Premier League

January 5, 2011



0 - 0

Manchester City

Premier League

19:45 +00:00, January 5, 2011

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: Michael Jones


    FT stat Manchester City have been the visitors in the last two Premier League goalless draws at the Emirates Stadium.


    FT Premier League leaders Manchester United are the real winners after this game.


    FT Arsenal have now dropped more points at home than they did in the whole of last season. But at least they tried to win the game and should have scored at least once in the first hlaf.


    FT Well City obviously came for a draw and got one. I pray they don't win the league with this dull brand of football.

  • 90'

    Mercifully the ref blows the final whistle. 0-0 at the Emirates and what promised to be a great game ended up a disappointing one.

  • 90'

    ...Van Persie gets his shot on target but Hart punches the effort clear.

  • 90'

    Boateng gives a way a freekick within shooting distance for Arsenal...

  • 90'

    Man City have actually got nobody playing up front now. Not even a midfielder pushed forward.

  • 90'

    League-leaders Manchester United will be watching this with massive smiles on their faces.

  • 89'

    City make a change. Tevez, their only striker on the pitch, goes off and on comes defender Boateng. You have got to be kidding!

  • 88'

    Amazing scenes. Both Zabaleta and Sagna are shocked and go off with their arms around each other shoulders.

  • 88'

    The ref has shown them both red cards. Ha ha! That is very harsh.

  • 87'

    Zabaleta doesn't like a tackle from Sagna and the duo push their heads together. The crowd sense blood...

  • 86'

    An offside. A goal kick. A midfield battle. A foul.

  • 85'

    I'll let you know as soon as somethng happens.

  • 84'

    ...Fabregas chips the ball into the box and Kompany heads clear. He would have been better having a shot.

  • 83'

    Fabregas wins a freekick from Kompany. It's about 30-odd yards out. Too far for a shot? We will see...

  • 82'

    City's blue wall is still standing firm under a constant bombardment from Arsenal.

  • 81'

    Wenger uses the break in play to make a sub. Off goes Wilshere and on comes Bendtner.

  • 80'

    Milner lands heavily after a tackle from Clichy and looks to be winded.

  • 79'

    Arshavin cuts in from the left. There is no shot on but he takes one anyway and strikes the ball straight into Yaya.

  • 78'

    Tevez keeps the ball for about 40 seconds just on his own.

  • 77'

    Song tip-toes into the box, space opens up for the shot but for some reason he decides to pass, which allows the City defenders to get back into position.

  • 76'

    Johnson with some trickery down the right but his cross is poor.

  • 75'

    Kompany shrugs off Fabregas as Arsenal start to run out of ideas.

  • 74'

    Koscielny takes out Tevez but escapes a booking.

  • 73'

    Arshavin crosses. Van Persie knocks it down. City keeper Hart collects under pressure.

  • 72'

    Van Persie is down holding his hip following a heavy fall.

  • 71'

    Fabregas leaves Zabaleta for dead and drills in a low cross. Toure throws himself to block the cross and City see off the danger.

  • 70'

    Johnson plays a brilliant back-heel one-two with Richards. The City defender is clear but has no support.

  • 69'

    Walcott has run his race today. On comes Arshavin.

  • 68'

    Walcott and Fabregas combine on the right. Fabregas' cross is sliced and looks like it might drop into the net for one moment. It doesn't.

  • 67'

    Johnson takes the corner himself. After a bit of pinball in the box Arsenal get the ball clear.

  • 66'

    Johnson beats Clichy and then wins a corner (City's second of the match) off the Arsenal defender.

  • 65'

    Scrappy stuff at the Emirates.

  • 64'

    City make a change. Off goes Jo and on comes Adam Johnson - surely he can inject some excitment into City's play.

  • 63'

    City have actually got four players forward but Zabaleta's cross doesn't find any of them.

  • 62'

    City can't, or won't, get out of their half. This is ultra-defensive stuff from Mancini's men.

  • 61'

    Van Persie sets himself from a long way out and shoots. Hart flies acorss his goal to make a good save.

  • 60'

    Are City time wasting already? It wouldn't surprise me.

  • 59'

    Jo is down clutching his face after a tussle. There may have been a feather light touch on his lip but nothing more than that.

  • 58'

    Barry chips the ball down the line for Jo to chase. The striker makes it and then kicks the ball straight into Sagna. Rubbish!

  • 57'

    The fans have found their voices.

  • 56'

    Arsenal are camped in the City half but can't find a way through the massed defence.

  • 55'

    Barry makes a vital interception.

  • 54'

    Van Persie takes a short corner. He gets a return pass from Nasri and then shoots into the sidenetting from an acute angle. Some Arsenal fans thought it had gone in.

  • 53'

    Zabaleta wins another battle with Walcott. Arsenal are isolating the full-back against their pacy man.

  • 52'

    City's attacks are all seat of the pants stuff. They seem to have no plan to them.

  • 51'

    Zabaleta uses all his pace and then stretches every inch of his frame to take the ball away from Walcott as they both bear down goal.

  • 50'

    The Arsenal players seem to have acres of space. Walcott crosses into the box but none of the forward players have made a good enough run.

  • 49'

    Van Persie skirts along the edge of the box and then fires off a wild shot which goes high and wide.

  • 48'

    Nasri is caught offside and a promising Arsenal move breaks down.

  • 47'

    Walcott wins a corner. Van Persie takes it. Hart fails to punch clear, but Yaya is there to head it clear.

  • 47'

    Sagna is back up as Arsenal take possession of the ball.

  • 46'

    Early injury worry for Arsenal with Sagna slow to get up after a tackle with Jo.

  • 46'

    Manchester City get the second-half under way, kicking from left to right.


    HT It is difficult to say how Mancini could change it in the second-half. The obvious thing would be to go 4-4-2 but he seems a very conservative manager and with City being over run he is unlikely to take a man out of midfield.


    HT stat: Arsenal's pass completion in the final third in the first half was 74%, Man City's was only 41%.


    Arsenal's Alex Song and Manchester City's Yaya Toure battle for the ball


    HT City might want to give the Arsenal defence a bit more of a test in the second-half, seeing as though it has buckled under pressure in a number of matches so far this season.


    HT Well Man City will be delighted that it is still 0-0, Arsenal could be out of sight by now.

  • 45'

    That's the final action of the half as the ref blows for the break.

  • 45'

    Tevez is back defending and sets Zabaleta galloping away down the flank. But with only Barry up with him, yet another City attack breaks down.

  • 44'

    Jo holds up the ball and knocks it down for Tevez, who shoots from outside the box. His effort is dipping, but not enough, and goes over the bar.

  • 43'

    Walcott does well to hold off Zabaleta but when he turns he doesn't know what to do and loses the ball.

  • 42'

    Tevez attacks but only Zabaleta is with him and with the duo stuck out wide Arsenal easily break it up.

  • 41'

    City just don't have enough players willing to join in their sparse attacks.

  • 40'

    Clichy brings the ball out from the back. Walcott sets up Fabregas on the edge of the box but De Jong makes a brilliant blocking tackle.

  • 39'

    Pretty patterns from the Gunners but no goals.

  • 38'

    Van Persie shoots from outside the box but Hart is equal to the Arsenal striker's curling effort.

  • 37'

    Fabregas splits the City defence with a great pass. Walcott should shoot but he takes too long and when he does shoot the ball hits De Jong. Walcott wants a penalty... he is clutching at straws.

  • 36'

    Arsenal keep possession but go nowhere.

  • 35'

    City are seeing a bit of the ball in Arsenal's half now.

  • 34'

    Yaya brushes off Song like he is not there and then plays a one-two with Tevez. The return ball is poor and the move breaks down.

  • 33'

    Richards spots a run from Tevez. The striker looks for support in the box, sees none and so shoots from wide on the right. Needless to say, he doesn't score.

  • 32'

    More intrictae passing from the Gunners but the City defence holds firm.

  • 31'

    City might be getting battered but here's some good news for their fans: Man City have won four and lost none of their last five Premier League away matches.

  • 30'

    Fabregas lofts a wonderful pass over the City defence for Walcott but the flag is up for offside.

  • 29'

    De Jong bodychecks Wilshere and gets booked.

  • 28'

    ...the ball bounces to Walcott, who lashes his shot against the bar from close-range. What a miss!

  • 27'

    Arsenal are straight down the other end. Fabregas shifts the ball and shoots from the edge of the box. His effort beats Hart but hits the post...

  • 26'

    That was a really good chance for City.

  • 25'

    Gareth Barry whips in freekick to the far post, Sagne misses his header and the City striker is caught unaware and scuffs his shot.

  • 24'

    Tevez gets the ball and drives forward. He runs into a swarm of red shirts, looks around for some support but doesn't find any.

  • 23'

    Wilshere to Walcott, who spins on the edge of the box but then snatches at his shot as a gap opens up.

  • 22'

    City resume the game, which has become very stop start and will suit the visitors, and Walcott comes back on.

  • 21'

    Walcott takes a blow to his ankle as he attempts to block a clearance from Zabaleta. He needs treatment.

  • 20'

    Barry got booked for that foul on Sagna.

  • 19'

    An aimless ball forward from Richards isn't going to work. Unless Sagna messes it up, which he nearly does unitl Barry takes him out and gives away a foul.

  • 18'

    Walcott races into the box and hits the deck with Jo tracking him. No appeal for a penalty from the England international though.

  • 17'

    Song gets the ball away under pressure and Walcott wins a throw deep in City's half... which is wasted.

  • 17'

    A delayed fall from Yaya is enough to win a comical freekick after a foul by Fabregas.

  • 16'

    After the long wait it is possibly the worst freekick I have ever seen. It came down with snow on it.

  • 15'

    ...Van Persie will take it...

  • 14'

    Van Persie is chopped down by Jo and Arsenal have a freekick just outside the City box...

  • 13'

    A slick City move breaks down after a poor touch from Nigel "the hatchet man" De Jong.

  • 12'

    Walcott tracks back to tackle Zabaleta.

  • 11'

    There is much head shaking going on in the City ranks, but when they do get forward they look dangerous.

  • 10'

    City boss Mancini is desperately trying to organise his rag-tag mob.

  • 9'

    Fabregas sets up Wilshere following a goal-mouth scramble but the youngster can't beat City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

  • 8'

    Wilshere ghosts past two players and sets up Walcott, who shoots straight at Kolo Toure.

  • 7'

    Song tackles Tevez. Arsenal attack. Van Persie shoots from outside the box and hits the post!

  • 6'

    Walcott has a chance to run at the defence but bottles it.

  • 5'

    The game has settled down a bit now. City are happy to keep possession in their half, just to take the sting out of Arsenal's eager start.

  • 4'

    Tevez sets up Milner but a terrible touch from the former Aston Villa man means the shooting chance has gone.

  • 3'

    Arsenal look well up for this.

  • 2'

    City break and then Milner curls a shot wide of Fabianski's far post. If the game carries on like this I'll have stubs for fingers.

  • 1'

    What a start to this game. Wilshere fires a cross/shot across the face of goal and two Arsenal players fail to turn it into the open goal.

  • 1'

    Fabregas is already pulling off a back-heel pass. He started a move that Song failed to finish with s scuffed shot from the edge of the box.

  • 1'

    Arsenal get the game underway, kicking from left to right. Both teams wear their normal colours.


    The teams are out on the pitch and we are only moments away from kick-off.


    Although Jo is a striker, we can expect him to play on the left of a five man midfield as City attempt to stifle Arsenal.


    According to Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle Arsenal need a new goalkeeper becasue the title race is a "Grand National not a sprint"... I'm still trying to work that one out.


    This game will provide a real test of the respective team's title credentials and according to some arbitrary number crunchers (not me) Arsenal have a 57% chance of victory against Manchester City, whose chance of an away win is 16%.


    Fabianksi is back on his feet and moving about okay now so he should be fine to start the match.


    Fabianksi appears to have injured himself in the warm up so there might be a change in goal for Arsenal.


    City are without winger David Silva and striker Mario Balotelli, who had knee injuries, and make five changes for this match at the Emirates. Carlos Tevez and Brazilian Jo lead the attack.


    Arsenal have named an unchanged side with England duo Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott joined Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in an attack-minded midfield.