Any side that leaves the Emirates stadium with a point is usually grateful, especially if they only scored their equalizer in the dying minutes. However, Manuel Pellegrini is fully aware that Manchester City’s meteoric rise means that every game they play they expect to win – no matter how tough the opponents.
City failed to really get out of first gear against Arsenal, but that’s not to say that the Gunners excelled and deserved their victory. In fact they were sluggish for long periods and it was only an 11-minute burst of brilliance that saw them take the lead.
Sergio Aguero, who has struggled with injury over the start of the season, had given City the lead with a clever finish in the 28th minute. He swept home a delightful cross, but City should have already been behind after Danny Welbeck, who was making his debut for Arsenal, hit the post when clean through on goal.
Welbeck, who was criticised in the middle of the week by his former Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, for not scoring enough goals, showed that the Dutch coach might have had a point with his miss.
Jack Wilshire, who had another sterling game to continue his great start to the season, then showed his England compatriot how it should be done to equalise for Arsenal. He latched onto a delightful through ball from Aaron Ramsey and as Joe Hart belted out Wilshere delightfully chipped it over the onrushing keeper to score.
Arsenal fans were then in dream land just eleven minutes later when Alexi Sanchez expertly dispatched a volley to give his side the lead. One of Arsenal’s main faults over the last few seasons has been their inability to beat the top sides, and if they had managed to hold out for victory over City then they would have taken a great stride to vanquishing these demons.
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans though they weren’t able to do that. With only seven minutes left City’s defender, Martin DeMichelis, found himself free in the Arsenal penalty area and he powered a header past the despairing dive of Wojech Szczesny, who did manage to get a hand to it, to save a point for City.
There were still chances for City to claim all three points though. Aleksander Kolarov hit the post and Laurent Koscielny cleared off the line for Arsenal, but victory for City would have been harsh on Arsene Wenger’s team.
However after the game, Manuel Pellegrini, insisted that Arsenal were lucky to draw, and that the referee, Mark Clattenburg, had been poor throughout and should have disallowed the host’s two goals.
“The referee didn’t want to whistle,” Pellegrini declared, according to the Guardian. “There was clearly a foul. Welbeck pushed Kompany, he didn’t have any intention to play the ball. Arsenal scored both goals with fouls. But I’m very happy the way our team played, we are very happy with the draw. We had more possession and more attempts to score goals, so I’m very happy with my team. On a normal day we have to win this game.”
[Image via Bing.com]