Premier League Live Blog: Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Posted by Mike on August 25, 2007
Today, Arsenal looks to keep themselves in contention for the top of the Premier league Table against Manchester City. Arsenal had stumbled out the gate this season, thanks in no small part to a few goaltending blunders by some old German guy. Arsenal fans certainly aren’t happy with him.
Meanwhile, Manchester City, behind great play from newcomers and the leadership of former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, are trying to continue their run at the top of the league while preventing their new owner, corrupt ex-PM of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra, from getting shot.
So we enter this game with the added intrigue that someone associated with either team could rake a sniper bullet to the crotch today. Let’s watch.
10:05, 1st minute: We have an announcer with a thick Scottish accent today. Hilarity shall ensue.
10:06, 2nd, minute: Almunia is in goal for Arsenal. A good move by the Gunners, but it reduces today’s possible intrigue substantially.
Meanwhile, Man City keeper Kasper Schmeichel (yes, that Schmeichel) has been the polar opposite of Lehmann so far this season. At age 21, he’s playing his first season in the Premier league, and has yet to surrender a goal.
10:08, 5th minute: Robin Van Persie takes the first real shot of the game. His hard strike was just a little too high.
10:11, 8th minute: Arsenal seems to be dictating the pace so far. I would say the have the upper hand, but Sagna’s horrible, horrible hair negates any advantage.
10:14, 11th minute: Michael Johnson breaks away from the defense and sets up a shot for Martin Petrov, and he hits it just wide.
10;15, 12th minute: Cesc Fabregas sets up a good shot for Adebayor, but he decides not to take a shot.
So far it’s been a pretty good game by both teams, but it looks like Arsenal should draw first blood.
10:17, 14th minute: Arsenal gets the first corner kick of the game, but Sagna is down.
I’m pretty sure Matheiu Flamini gave Sagna an accidental nutshot.
10:20, 17th minute: Deitmar Hamann is yellow carded for a hard tackle on Van Persie. That wasn’t a very smart tackle on his part.
10:22, 19th minute: Stephen Ireland makes a great pass to Emile Mpnza, but he can’t get a good touch towards goal. Good to see Man City getting some chances.
Meanwhile, Sagna and his hair mercifully come out of the game in favor of Denilson.
10:25, 22nd minute: Elano gets a very open shot off of a turnover, but he can’t get a good shot off, and Almunia stops his strike with relative ease.
10:29, 26th minute: A great pass by Rosicky into the box, but Van Persie can’t to the ball before Schmiechel slides in and grabs it. He gets a faceful of Van Persie’s foot, but he’s OK.
10:30, 27th minute: I’m pretty sure that the british announcer hit on Kasper just now, discussing his “boyish good looks”.
10:34, 31st minute: As we reach the half hour mark in the game, one Arsenal fans believes now is a good time to go for concessions. The other 59,999 fans in the stadium think he’s a nut job for doing so. Could someone explain this part of soccer stadium culture to me?
10:36, 33nd minute: Some good defense my Manchester City today. Arsenal has had more than their fair share of scoring chances, but have almost no shots on goal to show for it.
10:40, 37th minute: Great passing by Adebayor to set up the cross by Fabregas, but Van Perise just can’t get to the ball in time. Another half-step and it might have been a goal.
10:41, 38th minute: Shinawatra is in the open air part of his box. Not a smart move; it puts him right in the crosshairs of a potential sniper hired by the Thailand government. Or a United fan.
10:44, 41st minute: A good pass to Rosicky, who sets up a decent cross. But Van Persie, what the hell kind of a shot was that?
Man City’s defense has been bending all day, allowing Arsenal to dictate the game. Eventually, they’re going to break.
10:48, 44th minute: Some very good defense by Arsenal right now. Any good runs by Man City are broken up pretty quickly, before they begin to pose a true threat.
10:51, 45+ minutes: We reach halftime, and Man City and Arsenal are still scoreless, 0-0. Arsenal certainly has been dictating the pace of this game. Man City has done a pretty good job, playing as well as we can reasonably expect them. But Arsenal is now showing that they are the more talented team.
City still has a very good chance of keeping the game tied or even winning this game. But they’ll need to clamp down a bit more on defense, setup a few more scoring chances, and catch one or two breaks in the second half.
11:09, 47th minute: As we start the second half, Arsenal still isn’t doing a particularly good job with their set pieces. They’re still doing better than man City, who haven’t gotten any set pieces today.
11:12, 50th minute: Adebayor is going to score if City continues to allow him to set up shots.
11:18, 55th minute: Finally, Man City threatens for a goal in the first half. a good run by Petrov, but he can’t make much of it. They get a throw in later, and finally take a shot, but Almunia collects it easily. I’m pretty sure that was they’re first true shot in over a half hour of game action.
11:20, 57th minute: A great no-look pass sets up Petrov who takes a hard shot at the goal. It’s out of the keeper’s reach, but just a bit wide of the right post. A bit unlucky, but at least now Arsenal’s defense is being challenged.
11:23, 60th minute: One hour gone, and with Arsenal’s momentum fading, neither team has a particular advantage right now.
11:24, 61st minute: Kolo Toure very nearly gave up a penalty kick, with a bad defensive play on Michael Johnson.
11:25, 62nd minute: Mpenza takes a great pass, and he had a near perfect opportunity for a goal. But Almunia slides in and make s a great save before Mpenza’s shot goes too far. The ensuing free kick is cleared easily.
11:29, 66th minute: Rosicky sets up a great opportunity for Alexander Hleb, and he’s fouled in the box by Richards. A penalty kick for Arsenal. Not a very smart move on the part of Richards.
11:30, 67th minute: Van Persie takes the penalty…and Schmiechel saves it! What a kick save by Kasper Schmeichel! Van Persie was sure the he had it, but Man City’s new keeper comes through.
11:32, 69th minute: Almost immediately after the penalty, Arsenal comes back and takes two great shots. each time, Schmiechel is there to make a spectacular save. It’s been quite a start to this young man’s career.
11:35, 72nd minute: Sven is going to make an offensive substitution and put Rolando Bianchi into the game.
Arsenal continues to threaten the Man City goal, and City’s defense continues to step up. Right now, though, they need a break and for their own team to get some offensive chances.
11:37, 74th minute: Bianchi comes in for Mpenza, Geovanni comes in for Elano, and Adebayor comes out of the game in favor of Eduardo da Silva.
11:43, 80th minute: GOLAZO! What a goal by Cesc Fabregas. Hleb makes an absolutely superb pass, Fabregas makes the quick one-touch strike, and Schmiechel stood little chance. Arsenal’s constant pressure pays off, and Fabregas gives them a 1-0 lead.
11:45, 82nd minute: City now has less than ten minute for their substitutions to pay off and to get the equalizer.
11:47, 85th minute: As Arsenal continues to put pressure on the Man City goal, their best defense has been a relentless attack on offense, keeping City on their heels and preventing them from threating the Arsenal goal too much.
11:50, 87th minute: Final subs: Michael Ball in for Stephen Ireland, and Van Persie is replaced by Alexandre Snng.
11:53, 90th minute: Time is running out, as Man City only have three minutes of stoppage time to try and get the equalizer. With the way Arsenal is playing, it’s highly unlikely.
11:55, 92nd minute: Schmeichel comes into the box for the corner kick, and he very neraly heads in the equalizer. But Almunia is able to make the save.
11:57, full time: And it’s over. Arsenal wins, 1-0 behind Fabregas’ fantastic goal, as Kasper Schmiechel and Man City’s perfect records are broken. Kasper did an excellent job today, but Arsenal was simply relentless on offense, and they got a well-deserved win in a great game today.
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