By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal started this first chance to win a trophy with the following team: Szczesny, Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Sanogo.
So a first start for Alexis in the first match with something at stake. And Sanogo was preferred to Giroud after his 4 goals in the Emirates cup and after Giroud showing his complete unfitness in his first 45 minutes.
Well the opening half an hour was almost all Arsenal. Man City could get to a few corners but that was it. Arsenal worked the ball better and Cazorla, Ramsey and Alexis were all very much on the ball and lively. Sanogo also was involved in a few good moves and the first chance fell to him but the excellent cross from Debuchy could not be diverted in goal as a City defender and Sanogo headed the ball at the same time. Debuchy showed in that opening half hour he got an excellent cross in his right foot.
Cazorla threathened also and then Debuchy was also very important when suddenly the ball fell for Nasri and it was the chest of Debuchy that blocked the shot from the ex-Gunner. City protesting for handball but why ref had it right. Alexis showing what a hard worker he is by also blocking a shot at that moment. Gibbs also with a good run but this time a City block.
The goal that you felt would come finally came. An attack from the right Sanogo with a lay off to Wilshere who was brought down but the ball fell to Cazorla who once again showed his two-footed skills. Dragging it to his left foot and his low shot found the bottom corner. The same corner as in the cup final. A good omen? 0-1 to the Arsenal.
A next shot from Sanogo when he was released by Cazorla went wide. But then Man City came to live. And Nasri missed a golden chance but I think it was the fact that Chambers got a little touch on the cross that made him miss the ball. Man City finally opening up however gave Arsenal some freedom on the counter.
Alexis with a lovely ball to Sanogo who turned inside and he gave the ball to the on-storming Ramsey. He went pass one defender and then buried the ball in the left bottom corner. 0-2 to the Arsenal just before half time. What a great moment to score that second goal.
Lots of changes at half time. The Ox came for Alexis, Kos went off and Monreal came on in the centre of defence. And Sanogo was replaced by Giroud.
The changes meant that Arsenal now only had one defender from last season on the pitch in Gibbs. And City having brought on Silva was the more dangerous team at the start of the second half. A header from Jovetic was palmed away by Szczesny with a little help from the goalpost. And then the assistant was completely blind when the ball ran out of play but the assistant let City go on in their attack and a fierce shot from Touré had to be stopped by Szczesny with an excellent safe. But what a miss from the assistant.
Time to restore the order must have thought Giroud. So they said I don’t score against big teams. So they said I don’t score but easy tap ins. So they said I don’t score from outside the penalty area. So they said I was the next scapegoat for the ever moaning part of our fans that need to moan about something. Giroud got the ball some 22 meters from goal steadied himself with a defender in his neck and two defenders in front of him and unleashed a fierce shot that went in just under the crossbar. What a goal! And Arsenal leading 0-3.
Then we had all kinds of changes. Flamini and Rosicky also coming on and in the closing stages also Campbell made his official Arsenal debut at Wembley. The match was well over after the 3rd goal and City conceded their defeat and just tried to score a consolation goal. But the make shift Arsenal defence didn’t want that to happen.
Calum Chambers was amazing in the heart of the Arsenal defence. He was always there or around and was impressive. Well done young man! Debuchy had one horrible moment when he played it back to Szczesny but hadn’t seen the City player who was too tired to get back but again Chambers came to the rescue. Just a few moments of being too nervous but that is not abnormal I would say. With a bit more confidence he will get over that and I think we might have another excellent player for the next 10 years or even more. I can’t help but he gives me a bit of a Tony Adams feeling for now…. goosebumps!
Monreal being a central defender for a few times this pre-season was a bit of a surprise but I think he did rather well in this unfamiliar position and in this unusual formation. We still wait for the return of maybe possible captain Per Mertesacker.
Szczesny was brave and had his usual moment of being a bit stupid with kicking the ball not safe enough. Better watch out Szczesny because I have heard that Ospina is rather good at that part of the game.
In midfield we have lots of different options and remember we are with the best number 10 in the world still!
Up front we also seem to have a few different options. And we also are without beep beep the fastest striker in the world! And the best finisher of our strikers.
So tomorrow all will be back. And who knows maybe even more. And then it is final count down to the start of the real season.
The first trophy of the 5 we can possibly win this season is in our hands. 4 to go! Come on Arsenal! Come on you Gunners!