Manchester City vs Arsenal Match Analysis

Written By : Bhavdeep Singh

Arsenal travelled to The Etihad to fight what could possibly be the most interesting top 4 battle in a long time. A win would’ve helped both sides secure a spot in the top 4, along with allowing Arsenal to battle against Tottenham for the second position as well. A win for Arsenal or a draw would also mean Manchester United could take Manchester City’s position provided they win both their remaining games.

It was a pretty interesting match but there were no winners, the game ended 2-2 after some glorious goals by Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.

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Analysis

Manchester City

Manchester City played very well, especially in the second half, a great finish by Aguero in the first half put them in control, which didn’t really fade away as the game went on. There were some great balls in the box and a few impeccable plays, but none yielded a positive result, other than the goal by KDB, another class finish. Defensively, the wings didn’t seem as much of a threat but the central defenders could’ve done better to avoid at least the second goal.

  • Joe Hart couldn’t do much for either goal, but had a good command over the box and the back four, could be passed as just a bad day for the Englishman
  • Bacary Sagna was retained after the loss at Madrid in midweek, wasn’t tested as much but did his part on the wing

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  • Nicolas Otamendi did very well to make up for the missing Vincent Kompany, commanded the defence well and made important interceptions, a good game for him but not the result he would’ve wanted
  • Eliaquim Mangala could possibly be going out with Pellegrini at the end of the season, he didn’t have a bad game overall, but could’ve done better in dealing with the second goal
  • Gael Clichy could be put as the reason Arsenal equalised in the first place, a sloppy header to Hart almost ended behind the net and Giroud scored from the resulting corner, wouldn’t say he had a good game
  • Jesus Navas looked dangerous down the wing and did well to pass the ball to Aguero which resulted in the first goal

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  • Fernandinho did poorly when it came to the corner, allowed Giroud to be free which further allowed him to score, however, did his job as a midfielder.
  • Fernando looked dangerous in the centre, handled the physical play well and moved the ball around nicely, not a lot of problems.
  • Kevin De Bruyne scored a magnificent goal in the second half, tucking it right in the bottom corner, had a good second half after a not-so-good first one.

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  • Kelechi Ihenacho had a chance to score in the second half, but being a finisher, he took it upon himself to score, only to steer it wide. Could’ve done better, especially in that situation, not a good display by an otherwise fantastic player
  • Sergio Aguero was the one who scored the first goal, a brilliant finish into the bottom corner, had a good game, but could’ve scored a winner on KDB’s volley, not the result he wanted.

Overall, not a bad game for them but they paid the price for their mistakes, and subject to the West Ham vs Manchester United match later today, these mistakes might have cost them a spot in the top 4 and subsequently, in the Champions League.

Arsenal

They seemed to be struggling to get the ball in the first half and paid the price for it in 8 minutes as Aguero shot for goal, a good header by Giroud saw them equalise till half time after which the condition improved, but not as much as they would’ve wanted as KDB struck and they were left to equalise again (Sanchez 68′). Arsenal never seemed to be on the front foot, and it showed as they would always concede first and then have the drive to score, they certainly need to work on their mid field which was simply outclassed at times by the likes of Fernando and KDB.

  • Petr Cech, along with Joe Hart is in the race for the golden glove, but he certainly didn’t play like he wanted it, he was slow to get down for the second goal and overall had a sad time clearing the ball, it could just be a one time thing, but it must be checked.
  • Hector Bellerin could’ve done better to avoid the second goal as he was pushed away too easily by KDB and quite surprisingly so as he had been able to deal with him quite well in the first half.

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  • Gabriel Paulista was pretty solid over the period of the game and provided a good block to Aguero’s goal bound effort.
  • Laurent Koschielny yet again proved why he captained the team, had a good command over the defence and stood strong in the face of the city attackers.
  • Nacho Monreal had a sad first half as he was outclassed by Navas on the wing, however was able to come back in the second period and shut him down
  • Mohammad Elneny could’ve done better to avoid Aguero’s goal when he had the chances (yep, two of them) needs to improve defensively in general as well.
  • Aaron Ramsey seemed to be doing what Elneny should’ve, that is defend well, but couldn’t get in front as much as he would’ve wanted to, had he done so, Arsenal just might have pulled through and won it.
  • Alexis Sanchez seemed to be invisible for the first half, but had a good second half, especially after the skilful equaliser.

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  • Alex Iwobi didn’t threaten the City defence as much and was rightly subbed off 5 minutes into the second half
  • Daniel Welbeck hobbled off the pitch as he picked up a knock which could affect his participation in the Euros. He was replaced by Jack Wilshere who seemed to cover up for him pretty well, and had a good game overall.
  • Olivier Giroud scored the all important first equalizer, took advantage of being left free and placed his header well to land it behind the net, overall a good game after assisting Sanchez with a good one-two for their second goal.

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Overall, an okay display by the gunners but could’ve done way better and perhaps won it to challenge the spurs for second position

The last match of the season will decide where the two teams will end up, while for Arsenal, the top 4 seems to be confirmed, City’s champions league hopes largely depend on Manchester United, the top 4 saga continues tonight as the latter head on to Upton Park for West Ham’s final game at their old home.

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Picture Credits: Arsenal FC Facebook, Manchester City FC Facebook
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