….or, a tale of two City’s
Arsenal put Manchester City out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory in extra time.
There is a saying that football is a game of two halves but in reality this was a game of 1 half, the 2nd half. The first half was composed of 3 motors running at half speed, as Arsenal, City, and, the team of Officials not operating at anywhere near their best.
With the commencement of the 2nd half, the game began. Two great goals by Monreal and Aguero put the battle on even feet before Sanchez’s extra time winner gave Arsenal some reason for hope in a dreary season.
There seem to be two Mancheter City’s this season. The team of stars, able to break down any defence, and, the underachieving team on display today.
City rightly point out that they had a goal disallowed. But, are there really grounds to complain when:
1/ Sections of the Arsenal defense had stopped competing, thinking that the ball had gone out of play? And,
2/ Arsenal should have had a penalty, which Howard Webb(as a commentator) confirmed was beyond doubt?
However, City had put the ball in the back of the net, and, the ball was NEVER out of play, so, despite the above 2 issues, they should have been awarded the goal.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are faring well with their new formation of a back 3, and some would question the inclusion of Monreal and the exclusion of Bellerin. However, Monreal was a revelation today and not just a goal scorer.
People will be critical of Guardiola, especially as he won’t secure his customary trophy in his first season, however, his win percentage is a healthy 62.96%(wikipedia) in his first season, not too shabby!
For the stats buffs, here are the match stats:
Possession: Arsenal 34% City 66%
Shots: Arsenal 9/3 On Target City 20/3
Corners: Arsenal 6 City 7
Fouls 20 each