Ruthless City Push Arsenal further down the abyss
The memories of how Arteta put City out of the Fa cup were still kicking and alive in Pep’s Mind and Man city’s lineup was symbolic of how Pep planned to counter that threat. Playing with 2 central defensive midfielders against a team that had not scored at home since October was something that pep would have not dreamt of even in his worst nightmares, yet the defeat in the Fa cup haunted him so much that he had to put pragmatism before passion. This was a test of how much he has learnt from the past and evolved as a coach.
Excellent first half but the same problems
As soon as Gabriel Jesus struck very early in the first half, it seemed like city were out on a mission to rediscover their goal scoring form. Man City moved the ball with great speed and purpose. It was a dizzying experience for the arsenal players, who were chasing shadows for the first half an hour. There was only one problem, the scoreboard still read 1-0 amid all of City’s dominance and flair. This is the pattern of how this season has been going and there was a very real danger of this match slipping into the same category. Lacazzete scoring in the 31th minute meant that this was yet an other match where city would have to scrap and fight till the end to try and score an other goal. It seemed as if City were again finding it difficult to put the ball in the net. Gabriel Jesus had a one on one with the keeper towards the end of the first half and he somehow struck it straight at the keeper with the entire goal at its mercy. This summed up City’s entire season in a nutshell and this lack of ruthlessness is why we have been knocked out of the champions league last season and are not at the top of the table this time around.
Laporte is World Class but Stones offers that extra bit
The inclusion of John stones ahead of Laporte over the past few weeks has drawn wide spread debates and discussion among City fans. Many People felt that Laporte was so good that pep had to somehow include him, even if it meant restoring stones back to the bench despite stellar performances. Laporte’s Defending against Lacazette for the goal showed exactly why pep prefers stones ahead of the French Defender. Laporte did nothing wrong and he was mostly solid throughout the match, he even scored a goal towards the end to pile up the misery on Arsenal, but John Stones has this ability to anticipate danger from crosses and more often than not his positional sense on crosses is excellent. At the weekend against Southampton, he made an excellent interception against a cross from the right hand side that was destined to be put away. Stones at his very best has this fantastic ability to sniff out danger from wide areas and i am convinced that this is the reason why pep is preferring Stones over Laporte
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Fernandinho Rolled back the Years in a stunning Display
This was a master showing the players on both sides how to control the midfield and dictate the play. It was a maestro at work today crafting a stellar midfield performance, a display that was a fantastic exhibition of guile, poise, positional sense and great attacking verve. This was a showing that sent City fans down the memory lane and reminded them what they would miss from the next season. Fernandinho was a Midfield colossus dictating play from the deep and also breaking up the play with his tactical fouls and fantastic ability to spot danger. This was a lesson in itself to Rodri as to how the midfield orchestra should be conducted. The timing of Fernandinho’s runs from the deep were excellent and it was he who made the third goal with his excellent run forward. This was a display of skill blended excellently with leadership. This is the kind of midfield performance we need in order to go on and win the Champions league. This display showed how Fernandinho was able to hold up the midfield on his own all those seasons ago when David Silva and KDB ran through the opponents with their creativity.
The tide of time does not spare even the mighty and this was a great walk down the memory lane for all of City’s fans