Monday, 31 March 2014

Podolski and Flamini redeem themselves as Arsenal go toe-to-toe with City



Morning Gooners.

Six games to go and yesterday's results didn't help us in any way. Liverpool steamrolling over Spurs and Everton showing no mercy for Fulham means next weekend's trip to Goodison Park has even more significance than before as the gap between fourth and fifth is now four points and Roberto Martinez's side have a game in hand.

The point against Manchester City on Saturday was hard fought. We gave it a real go in the second half but nothing we were trying came off. Of course by the time our first goal was scored by Mathieu Flamini, we could have already been on level terms had Mike Dean awarded Tomas Rosicky a first half penalty.

None of the analysis I've seen since the game has talked about the referee's position. He couldn't see if Pablo Zabaleta got any of the ball, which he didn't, because there were players in front of him who were blocking his view. So he couldn't give the penalty and he didn't book Rosicky for diving. Going 1-0 could have changed the direction of the game.

I now also have a hatred for Joe Hart after his antics on Saturday following that incident. Who does he think he is to call our player a diver? To act like he's the judge and jury. I'd imagine that he does it to incite the opposition into a reaction and it certainly riled me.

It doesn't appear that the message about losing the ball in midfield has got through to all players as Lucas Podolski was robbed of it in the middle of the park and then three passes and a deflection off the post saw David Silva open the scoring for City.

The move yet again exposed how our defence is to us losing possession in areas of the pitch we shouldn't be getting caught out in. But no one took a booking for the team by taking out Silva and unluckily for us, his shot went inside rather than outside the post.

Our goal came from our passing game at it's best. Olivier Giroud pulled Martin Demichelis on to our right wing and then set off a series of passes to the opposite flank were Podolski crossed for Flamini to score.

Two players who needed to redeem themselves coming together at the end of probably the best Arsenal move of the game to get us back on level terms.

Both sides had chances, the best one we fashioned fell to Podolski, who's effort was blocked by Hart's feet.

I think a point was a fair result. Now we've got a week to prepare for what is now a must win game on Merseyside next Sunday.

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