points to the management. First, we must sign courageous and intelligent
      players who can rise up to the occasion when the occasion demands. Yesterday, Partey showed why he came from a top team. He was initially the one player that played with confidence and courage against City before the other players came into the game. His confidence must have rubbed off on them. We need intelligent players who can read games and understand tempo and other variables that produce advantage, then capitalising on such situations. Skill and talent alone might not be enough. Second, we need a good striker who can combine the role of Lacazette and finishing. Lacazette is good but the current style of play limits his scoring potentials immensely. Age is not also on his side. To make top four, we must get such a player. We have about a couple to recommend from the premiership who will not find bedding and adjusting to the boils of Premiership difficult. St.Maxime of Newcastle and Jimenez of Wolves come to mind. Third we need a reliable defensive midfielder to relieve Xhaka of his woes. Xhaka might be good at what he does but his errors outweigh his positives a great deal, and it’s costingus dear. We need a fast defensive midfielder to do this job. I still believe that Maitland Niles is the guy, but if he must leave then, Neves, Zakari, Bruno Gunierrez of Lyon, or the guy at Brighton and Hoves ( forgotten his name, the black guy in their midfield). Any of these guys can do the job.
      We can further sweeten the team with a couple of other experienced signings to guide these young guns through the type of moment we experienced yesterday.

      1. @Acho- I totally agree with you. Since when was it acceptable to lose? Are we not better than that?
        Whichever way we look at the game itself, the reality is we lost. The performance was encouraging, but that’s all. We lost a game we should have won. Good teams find a way of winning. City proved this yesterday and we didn’t.

  8. I feel the same Konstantin.

    We played really well. I think City did not have a goal on target in the first half.

    The energy in Arsenal is now just amazing
    We are a few players from being at the level of the top 3.

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