Bergkampesque Live Blog: City Start with El Kun While Alexis Stays on Holiday

Uh Oh?  Or is Wenger just keeping his Chile (or more properly, his Chilean…) powder dry?

Alexis can’t believe it either…

 

We’ve had some success without our talisman but it hasn’t been against clubs with City’s resources.  We. Shall. See.

Line-ups:

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Walcott, Özil, Campbell, Giroud. Subs: Gibbs, Gabriel, Ospina, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chambers, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide.
Man City: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Touré, Delph, Silva, Agüero, De Bruyne. Subs: Sterling, Caballero, Bony, Jesus Navas, Clichy, Demichelis, Iheanacho

 

Inneresting… City keep Sterling on the bench.  Alexis is the big miss but Debuchy (gone in January?) also isn’t on ours, so Iwobi and Reine-Adelaide get to suit up.

There’s been plenty of time for the build up to this one so not much more to say.  Please see the previous post if you’re looking for my take on matters.  It wasn’t so hard to guess our first 11…but Alexis missing out completely means we have little experienced firepower available if we need goals

City, with a few of those younger 50 million pound guys, have a few more options.  They’ve dropped Sterling but gone with Delph which perhaps indicates a more careful approach.  We’ll have to see if Aguero is fit enough to bring his usual threat.  Bony and Sterling might benefit if their starters are able to tire our defenders a bit.

Could be a bit of a chess match, maybe?  Or a wild ride?… Who knows?

Please join me in the comments…

COYG and Cheers!

by 17highburyterrace

 

 

 

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84 Responses to Bergkampesque Live Blog: City Start with El Kun While Alexis Stays on Holiday

  1. Ab says:

    Good call on the first 11 HT. Mild surprise not to see Sanchez on the bench – but hopefully that means we are not risking an injury rather than he has already aggravated one in training. Not sure what to make of the Deb absence though. COYG!!!!!

  2. Hey AB…

    US broadcast features Lee Dixon and Tim Howard with Arlo White as the lead… There’s a bit of talk about Alexis re-tweaking his hamstring in training…

    In the studio they’re talking about Rambo being disciplined and a leader on the pitch, blah, blah, blah… We need Fabian Delph (who I rate, btw)… I guess…

    First goal seems bigger than usual tonight…

  3. Tunnel cam shows poor braid-less Bacary having to listen to Joe Hart’s pre-match pump ’em up talk…

    Seems like a bit of a light show and associated fanfare in the stands… Me, just give me kickoff please…

  4. Ab says:

    Delphi selection looks tactically sound to me. They will have a lot in their midfield for us to contend with. I so hope we haven’t injured Sanchez by trying to rush him back. Crazy if we have. Keeping an eye out for it on the web here, but no signs yet that I’ve seen

    We are off!

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finally… We have kickoff…

    Slow start but at least it’s down at their end…

    El Kun doesn’t get the first call…

  6. Sounds like a Weng-jury to me… I wouldn’t worry, but that’s just me… 😀

    Delph limping around after being bam-Ozil-ed near the touchline?…

    Very slow start but we’ve got the ball thus far…

    Ozil doesn’t get a call either and Kos has to dispossess De Bruyne near the D

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    6th minute: City lose possession, Kolarov wanting a foul for stepping on his pink cleats…

    Theo switching boots…

    Silva over from 20 yards and an angle at the other end

  8. Ab says:

    Hmm we are playing pretty well without really threatening. They are getting into the odd long range shooting position. I should be confident in our defence with that, but doesn’t do the nerves any favours

  9. 8th: Ramsey wins a foul (for nothing) but seems to be asserting himself in MF.

    9th: He loses it but fouls Silva trying to get it back…

  10. 10th: Fernandinho from distance well over… Announcers saying it appeared deflected. Goal kick given, however…

    11th: City possession comes to nothing… Kos streams forwards and kicks it out of play…

  11. Ab says:

    comment made – are they both already playing for the draw?

  12. Ab says:

    Ramsey having a few poor touches

  13. Best move yet comes from City down our right… Finally we clear it and De Bruyne gets only a warning after hacking Theo down…

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Computer troubles at my end… Only a little action at both ends. First corner goes to City, comes to nothing…

  15. Ab says:

    All city now it seems. So much for us controlling possession and city playing on the counter! But we are well set up for the counter ourselves – hopefully… Campbell been quiet so far, and Walcott too

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah Ab, I think both teams would prefer to operate on the counter…

    That said, nil-nil is a better result for City, probably…

    22nd min: We’re definitely struggling to hold the ball or to get it in to Ozil…

    He gets it but goes down, as does Giroud, simulating injury, we hope…

    Cech saves from De Bruyne but gives a corner…which we defend comfortably…

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos gives another corner…

    We try to break from it…but Ozil goes down…no card for the professional foul…

  18. Ab says:

    Draw fine for me HT. I’m still squarely in the Leicester will fade camp – but if they don’t then hats off to them! But with a depleted squad getting a point here and avoiding giving city the 3 would be no bad evening’s work.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    25th: Our possession is on thclunky side… Kos pushes forward but we give it away too easily…

    26th: Bellerin chased gives it away punting up to Campbell

    27th: Toure outmuscles Rambo for possession but, after many passes and a tackle into touch it comes to nothing, Flamini winning a foul near the center line…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Seems like the possession stat is all anybody wants to win…and fouls…

    But then, since Marriner won’t call anything it all gets a bit wild and finally ends with a yellow on David Silva…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ooooh best chance of the match…De Bruyne on the break is forced to shoot due to Bellerin racing back to save the BFG… The shot beat Cech, but not the Post…

    Theo!!!!

  22. Ab says:

    And out of the blue Theo!!!!!!

  23. Ozil passed wide for Nacho but Theo picked it off, put it on his right foot and curled it home over the ducking Ozil…

    Wow…

  24. They have to come out now…and, in doing so we break on them… and win a corner…
    Ozil’s corner gets on Kos’ head but the shot is wide…

    Temperature is up since the goal… Kolarov gets a hand on Campbell’s face…

    Goal kick from Hart is straight out of play…

  25. 39th: Corner conceded by Koscielny…

  26. Ab says:

    We are lifted by that goal big time.

  27. Yaya wins the header but only weakly and out wide…

    Delph now fouling Ramsey…That’s a match-up we can win, I think…

    40th: Ball is back with City, now back with us…

  28. Bit of a chance to break there but Campbell’s left footed pass curls well away from Theo…

  29. 42nd: Nacho clears one in our box

    43rd: City possession but we appear comfortable…and Theo, tracking the runner allows it to dummy out for a goal kick…

    Giroud down again after an Otamendi kick…

  30. Ab says:

    Giroud!!!

  31. Ozil FK taken short but eventually Messy is flagged for offside…

    45th: City have it and Theo gets a whistle for running through Silva…

    GIROUD!!!! With the last kick of the half!!!!

  32. Ab says:

    Ozil and Giroud finishes. Sweet, sweet counter-attacking. And now half time.

  33. Nutmegs Hart…

    It was a bad giveaway from City…but well done by Ozil and Ollie…

    NICE!!!

  34. Ab says:

    And finally, finally I am hearing Ozil get his just praises for simple but beautiful touches and passes.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Great first half, especially last 15 minutes. Ollie Mesut Theo too much for the Oilers. CoyGs.

    And chapeau to Ramsey for playing so dissaplined…

  36. retsub1 says:

    Ozil will correctly be awarded 2 assists, although both passes were bread and butter. The real piece of skill was the way he ducked under Theo’s shot when he was running towards goal with his back to the ball. Most other players would have got a thump on the back of the head.

  37. He’s got 15 assists in 17.5 matches, AB…

    retsub, that was my thought exactly…Not so much skill as awareness which others might lack, more concerned about staying onside…

    It was a good half and it got twice as good there at the end… Did el Kun get a touch? He still makes space for others but the defending has been good…

    That said, City have some attackers on their bench who we will have to stop… They might be worried about us getting a third, however… The next goal is a big one… Better, I think, not to need one…

    😀

  38. 2nd half on… Sterling in for Delph…

  39. Theo nips in as City try to get their passing legs under them… Bells cross wins a corner…

  40. Comes to nothing and City aren’t bad on the break…

    Otamendi levels Giroud out of bounds…Blatant yellow card offense…

  41. Wow, Theo on the defensive end pushes Sterling off the ball after Raheem made City look a bit dangerous…

  42. 52nd min: City have the ball in our half but we look comfortable defending but cannot clear. It ends with Aguero trying to turn Kos but only getting a dribbler into Cech’s arms…

    Oooh…big miss from Campbell on Nacho’s pullback…

  43. Ramsey called for using his body after a loose touch…FK City…

  44. Kolarov puts it on Kun’s head but straight to Cech…

  45. Wow, whattaball from Kos to Campbell but Hart saves from the tough angle…almost falls for Giroud…

    Giroud almost gets a left footed swing in the net…out for a corner…

  46. Ab says:

    chances chances – blimey we could be 4 up here!

  47. City defend it…and El Kun from a throw wins a FK out wide…

  48. Another good one but again el Kun heads straight to Cech…Offside anyhow, I think…

  49. Ab says:

    should have scored

  50. Too many passes!! Campbell probably had the better shot but puts Ramsey in…first touch just heavy and Hart saves…

  51. Wild stuff from the corner with bodies strewn everywhere and lots of committed headers and feet in on the ball… ends with Campbell winning a FK for Ozil to take…

  52. Aguero out, Bony in…

    City have it and are working it well down our right…

    Finally we play it out and then back to Cech who boots it to Theo who plays great hold up work after reading the bounce… Very nice…

  53. Campbell now playing on our left?…

    67th min: The two Ivorians almost connect but Yaya’s cross is a reach for Wilfried…

  54. City making little headway…and the ball is back with us…

    Rambo, in space at the top of the box and desperately tries to put it on his right foot…high and wide it goes…

    Gibbs in for Campbell

  55. Arsenal looking strong here… Nacho almost finds Ozil for a 3rd…

  56. Yaya dives but Marriner doesn’t buy it… Ramsey wants a yellow for the simulation…

    Silva out, Jesus Navas in…

  57. Ab says:

    A 3rd would easy my nerves very well HT! Silva off can’t be bad for us though

  58. Long shot from Sterling…same spot as Theo’s but straight to Cech…
    74th: City with the ball and there’s some confusion so Gibbs kicks it out for a corner… Bony’s header loops to Cech…

  59. I’d like a 3rd too (who wouldn’t?…) but we look good enough defending…

    Ox on for Ozil…

  60. Ab says:

    Ozil ok? Hopefully just good precautionary stuff

  61. AB, you worry a lot…Ozil has been played a lot…at 2 nil I think it’s a good sub…

    Navas, somehow onside has no help and BFG and Kos clear the danger…

    Theo dribbles…and then dribbles one slow enough that Hart can save it…

  62. Ab says:

    And so it is. Now my nerves are in for a rough ride. We are going to be leant on

  63. Ox overhits a final ball…

    Toure Scores 2-1… Uh oh…

    Ramsey dropped off and Yaya placed it in the top corner… Game on now…

  64. Ab says:

    It will take a couple of league titles to get me to the place where I don’t feel nerves with a 2 goal lead……

  65. From the kickoff, Ramsey can’t decide shot or cross…

    Ooohhh let off with a great block by Kos…

    Tough few minutes here….

  66. The Campbell chances loom large here…

    City look revived… Nacho has to push Navas’ cross around for a corner…

  67. Ab says:

    Stats suggest we are in a fortunate position, but we really should have killed this game 20 min ago with the chances we had.

  68. Ab says:

    All hands to the pump now – a string of defenders to try and get us to the line

  69. Yaya almost gets on a 1-2 with De Bruyne… Just wide…

    We need to kill this one off…

    Theo off, Chambers on…

  70. Ab says:

    We have no one to stretch them now, it just sit back and try and hold on. Murder. I can see us shipping another here, all too easily

  71. Ox dive not whistled along the right touchline…

    Bellerin puts out Sagna’s cross for a corner…

  72. Trouble here at the end… Giroud barely gets a wild swing in which could’ve been a pen… Now he’s staying down…(And I’m sure he’s OK)

    4 mins ET, with more to be added after Giroud’s stuff…

  73. 2 of the 4 have been played… Yaya called for pulling down Chambers…Gibbs might’ve done better trying to kick it down field just before…

  74. Ab says:

    last minute now

  75. 3 of the 4 have been played… and we’re getting some throws down at their end…

  76. Full Time… Finishes 2-1

  77. Ab says:

    and there it is!!!!

  78. Ab says:

    Geeez the was a tough finish. Good for the boys to hold out, but blimey I hope they register that it would have been a whole lot easier to have killed it with the chances they had! I’m splitting hairs though – what a fantastic result and effort from a team with many key gaps. We are in contention for the title this season, there is no doubt, and we have just beaten the side that is most likely to contest it with us. A top top evening

  79. Camera on Giroud as my wife says look at the scratches on his neck… So that’s why he was holding his knee? 😀

    AB, if Campbell or Ramsey put away the third we’re home free… Rambo should probably never be close enough to do so and Campbell just isn’t quite at the level to always make the open chance (the 2nd would’ve required a right foot)… Let’s be clear… We did this with only Ox (and Gibbs?…) as potential attacking sub(s)… Alexis was held back for the South Coast teams…

    The Yaya knock down shot (golf shot) was a mix up between Ramsey and Flamini but overall they were excellent. Flamini you hardly noticed but City had to play around him all day…

    Great interview with Theo and Ozil… Theo bragging for Messy who is both shy and extremely humble…

  80. I’d love some more comments here as it’s a nasty rainy day and (perhaps) too early for a celebratory drink… How about you AB?… 😀

    In August we were going to play for 2nd (behind Chelsea). In September with City unbeaten and unscored upon we might’ve tried for 2nd behind them…

    Still 2nd at X-mas but now we set our sights upon the Rain-man and his Foxes…

    Over to TA for the match report, then…

  81. Ab says:

    I’m left reflecting the strength in our squad depth from this game. We have what 6 top players out, and even so our first 11 is truly competitive against one of the best opponents in the league. Whilst we don’t know yet which of the kids is likely to emerge properly next, those who complain about us not investing in a decent squad should take a closer look; none of these 11 were out of place, though the bench lacked options, in particular going forward.

    We tend to focus so much these days on individual brilliance rather than collective balance. What the team, and squad, have shown this season is that they do possess that drive and the balance to blend with the individual brilliance of the Ozils and Sanchez’. We need some fair wind now with the injury situation – I’m still not convinced that buying is likely to be the answer in January; but with that we have every reason to be hopeful in the new year. Fingers crossed the Christmas period doesn’t do for us on the injury fronton again.

  82. I disagree-slightly–AB, on 2 counts… We need better finishing up front. Campbell works hard and deserves all the praise he’s getting. That said, the key to winning today were the other two forwards who took their (more difficult) chances… If either of them were to go down we’d be in real trouble. The fact that the club is already talking about Welbeck’s return being delayed, to me, signals that a deal for some sort of finisher will be announced when the window opens… It also “helps” that it sounds as if Alexis won’t be available until early January… Cue the calls for a new medical staff…Or the ‘disastrous’ decision to allow him to return to Chile… :rolls eyes: and :shakes head: at the player himself for always pushing too hard…

    Not buying in the Summer (but likely tapping up a dozen prospects) maybe the wisest thing AW (and Giles Grimandi, Dick Law, Ivan Gazidis, etc.) did in 2015 even if it doesn’t bear fruit until 2016… 😀

    But then again, I’m just speculating, and perhaps I’m being swept up in the moment… 😦

  83. Admir says:

    Wonderful victory, wonderful team performance, excellent tactical work by Arsene Wenger. 🙂 🙂

    Campbell, Monreal, Özil… Wow.

    Too bad Alexis suffered a set-back but he’ll be back to kill off Klopp’s chances for Champions League.

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