The coolest thing to emerge from the Emirates today:
Assistant ref caught saying to Lescott at end: “They paid £62 over there, go and see them.” Absolutely brilliant! Credit to @officialtmcd1!
— Mark Holmes (@Homzy) January 13, 2013
Well played. Mike Dean did the right thing, sending off Laurent Koscielny in the ninth minute for bear hugging Edin Dzeko. Cheaper penalties have been awarded this year. Aside from his flashy boots, I have no qualms with Dean’s decision. It was a goal scoring opportunity. Unfortunately Koscielny’s foolishness ruined what could have been a great fixture. The most expected to happen in North London today:
Gael Clichy abused by Arsenal fans as he walks off; responds by pointing to Premier League winners’ badge on his sleeve. Touche
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) January 13, 2013
If anything Dean’s most controversial decision occurred late in the match. Vincent Kompany was sent off in the 75th minute for what initially looked like a rash two footed challenge on Jack Wilshere — City’s pinata on this day. Credit to the folks at Matchday for breaking it down after the match. Wilshere ‘showing’ the ball coupled with Kompany getting ball first seemed to vindicate the City captain. With that said, two footed challenges off the ground leave referees little choice.
As for the game, well it played out like expected after the early red. David Silva, afforded heaps of space, dominated the flanks along with Milner . Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs stood out for Arsenal. James Milner’s opening marker was made possible by lazy defending off a set piece and a class finish. Dzeko — who missed the ensuing penalty after the Koscielny blunder — made it 2-0 32 minutes in.
Arsenal was much better in the second half. The final product, however, wasn’t there. Olivier Giroud was invisible after replacing Lukas Podolski — a senseless substitution — in the second half. City remain seven behind United while Arsenal are mired in sixth. Arsene Wenger’s post game comments were on the money: “Even with 10 men we gave cheap goals away, especially the first. We are a bit nervous at home at the moment.” Arsenal will be without the services of Mikel Arteta for three weeks, putting more pressure on Wenger to spend on the transfer market.
On to the next one.