Sunday, 25 April 2010

Arsenal reax

Amy Lawrence, The Observer

With City fielding three holding midfielders beefing up the orchestra, and Carlos Tevez leading the line as a soloist, neither team were able to be at their most creative. "It was a locked game, basically," concluded Arsène Wenger, who was not that disappointed in the end. "We are 90% there," he said of third place. "And after three defeats you could see the players felt it was absolutely forbidden to lose, so they didn't throw everything forward blindly."

Conrad Leach, Independent on Sunday

Yet, if nothing else, his appearance enlivened a desperately poor game, one where Manchester City were content, from the start, with a point in their quest for fourth place. It was also one where the hosts were not good enough, as Arsène Wenger admitted, to break down a defence that was marshalled by Kolo Touré, another well-received former Gunner.

Patrick Collins, Mail on Sunday

With Villa and Spurs at home and West Ham away, he plainly believes the job is almost done. But the ovation which rang out from the travelling fans will have found no echoes around the rest of the nation. A side so expensively assembled, with entertainment a stated goal, should have been capable of better than dreary pragmatism.

Duncan Castles, Sunday Times

Minus his usual centreforward, Mancini elected to change formations. The priority was to stop Arsenal playing as tackles flew in from all angles, and though City lost Wayne Bridge to a thigh injury midway through the first half, it made little difference to the flow of play. Arsenal tried to work their way through three lines of defence, winning the occasional unconverted set-piece. Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri each had angled shots but both hit side netting. Vieira busied himself in wrestling matches with Diaby and Alex Song, stubbornly refusing to be brought down to the turf by either successor in the Arsenal midfield. In a manoeuvre from training grounds of yore, the Frenchman was poised to shoot on goal only to be stopped by Sol Campbell.

Oliver Brown, Sunday Telegraph

In mitigation, Manchester City seemed to have even less inspiration in the art of finishing fourth. Only Tottenham fans could have drawn any pleasure from this blunt display by City, as the tireless toil of Carlos Tévez proved all in vain. Roberto Mancini looked pensive and pained; he also looked, with his thick scarf belying these balmy days of spring, just a little daft.


jackblue said...

8 man defence and long punts up field hoping to find Bellemy or Tevez. Big Sam would have been proud of it. Playing an Arsenal team with the two worst current centre backs in the league, City should have made their keeper make at least one decent save. Bring back Hughes or even Frank Clarke and send Mr Mancini back home.

Trevbrierley said...

I'm a bit puzzled by the negative tactics.

We knew Spurs had lost so there was no difference between a draw and a loss to us - so why not go for the win?

Vieira and Johnson should have stayed at home.