ARSENAL 0, MANCHESTER CITY 2
A hotly disputed red card just minutes into the game put Arsenal on the back foot as City picked up their first away league win against the Gunners since the 1975 in the race for the title. It was a day when 900 away tickets at £62 each were returned by City out of their allocation of 3,000 but the hardy few who made the trip were treated to the rare sight of a City win at the home of the Gunners.
Roberto Mancini was delighted with the result against 10 men but felt City could have finished the Gunners off in the second half.
He said: “It was a good result for us because to play here is always difficult. Arsenal are a really strong team. Today, we started the game well with a good attitude, but the sending off made a difference.
“I think that today we should have closed the game in the second half, but we didn’t, and that is a big mistake.
City captain Vincent Kompany was sent off in the latter stages of the match as Arsenal tried to get back into the game but Mancini was adamant that Kompany was wrongfully dismissed.
“It was not a sending off, he went in with his left foot in front and I think the referee made a mistake.” declared the Italian.
Arsenal were reduced to 10 men after just 10 minutes of the encounter at the Emirates after a controversial refereeing decision by Mike Dean saw Laurent Koscielny sent off for hauling Edin Dzeko down in the penalty area as he tried to attack the loose ball. Koscielny had effectively rugby tackled Dzeko in a move which is commonly seen across the Premier League and rarely punished.
The Bosnian’s poorly struck penalty was deflected by Wojciech Szczesny onto the post to leave City’s small band of travelling supporters mortified at the prospect of another of those ‘typical-City’ days. They needn’t have worried too much as James Milner scored City’s first goal at the Emirates for five years in the 21st minute after David Silva’s quickly taken free kick found Carlos Tevez and his through-ball for Milner caught Arsenal napping.
City extended their lead after a move that started when Pablo Zabaleta had won the ball and passed it to James Milner whose cross managed to evade Arsenal’s statuesque defence and find Carlos Tevez. The Argentine striker’s effort was palmed away by Szczesny only to fall nicely for the Bosnian for a tap-in in the 32nd minute.
The Gunners improved after the break but City utilised of their numerical advantage to carved out chances at regular intervals. Edin Dzeko had a trio of chances to extend City’s lead while Tevez was thwarted by Szczesny when he dallied after going clean through.
The Gunners continued to struggle against City and the late sending off of Vincent Kompany, who seemed to aggressively scythe down Jack Wilshere, didn’t affect City’s momentum although Kompany’s replacement, Joleon Lescott, cleared off the line to deny Theo Walcott a goal which might have made the final minutes more fraught for the visitors.
Roberto Mancini confirmed that City will appeal the red card against Kompany.