Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal: Player Ratings
It was 17th time lucky for Arsenal tonight as goals from Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud guided them to a remarkable 2-0 victory at The Etihad over the defending champions, Manchester City. This victory comes after 16 games which saw Arsenal come out on the losing side of Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea.
The victory helps Arsenal climb back into fifth spot on the table, putting fierce cross-town rivals Tottenham back in sixth place and one point off a Champions League place. Meanwhile, for Manchester City, the loss means the gap between them and league leaders Chelsea goes up to five.
Here, are the player ratings for this enthralling game of football.
Joe Hart (7/10): Guessed the right way for the penalty but power and placement were good enough to beat the England number one. Helpless on the second goal.
Pablo Zabaleta (7/10): Did well to throttle Alexis Sanchez on his side of the field. But was never able to exert himself on the offensive side of things as much he would have liked to have.
Vincent Kompany (5/10): An off day for the City skipper in his first game back from injury. Looked out of sorts on a number of occasions. Guilty for giving away the penalty and lucky to not have seen red for a clattering tackle on Alexis in the second-half.
Martin Demichelis (6.5/10): Lucky not to have been punished for a number of sloppy touches. Was nowhere to be seen when City conceded the second.
Gael Clichy (7/10): Not the brightest of days for the ex-Arsenal man, who had an up and down game. Held his own for most of the game against the pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain, but was bailed out late in the game by his skipper when he was out-tussled by Flamini.
Fernandinho (7/10): The Brazilian was all over the pitch in the first-half. He was there to cover, whether it be for an errant touch in the mid-field or a centre-back who went out of position. The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk man was also there to instigate the offense as Manchester City enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession in the opening 45 minutes.
Fernando (5.5/10): A poor game for the Brazilian who lost out on a number of duels in the middle of the park. Was directly responsible for the second goal as he totally lost track of Olivier Giroud who went in unmarked to score his sixth goal of the season. Was surprised when it was Fernandinho’s number instead of his that was called to be replaced by Frank Lampard.
Jesus Navas (6/10): Got into the final third and behind Monreal on a number of occasions but kept on drilling low crosses in. Poor in the final third.
David Silva (7.5/10): Had a bag of tricks and sought to bring Manchester City forward. Never got enough support or runners to feed.
James Milner (5.5/10): A hard grafted first-half display saw him substituted at the interval. Not much inspiration from the England international who plied on the left today.
Sergio Aguero (6.5/10): Hard to remember any significant moment of contribution from the pint-sized Argentinian. Still a few yards away from getting back into things.
Stefan Jovetic (6.5/10): The Montenegrin’s introduction at the interval sparked City into life, but he never had quite the impact Pellegrini’s looked for. Still has some ways to go to prove his doubters wrong.
Frank Lampard (6/10): Never really made much of a difference after coming on. First loss for the Chelsea legend in the blue of Manchester City.
Edin Dzeko (6/10): Nothing of note except for a shot on goal which David Ospina saved comfortably.
David Ospina (7/10): Not tested at all in the first-half. City did finish with 4 attempts on target, but none really challenged the Colombian.
Hector Bellerin (7.5/10): Arsenal has a keeper in this 19-year old kid. We already know that he had speed, but the Spaniard also showed some real defensive presence and poise.
Petr Mertesacker (7.5/10): Wojciech Szczesny’s father said that the big German showed the agility of a “rhinoceros” in their humiliating defeat at St. Mary’s to Southampton. Two games on and two clean sheets on, not many would delve much into the comments. Mertesacker was never for his nimble feet. It’s always been his ability to read the game that has helped soar to this level and he showed that time and again tonight.
Laurent Koscielny(8.5/10): At the back, Laurent Koscielny lead from the front. Read the game pretty much the whole 90 minutes and was always at the right position at the right time. His night was exemplified by his vital touch to deny Aguero a tap-in in the second-half when all the Argentine needed was a touch from a cross fizzed in by Jesus Navas.
Nacho Monreal (8/10): The Spaniard was fouled by Vincent Kompany in the first half that led to the penalty. Navas got the better of him on a few occasions but was never able to really conjure up a decisive final ball.
Francis Coquelin (8.5/10): Showed maturity beyond his years. A constant shield in front of the two centre-backs who constantly disrupted play. Vocal and really made his presence felt in the middle of the park. Does Arsenal really need a midfield enforcer in the transfer window anymore?
Aaron Ramsey (7/10): He was the veteran presence alongside Coquelin that helped Arsenal win the battle at the centre of the midfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7/10): Held his own on the right and helped the Gunners out of a number of tight situations. His pace was useful to get Arsenal start off on the counter time and again. Had a few rash moments early in the second-half leading to his substitution in the 66th minute.
Santi Cazorla (9.5/10): His close control and touches were a thing to behold today. Conceded an advanced position in the first-half to help out Ramsey and Coquelin whilst City enjoyed 65% of the possession in the first-half. Really came into his own as the game was stretched in the second. The goal and the assist were icings on the cake.
Alexis Sanchez (8/10): Might not have gotten the goal today but worked his socks off as always. More so, it was the Chilean to whom the Gunners looked time and again early in the game to provide a moment of inspiration.
Olivier Giroud(8.5/10): Today was the day of the “good Giroud”. The Frenchman has struggled with consistency throughout his time at North London. Thankfully for the Gunner faithful, the Frenchman was on the mark today. He had two decisive touches in the game and both of them lead to goals. The first one was the exquisite one-two that the ex-Montpellier man played with Monreal that lead to the opener. The second resulted in Arsenal taking a decisive two-goal lead as Giroud managed to nestle Santi Cazorla’s free-kick into the bottom corner of Joe Hart’s net.
Tomas Rosicky (7/10): Replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain in the second-half and took to the pace of the game like a duck to water. Provided a calmness to the proceedings for Arsenal going forward.
Mathieu Flamini (6/10): Arsene Wenger shut up shop with the introduction of the Frenchman in the dying minutes of the game. Had a great opportunity to give Arsenal an even more emphatic victory after he powered his way into the penalty box, but failed to find the open Olivier Giroud.
Kieran Gibbs (7/10): Gave Arsenal even more insurance on the left where they had to deal with the pacy Jesus Navas.