A Tale of Two Sixes: Arsenal vs. Manchester City (EPL, 9-23-2012)

September the 23rd marked my sixth year living in the Tampa Bay area and nothing could help me start that day better than a valiant display of attacking football at the Etihad.  The Blue Moon’s number 6, Joleon Lescott, scored from a thumping header in the first half, but it was our number 6, Laurent Koscielny, that made the comeback with one helluva goal (thanks in no small part to a corner earned from Cazorla’s near death shot.  Ouch!!) to deny the Citizens the win.

I’ll be brief with my words here, but the Gunners’ midfield dominance was key to all of this.  Those who predicted that last Saturday’s game would be a war between Abou Diaby and Citeh giant Yaya Toure were in for a surprise as the latter exerted absolutely no influence on the game.  Both Diaby and Arteta commanded the pitch while Ramsey had his BEST game ever, darting away and making trouble for the citizens outside the penalty area.  Gervinho continued to have the majority of the chances, and although he blew quite a few, he was instrumental for adding pressure to the opposition’s defenses.  Cazorla and Podolski continue to link up well, with the latter being the creative outlet for the team.  By miles, we were the better side going forward.

But the talk of the town right now is our defense, specifically with Per Mertesacker.  Voted Man of the Match during the game, Per made key interceptions during Citeh’s forward drives and was THE leader of the defense, while Koscielny used more of his skill to win back or take away the ball from the opposition.  Laurent almost gifted Aguero a goal after his, but thankfully, the Argentine’s shot went wide.  Mannone is beginning to prove himself as a number one and will be seen as a keen competitor for the spot soon.  Gibbs was reliable going forward and in defense, save for his error that gifted Citeh a corner, while Jenkinson continues to improve dramatically, with him being the one that began to mount more attacks in the second half.  Who would’ve thought that we could defend like this?

And let’s not take anything away from the Blue Moon.  They defended well and had great chances in the counterattack, but were unable to mount anything particularly deadly (generally) since they were unable to hold the ball for any long spell.  Overall, it was a spirited performance from Arsenal, and if it even got Jaime Redknapp, Gary Neville, and that cunt of a man Robbie Savage to actually sing praises about the Gunners, then by Jove my friends, I think we’ve done it.  Staying humble amidst all of this is a must, but it seems like the belief is there in the squad.  Chelsea is a comin’ and we’ve got Coventry to tangle with today for the League Cup, so lets keep this up gents.