Monday, June 17, 2024

Report: Manchester City 4-1 Arsenal (inc. goals)

Result: Manchester City 4-1 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 26 April 2023
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Subs: Turner, Tierney, Kiwior, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Trossard, Nelson, Nketiah


Arsenal’s hopes of a first league title in 19 years were dealt a huge blow at the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City ran out comprehensive 4-1 winners in the much-anticipated top-of-the-table clash.

A brace from Kevin De Bruyne and a header by John Stones did the damage before the hour mark before Rob Holding and Erling Haaland traded late strikes.

While the Gunners continue to top the table, this was a chastening night for Mikel Arteta’s young squad who struggled from the off. Pep Guardiola’s side have now cut the gap to two points and have two games in hand.

There’s still the potential for further twists and turns as we head into the final month of the season but the reigning champions certainly have the upper hand.

Pre-game

Despite five days of Arsenal fans ruminating over potential tactical tweaks to cope with City’s firepower, Mikel Arteta stuck to his preferred formation making only one change from the side that started the draw with Southampton. Granit Xhaka’s recovery from illness meant he replaced Fabio Vieira in the left midfield slot. Rob Holding’s inclusion in the centre of defence alongside Gabriel Magalhaes was arguably more divisive than it was surprising.

First Half

After conceding early on Friday night, the importance of keeping it tight in the early stages seemed to play on Arsenal’s minds. You could sense the nerves immediately. City, on the other hand, had the bit between their teeth.

Inside the opening three minutes, the home fans twice called for a penalty; first for a potential handball by Rob Holding and then for a foul by Thomas Partey on Haaland who was trying to pounce on a loose ball in the box after a poor Ramsdale parry. Referee Michael Oliver spotted the Ghanaian had been kicked by De Bruyne and gave us the benefit of the doubt.

A brief foray forward saw Martinelli trying to work his teammates into a frenzy with some aggressive arm waving. It got the travelling Arsenal fans going for a moment but in reality, we needed calm heads to deal with the City assault.

An already difficult job got far harder on 6 minutes when De Bruyne ruthlessly found the net on the run from outside the box. Haaland had done the legwork, pulling the ball out of the air, and spinning past Holding, but the Belgian’s ability to carry the ball at full speed before fizzing home a curler underlined how special a player he is. Guardiola went ballistic in celebration on the touchline. (GOAL 1-0)

Arsenal’s reaction was to try and keep the ball for longer but City, hunting diligently, boxed us in repeatedly, ultimately leading to us giving the ball away. Over the course of the half, Ramsdale increasingly decided to just hoof the ball long.

A pattern started to emerge where City would play straight through the middle of the pitch with Haaland and De Bruyne at the centre of most of the attacks. Ramsdale saved from Bernardo Silva and Haaland and Ben White made a desperate block to stop De Bruyne.

City found it so easy working through our press that Arsenal almost seemed in two minds whether to bother pressing at all. The fear was that if we did, we’d just find ourselves out of position and running back towards our own goal in a panic.

Three times, Haaland came close to getting on the scoresheet. Ramsdale beat away an audacious left foot volley, then got down to his right to claw away another as the Norwegian danced inside Holding. Another shot by the striker flashed just wide. At the other end, Partey, teed up by Odegaard, also curled wide; our only effort of note.

Arsenal were holding on for dear life. Just as it looked like we might make it to the break without conceding again, we did exactly that. Partey gave away a free-kick, De Bruyne whipped it to the back post and John Stones climbed high to head home. The assistant’s flag went up straight away only for a VAR review to show Ben White’s foot had kept the defender onside. To say Mikel Arteta looked crestfallen is an understatement. (GOAL 2-0)

Handbags following a coming together between White and Ruben Dias rounded things off. The Portugal international went into the book but it was Arsenal who had lost their heads.

Second half

It didn’t take long for Haaland to renew his battle with Ramsdale. Gabriel misjudged a long ball like a schoolboy and the Norwegian pounced before forcing the England international into another save. Those of you of a certain vintage may remember watching All Black Jonah Lomu steamrolling England’s rugby team back in the nineties. It was like watching that.  

The reprieve, if you can call it that, was temporary. Inside a minute, De Bruyne added to his tally. Odegaard gave the ball away, the Belgian stole it, played a give-and-go with Haaland and then passed the ball home through Holding’s legs. And that was that. (GOAL 3-0)

Following a Holding shot that was blocked for a corner (whoop!), Arteta decided to switch it up. Martinelli was sacrificed for Trossard and Jorginho came on for Xhaka who seemed desperate to engineer a situation with Grealish where he could get sent off. There were 30 minutes remaining and City knew they just had to keep us at arm’s length.

If defiance was lacking on the pitch, it wasn’t on the terraces where the Arsenal supporters roared the team’s name trying to spark something, anything. 

A coming together between Partey and Grealish saw both men going into the book and the Ghana international was lucky not to get sent off later after hauling down Haaland quite cynically. It was fight of a sort. But not particularly helpful. If anything summed up our night, it was the sight of Saka carefully lining up a free-kick only to fire way over the bar. 

Nelson, Smith Rowe and Nketiah meant Hale End were well represented on the pitch in the closing stages. They added spark and pep at a time when City were winding down and combined with the lively Trossard created a chance for Holding who fired home to reduce the deficit with a couple of minutes remaining. It was a nice goal, to be fair. (GOAL 3-1)

Of course, the sight of his marker scoring seemed to trigger something in Haaland who took his hair down and promptly grabbed the goal his performance probably deserved. Again, Arsenal caused their own downfall by giving the ball away and the striker pounced to sweep past Ramsdale. It was pretty much the last kick of the game. (GOAL 4-1)

On a night when we were outclassed from the first moment, there’s not much more to add. All we can do now is park the disappointment, regroup and do our best over the five remaining fixtures.

It’s not over until it’s over. But it’s not looking good.

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Johnny 4 Hats

We are the second best team in the league.  We’ve produced some amazing stuff this season but we haven’t got close to a performance like City’s tonight. We snuck past Liverpool and United at home but nothing even close to as imperious and dominant as that.  Arteta needs to take a little responsibility. Trossard should never have been on the bench. We needed to find a way for him to play. And Mikel still hadn’t fixed the same Rob Holding problem we had last season. He’s not good enough and shouldn’t be at the club. Sorry. Harsh. Nothing personal. A… Read more »

Mike Stride

Not harsh. Holding is not good enough. We all knew it but Arteta went with him again! Just don’t understand it

Nikleson

I don’t understand why we don’t play White at CB and have Tomy at RB? I’m totally conflicted after this game. On one hand I never expected us to win as City have 3 teams in depth but on the other hand, we shouldn’t have needed to win this game to win the league, we lost it 3 games ago. Arteta has to improve in his team line up and in game management. Well done boys for making us dream and believe.

arseblog

Tomi is injured

Chris

The squad might just be strong enough if all players are fit but having injuries to Saliba and Tomiyasu at the same time is just unlucky.

Tony2

Apart from the 1st goal where he should’ve took 1 for the team what did Rob do wrong? Saved us a few times esp in 1st half

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Why do you think pep kept coming straight down the middle. If you cannot see the difference having holding playing to the whole defence and set up then it’s just not worth explaining. We really miss Saliba.

portugunner

who else?

Gooner for life

Is it just me who thinks the lines they showed for the onside decision was not at the time the pass was made? If you look closely when the ball is hit for the pass White’s leg is at a near 90 degrees angle, while when showing the lines its mostly stretched.

MarcelloValerio

Also- akamji pushes white into an offside (or not) position- they picked it up on norwegian tv- those sly city wankers

PeteyB

Just seeing the replays on this article, and having not seen the forensics, it looks very offside. VAR is a piss take sometimes. I doubt very much that we were ever getting anything out of the game but who’s to say what happens if we keep to 1-0 at the break. For me VAR for offside should be something like the ‘clear and obvious’ error bar, or use better technology. Of course it should be possible to be forensic, but the game moves fast. When to draw the line? At what exact moment does the ball leave the foot of… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Holding is better than Canavaro though.
According to loads here, anyway

Larry mccarthy

You won’t make names but you did, Holding,but besides White all the others in the back four were very poor . Nelson did more in ten minutes than the starting three did in 60 minutes up front. Where was our captain no where. Poor all round we need to regroup and hammer Chelsea.

Gervinho is Driving

“When I lose a title … I GET UPSET!”

Tony2

Qualitee I too remember John radford so we are from the same era. I agree Leo should be played more . In fact I would’ve preferred he started instead of GJ. But Holding? Know he aint top drawer but apart from him taking 1 for the team re the cyborgs pass for 1st goal he was practically flawless. He was the 1 in defence that was covering for Gabby who was all over the drum

Tony2

Correction
. My reply was to jonny4hats

Fabulous

Fully agreed. Arteta needs to take responsibility for lack of squad rotation also. We have ESR, Nelson, Vieira, Jorginho, Kiwior, Tierney all massively under-utilized in my opinion. We’re only seriously competing for the PL, yet our players clearly look like they’ve run out of steam at this stage of the season. Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, Partey and Xhaka look a shadow of their early season forms. And when you look at the games they started (almost all), it’s clear to see why. I really hope this is something Arteta learns because Pep can make use of his bench (though much greater… Read more »

Moustapha

I have nothing to add to this, not sure how there’s 11 downvotes. We hope for a good transfer window and we go again with another year of experience.

Alex

A 9 point swing in 4 games on the trot. Literally zero answers. Men against boys on the pitch whatever you think about the finances. Arteta needs to trust his squad more. Jesus was pointless. Hard to make a case for Saka as the best right winger in the world….world beaters have to do just that. What is never talked about on TV though is that we ARE massively the underdog in this scenario. We would need to be fully fit and add 2-3 genuine WORLD BEATERS to this squad to match their level. But it’s never mentioned. You can… Read more »

Doghouse

Agree Alex, as i was working my late shift my chelsea boss asked if i wanted 3 hours holiday paid to watch game, as i haven’t got BT at home or a dodgy stick i couldn’t face the inevitable of watching it with the arsenal haters in my local, big respect to our away arsenal supporters making that long trip, you did us proud as always..

gunnertacks

proud of the lads. they’ve given me such unexpected joy this year that i can’t have anything but love them in times of need

Alex

Save the season reviews for the end of the season. This was bad.

Gunner Pundit

Imagine having a girl that’s a 9/10 then she leaves you one day before you get married .

Ealing

what the fxxk that even means!

Sagebrush

I wonder

Foreigngooner

Nonsense of an analogy.

Peter Cechs helmet

Proud of what?
We were terrible. Gave nothing, lost everything.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Proud of them but we need to get rid of the end of the season collapse. We did it with Wenger when Leicester won the league, with Emery in his first year not getting top four and the last two years.

Eric Blair

It is a worrying pattern now, that’s for sure.

Moustapha

Lol how does one get rid of that

Nketibag

Sorry, but is this anything other than poor management? Not only the last four games, in which Trossard has been benched in favour of out of form, young or downright ill players. But this game, where the opportunity to make a systemic change to keep it tight until halftime was there, and not taken. I don’t care if Holding starts or not, but he needs protection. So give him some. So what did we do? The same old same old. The most predictable, one dimensional wet fart of a plan I’ve ever seen in the most crucial crunch game of… Read more »

Tony2

2nd ded

AFL

Have you ever seen a game where MA changed the system or even tried when things were not going wel? His in-game management abilities are non-existant. And showing courage in crucial games is not his forte either.

GoonerJust

Agree, very proud of the boys. They have been doing an amazing job this season, keep up the good work and do the best for the rest of the 5 games.
COYG

Sagebrush

This Man City players always seem to be on every blade of grass. It’s creepy.

Zenithreptile

Rob Holding, what a finish. Take a bow son.
It’s still been a great season.

Maniac

Let’s hopefully see out the next few games to secure second, and maybe hope on the slight chance that City drop points. No doubt that we have had an incredible season up to this point. So proud of this team.

UzesGooner

Lovely way for him to bow out….

All eyes on summer recruitment. Get it right and we will dominate for years to come 🔥

Chris

lost it in the last three games, not here.

Henkamp

Exactly. It grinds my gears that we could easily have won all 3 before this one. Would have made this one sting less and still leave things in our hands. Well, it’s all part of the experience.

The disappointment from this season will fuel the desire for more next season. We will be up there again next year!

Maniac

3 points in each of the last two games would have kept us alive. Unfortunately we let it slip, and City were always going to pounce. This league is just way too unforgiving for even the slightest hiccup.

Ealing

should have been 9 out of 9 and game done ! but it was not to be.

Pessimist

Lost it before then, at Everton, Southampton away and Brentford at home (thanks VAR)

Chris

pessimist, we were eight points clear going into the liverpool game.

Gooner7190

Brentford is gonna be the one that sticks in the craw for a while but tonight had been coming. 1 win this month & that was against a Leeds side who’d still manage to lose even if their opponents didn’t arrive at the ground!

Gooner1317

Lost it in the game vs Sporting at home when our manager decided Europa League fixtures were just as important as PL ones -_-

We win this title if Saliba is not injured in that meaningless game. I have no doubts about it. Holding is 4th choice CB can’t expect much more from him

Gooner1317

Also Kiwior playing more minutes than Tierney at Anfield, Vieira starting vs Southampton instead of trossard, this whole Zinchenko obsession which has led to KT being neglected to a whole new level. Especially after saliba got hurt, Tierney should have featured more since Zinchenko being out of position means our best defender in Gabriel is always covering at LB and away from the danger in and around the box 🥺

Billymac

Arteta has a blind spot when it comes to Zinchenko. He’s not our best left back and he’s not our best midfielder. On his best days, he gives us an extra midfielder but one less defender. He gets more space because he’s the extra man in midfield but he leaves more too because he’s not a proper defender. Gabriel has to cover for him a lot during the game and that leaves us exposed down the middle and stretched across the back line. Also, he’s slow and he always goes inside. Everyone remembers the good passes he makes but forgets… Read more »

Sean

Just a quick one for next year Arsenal- if expectations are exceeded for the first two thirds of the season, then could you please also let us know in advance if you’re planning a soul destroying implosion by the time we hit April? That way we won’t be left with a massive feeling of deflation after what should have been viewed as an encouraging season (for a third year in a row). Thanks gents.

Eric Blair

A pattern does seem to be developing. It’s up to Arteta to find a solution as to why this keeps happening, but my guess would be a lack of quality on depth in a few positions and over-reliance on some key players who have poor injury records, and when we get to the business end of the season this keeps biting us on the arse.

Ealing

and MA is still developing as a manager. He’s choices when one of the first 11 were not available have not always been right.

Danny

They’re just knackered. We can’t compete with city at this stage of the season because of their Ill gotten squad depth.

Maniac

Champions League football now mathematically guaranteed (unless my maths fails me). We’ve achieved what we set out to at the start of the season with 5 games left to go. The title charge was an unexpected yet welcome surprise, and we should be glad we managed to push for so long. Let’s enjoy the many positives of this season, not dwell on the negatives. COYG!

Alex

What about this match? This is not season review time

Alex

We do not have a player who is scoring that De Bruyne goal in a game of this magnitude. And if we do, I’m still waiting to see it.

Ealing

a player that takes the games by the scruff of the neck and wins them for you. that’s what we that saka becomes, but he needs time

Jack

That BT sport commentary was sickening. The whole time they were LOVING that City were beating us

Zenithreptile

Fucking can’t get my head around why it’s totally ignored in the media that they have bought everything that has come their way and it should all have a huge asterisk against it. It’s mind boggling.

BillyKrystal

Media are just star fuckers. They don’t care they just want the shiniest thing. No matter if that shine is actually an oil slick.

Jeremy

I’m quite sure most of them are on the take to spin the city narrative.

Alex

Not only that but could the cunts even take a second to acknowledge that we ARE clear underdogs and if we swapped DeBruyne and Haaland for Jesus and Xhaka would crush the City team.

Ealing

that’s how we used to play as kids, mix and match until we’re about even, doesn’t work in this sporting life

Eric Blair

We live in a society where everything is for sale and we worship the big beasts who can buy them. There’s nowhere near enough respect for what some clubs are achieving on their budgets (look at media coverage of Chelsea and Brighton this season relative to their performances and money spent).

Plus, the media have had it in for us for a long time, since at least Wenger days, for daring to challenge that narrative and win without spending bucketloads.

Chris

money money money

Pessimist

And Pep

T. House

Is Pep even a good coach? Any rando off the street should be able to produce his results with all that money.

Pessimist

What like Chelsea, Spuds, Newcastle have?

Der32

They only got Pep by offering him unlimited bags of cash. Still couldn’t buy him some lego hair though.

Vonnie

Listened to about two minutes of it and watched the game on mute, I couldn’t deal with it.

Gaylord Focker

This..yeah…It says a lot when the match was over, what annoyed me most about this match was Neither the 4-1 scoreline, Nor to watch again and again and again how easily it was for the KDB-Haaland combo to cut thru our central defence, But it was the match commentary by the idiot Jim Beglin…the way he described the various fractious incidents during the match, made me think he is an avid closet MC supporter. He should be ashamed of himself being a former (bang average) Liverpool player.

Joy

I wish they played in black. That performance was a disgrace to the red and white

eddymc2

Genuinely hard to say if we were that bad or they’re that much better head-to-head. Bit of both maybe.

Joy

Take a look back at the four goals we handed them

Ealing

could have ended up in double figures, arsenal motm Rambo

Pessimist

Take a look at Citeh 2 touch play and movement and figure how to achieve that with a full press too.

Joy

That’s Artetas job, not mine. Listen to his assessment of our performance

Eric Blair

Aye.

Eric Blair

For a ‘title-decider’ it was a bit embarrassing how big the gap was, that was never really a competitive match.

HotAir

Felt like the media were hyping it up as such whilst knowing like we did that the result would be something like the one we saw. Sadly.

Tayo

They didn’t hype it up falsely. 1st was playing 2nd. It was supposed to be a big match we are just not at their level.

Arsene Wenger's Secret Lovechild

Then the whole league is an embarrassment, as we are miles better than whoever comes third. They have tainted the competition.

Maniac

It’s been a wild ride. This team has achieved so much more than we could even imagine at the start of this season. I’m so proud that we’ve even given this City superteam a run for their money. You can all hold your heads high.

wrightstuff8

We didn’t give them a run for their money. They just spanked us 4-1.
This needs to be addressed not your end of season analysis

Flash

Contrary to his media appearances and a little bit theatrical goal celebrations,- when it comes down to the performance on the pitch Zinchenko seems to be much less of a “leader” to me.

Ealing

when you are with your back to the wall and need to defend, he’s a lost cause. and jorghino is better than him in midfield, enough said !!

Rich

We looked 10x better the second Jorginho was on the pitch.

eddymc2

Gestures (see also endless performative armband adjustment) and leadership are often treated as the same thing. They aren’t. This is not a commentary on any particular player, just a general weird football thing.

Chris

i have to agree. i dont see leadership there.

Alex

Oh and shouldn’t we have more energy and be able to beat them on fitness? Fewer games?

Eric Blair

Maybe Guardiola has some secret remedies?

Arsene Wenger's Secret Lovechild

Bottomless money pit for massive squad of world class players in peak physical condition vs players in early 20s who are not yet at that physical level. Just look at their bench!

Easy tiger

If we have any sence. We focus on keeping 2nd noe

Joker

I love you Arsenal.

Mootilated

We overachieved this season. No doubt about it. And with the youngest squad to boot. However, there will always be this nagging feeling of what could have been, and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t see it through til the end.

We had it in our hands and threw it away. That will sting for years to come.

Alex

About 19 years probably. Just make sure you renew your Amazon, Sky and BT sport subscriptions please.

Red-Wing

Not sure if it was City being so brutally good or we were just weak. Probably both.

Red-Wing

I was hugely impressed by their defensive positioning after they went 1-0 up. We couldn’t do anything. On another hand, it’s not normal that every time we lost the ball they tore us apart with 2 simple passes.

Chris

they read us extremely well and blocked off martinelli. the rest was just psychological attrition, poor defending at set pieces and two good finishes.

Hopeful Gooner

Yeah, it’s been a great run fellas…. Today the clearly much better team won, but we can go back home with heads lifted up as the boys kept trying against a vastly superior opponent. It’s still a great year though

Ealing

from Wall Street movie. Sun-tzu: If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not split and re-evaluate.

perhaps we should have gone with a more defensive approach,

portugunner

… or a more physical one…

Bleeding Gums Murphy

I feared Arteta had got it wrong starting Holding. He got subbed at half time in the cup there. City targeted him and the defence kept trying to play out with Gabriel and holding, that’s impossible against a team like city. Still a fantastic season and add Rice, upgrade Xhaka, better cover than Holding and another top forward to challenge Jesus. Nketia ain’t the answer I promise you.

Rich

Who would you start instead?! Kiwior?! There was no other choice. Ben White would have been bullied by Haaland even more than Holding was.

Ealing

that’s when it’s up to the manager to try something more defensive, i.e. still play Holding but task a midfielder with more defensive duty, or play KT rather than Zink

Rich

Agree with playing KT over Zinny. We looked better with Jorginho on and packing that midfield area. They had so much luck running straight through us so perhaps 2 DMs would have been a better choice from minute 1.

wrightstuff8

Exactly why did arteta not correct this earlier

Eric Blair

We’re not far away, we badly need upgrades to some squad players and probably a big signing in midfield.

Jack

I thought Holding was fine, he obviously got shrugged off by Haaland but so does everyone. Obviously you hope to have a CB that can bully Haaland off it and win his share of those challenges, but there are only a handful of those in world football. We’re certainly not getting one to be our backup RCB. Holding made some good challenges and was solid enough apart from the first goal. I don’t think much blame lies with him. For me it was more the midfield that was the issue- Haaland and De Bruyne had free run at the CBs… Read more »

Ex-Priest Tobin

As soon as I saw Wenger in the stadium earlier in the season I knew we weren’t winning the title. He has poisoned yet another group of players with the spirit of failure.

Der32

Spud in disguise.

Eric Blair

Best shoehorn of the day, congrats!

Eric Blair

Let’s make sure we finish 2nd in case the lawyers come through for us.

K-Gooner

Exactly my thoughts. Those 15 points deduction can’t come soon enough!

Wengerball

Proud of this team! You know we have overachieved and have been incredibly by the amount of jackass’s reveling in our loss. Lets continue to make these plebs hate us as we move toward a new Dynasty!

Jimster

Men against boys I’m afraid…money talks, two first teams that would come first and second in PL! What about that Ponce at the end with his soppy Barnet, embarrassing!

IgorStepanoooo

Not much to say. I think most fans saw this coming. Hope the boys pick themselves up and make the remainder of the season as uncomfortable for city as possible. Then let’s build a better squad.

Daan52

Not our year. We will win it next year.
Love our away fans.

Bruce

We were shit

Daveod

Its disappointing but all i ask of these lads is to bounce back and compound the misery on chelsea this weekend, lets start with trossard and really stick it to mudryk 🤷‍♂️ COYG

Hi-brid

My fear is what will happen now in the last 5 games. Feels like I’ve seen this movie before.

Eric Blair

What exactly are you afraid of?

Hi-brid

A failure to recover from this that sees us garner very few points from our remaining games and a season that has seen so much progress end with a whimper. I think that would be a sad way for a season that promised so much to end.

Eric Blair

OK, I get that. But we’re almost certain to finish 2nd and when the season’s over we will all surely look back at the whole thing with amazement at how far we’ve come in such a short time, and what a great platform we have going forward.

Whatever happens in the next few games the excitement will still be there and we can look forward to playing the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich again!

Easy tiger

I am afraid we lose second place. If we get 2nd we Will be champions is year or so..

BillyKrystal

It wouldn’t have changed the outcome but we got fucked again. Should’ve had a clear hand ball pen. And I forget who it was who kicked Ben white from the ground in the corner. We’ve seen reds given for that, is it not violent conduct?

Chris

at this point, its fair to assume the refs will be more favorable to man city. why calling corruption corruption makes you a ‘conspiracy theorist’ is frankly beyond me.

Der32

Check out the stills for Stones’ goal. Clearly offside. VAR pulled out a still that looks onside, but didn’t at all show if it’s the moment KDB hit the ball. A zoomed out angle of KDB hitting the ball clearly shows there’s no way White kept Stones on side. Farcical.

BillyKrystal

Completely forgot that one, egregious error when they are looking on VAR from angle so cockeyed I thought it was Troy Deeneys eyeball

Rick_Sanchez

Which handball?!

Glenn Helder's Perm

If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it was Haaland basically leaning into a ball with his bicep.

To me at least, he quite clearly moved/tilted his upper body into a ball into the area and hit it with his bicep/upper arm. His eyes were on it the whole time. Didn’t get a second glance in the coverage I saw.

Felt we were unlucky with the second goal too, and to go in 2-0 kinda ended it for us by halftime.

BillyKrystal

Was it Haaland? Can’t remember who shot and who blocked. Their arm was to their side but they 100% moved their body/arm into the ball. They’ve given about 30 pens this year from those silly ones where as a player braces themself going to ground, ball hits their standing arm and it’s a pen. But they can’t give a blatant intentional handball.

Hi-brid

Yes, it was Haaland.

Jimster

By the way we’ll done Arsenal, what a season, twists and turns maybe. COYG!!!!

Jeremy

Not sure how i’ll feel when the dust settles but the good will i felt for this team eroded comprehensively this evening. Its one thing losing to a better team with dignity and pride, its quite another to get your pants pulled down in such a way and offer zero resistance or quality. I suppose we all have to tell our children that cheats prosper now.

Bossman Bill

Very odd

Jeremy

I’d argue that its stranger to talk about how proud you are of a team who in it’s biggest game of the season has given its fans precisely nothing to be proud of.

Pessimist

Twice this season and for last 12 contests

Red Arrow

I’m disappointed that there was no fight today. We are better than this. Do we have an inferiority complex when we play Man City?

Eric Blair

Yes we clearly do, and not only Man City. But this is a young team that can alter those realities.

Gooner Z

Atleast we got St Tottenringham right? Right?
*trying not to sob

Bossman Bill

Ahh, they were better than us, they’re a very good team, what can you do.

Fun while it lasted. Here’s to CL glory next year (…and maybe Chelsea getting relegated this year?)

PTAFC

Lost it in previous 3 games. City are a great team but we were like rabbbits in the headlights. Saka a couple of weeks ago saying we ain’t scared of anyone, really as you all looked scared shitless tonight! Our fans were great again fair play

Chris

saka looks tired more than anything else. i called it in the liverpool game, west ham one and then southampton. pep blocked off martinelli and with that we lost attacking impotence.

its a shame because trossard, jorginho and reiss all looked sharp.

Eric Blair

They’re a young team who have obviously struggled with the psychological part of leading the league with a handful of games to go. We have never been a club who wins year in year out, but every now and then put a great team together who can win a league and I am convinced this team will do that in one the coming seasons. This experience will be invaluable in that moment.

StuArse

Let’s face it, the City squad is big and high quality, but we were just so below par all over the pitch today. What has happened to Partey the last few weeks?
I think Tierney should have started for his aggression and Jorginho over Xhaka who can’t have been 100% but beyond that there’s not much else Arteta could have done. Squad rebuilding takes time and injuries have not been kind.
Nelson looked good when he came on.

HotAir

I think Parteys drop in form may just be covering Holding.

portugunner

squad for the next fixture:
rambo, big gabi, holding, tierney, benny, jorginho, xhaka, ødegaard, nelson, trossard, eddie

Sheldon

Rob Holding is a terrible terrible footballer. Being a good lad shouldn’t have been enough to secure a place in the squad this season, especially after he cost us top 4 last season. He shudve been shipped out. Now he has cost us the league.

Ealing

today it was a wholesale shitshow ! we were not at the races

Pessimist

Stupid. Why not blame Saliba, Tomi, Elneny, Jesus for being injured? This was not down to Holding alone.

Der32

Same cowards blaming Vieira in the last game. Always need to point the finger.

Will

Saliba being injured cost us the league holding has had some big moments for us. Maybe playing kt and then white at centre back would of been the answer. Having said that holding has lost his shithousery since he put that hair band on

LANS

What stings the most is we weren’t playing the football today that has gotten us to the top. Watching how smug and arrogant City and that ginger bastard are to beat a psychologically off-kilter team also hurts.

All the same I’m really proud of these lads and know that we have something special that only needs tweaking to take us to the top next season.

Tony

I don’t get why Arteta didn’t try something different. The team was underperforming in the three previous games. Try something, change something, how can you do the same thing and expect something different. Also, how can you expect from players that aren’t good enough to play for City to win against City? Build a team with players that City would like to have for themselves, not with players that City was happy to sell. You won’t win the league like that.

LANS

I get the frustration but you’re asking for us to just have different players. I would argue that for our funds we have a fantastic squad. This stuff is incremental. Look at Chelsea who have 10x the money we have, a total mess for just throwing money at it the problem.

Chris

i think you have to have faith in your players because changing to something new puts more pressure on them and its the etihad.

Ealing

I agree with the first part, and that you won’t win the league if you buy city’s player, but we’re better than were we were last year, way much better,

HotAir

yeah I don’t think Arteta gets criticised enough for this, he more or less just knows one way of playing whilst City are praised for making changes all the time. Surely something else like a double pivot with Jorginho or getting Tierney onto the pitch?

Fatgooner

Arteta got it wrong tactically. We should have flooded the midfield and played just one up front to frustrate them. They bossed the midfield and carved us open again and again.

Eric Blair

That’s a pretty lucid point there. I suppose the fact is when we took their rejects we couldn’t imagine being their rivals, their rejects were supposed to get us into the top 4,which they have handsomely.

If our target is now a title win it might be fair to discuss if those players are worthy of a first team position.

Nikolaj

I don’t think any of us are surprised by a city win today. They were really good. Don’t think they made any mistakes. I had really hoped that we could push them more.

But what a season we have had. Proud of this team. Now let’s go out and win the rest and see what that gets us. COYG

Tombo

Sick of this city love in amongst the media all of a sudden. They have 100 charges against their name. Why would anyone laud them having all the best players.

Chris

to line their own pockets. also because their is institutional pressure to overlook it because broadcasters know they’ll end up in court if they don’t. broadcasters know that if they don’t complain then they can get rich off it by lauding up and chalking it up as “content” (as in “filler”) rather than bemoan the slow decay of the integrity of the game. so they hire people to present and tell them that fans dont wna hear about all this and just care about the football on the pitch. some go along with it because theyre stupid, others know the… Read more »

jeremy

And the broadcasters also know that if they don’t rock the boat, fans of teams will turn against each other. It was the same with Liverpool when they were competing for the title. Most fans who aren’t Liverpool fans don’t like Liverpool (same with us and UTD), so when they fail rival fans are falling over themselves to point the finger and laugh rather than concerning themselves with the bigger picture. Some of our own fans don’t want to believe the game is corrupt even though it obviously is. They would rather turn against their own team than consider the… Read more »

UpNorth

This was Newcastle 2.0. Nobody showed up tonight and the game was an orgy of bad passes , lost duels and defensive errors. I dom’t point fingers at Holding, he wasn’t worse than the rest of the lot, but the experienced «winners» in Jesus and Zinchy should have steppes isp tonight. But , let accept the fact that we’re on a downward spiral and they upwards and lets fight for the second place and at least keep United behind us.

Eric Blair

Newcastle 2.0 is next week mate.

Man Manny

OFFICIAL: ARSENAL BACK IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AFTER A SEVEN YEAR HIATUS!!!

Congratulations to Arsenal football club and their fans for this great feat after a stellar campaign that has seen them sit atop the table longer than any other team. Brighton’s 1-3 to Nottingham Forest means no team outside of the current top 4 can catch up with them anymore.
According to a cross-section of fans, they can’t wait to hear the CL anthem again echoing in the Emirates.
Coming on the heels of St. Totteringham’s day, it’s been a glorious week to be an Arsenal fan.

Alex

Manny….what did you think about the shit game though?

Man Manny

The myriad of posts here tell you what hundreds of fans think about tonight’s game. That should do, no?

Can you hear the drums Patino?

The Jonah lomu analogy was apt.

Qwekumalhi

Whenever the big boys decide they really don’t want to play can Arteta at least get the under 21s to roll out. This is worse than going down without a whimper. Haba!

JacobD