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

 

 

 

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

  • 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!!!!!

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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!

  • Finally… We have kickoff…

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

    El Kun doesn’t get the first call…

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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…

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

  • 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

  • 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…

  • Kos gives another corner…

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

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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!!!!

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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!!!!

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

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

    And chapeau to Ramsey for playing so dissaplined…

  • 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.

  • 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…

    😀

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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……

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

  • 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

  • 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…

  • 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

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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… 😦

  • 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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