By 1970’s Gooner
Arsenal didn’t start well and allowed Manchester City to settle in the game in the early stages. The very late substitution during the warm up of Senderos with Gilberto was probably part of the reason.
Gilberto looked slow and kept making positional mistakes during the first half hour which put the back line under unnecessary pressure. He did however pick up the pace as the game wore on.
It seems that what we all thought was behind Wenger’s decision to let Djourou go out on loan is probably true. He is intending to use Gilberto in this position when needed.
But the turning point of the game was not the penalty miss as you may have thought but Sagna’s injury (inflicted by Flamini).
This forced Wenger to move Flamini to right back (who performed excellently) and bring Denilson on in midfield. He run the show! This boy is going to be a wonderful Arsenal player.
Prior to this Arsenal again did not really dominate the midfield the way we have been accustomed to. I pointed to this possibility in the preview of the game. When Diaby and Gilberto get fit Arsenal will revert to the levels of domination we are accustomed to.
Again Arsenal lacked width as the wide players were not that penetrative. Hleb in particular has reverted to old ways: almost always coming inside rather than going passed his player (except for the penalty)and again afraid to shoot.
Come back Eboue and Walcott. The latter mysteriously not even on the bench.
Overall it was again an anxious striven win; the goal coming at the later stages of the game to liberate all of us from what we feared will be a nil nil draw.
Let’s hope we improve when the missing players return to action.