City’s Brazilian on fire to gun down Wenger’s men
A sublime Robinho goal condemned Arsene Wenger's Arsenal to their fifth league defeat this season as they were beaten comprehensively 3-0 by Manchester City at Eastlands.
A goal from in-form Stephen Ireland and a late penalty from Danny Sturridge piled more misery on Wenger, who had dropped his captain William Gallas for his brutal comments in the media leading up to the match.
Captain Richard Dunne was back from suspension and looked much improved as City's defence looked strong and played well together as a unit, with Richards and Dunne looking a useful partnership again. The defence wasn’t scared to put a foot in or move forward.
But it was Robinho was produced an all-round display of splendour. His chip over Manuel Almunia was an example of why the game is just so beautiful. The Brazilian ran Wenger’s men riot and stole the show.
The first half was littered with tense and nervous exchanges, which made for quite a dull match for the viewer. Both teams had a couple of chances, but it was the home side that made the breakthrough just before half time. Arsenal’s defence faltered, with Gael Clichy slicing a clearance. It fell to Stephen Ireland, and the in-form midfielder made no mistake with a confident finish past Almunia.
City emerged in the second half with confidence and flair and it was once again the fine skills of Robinho that saw Mark Hughes’ side double their lead. Shaun Wright-Phillips, fresh from an impressive performance for England in mid-week, laid an inch-perfect pass on for Robinho, who then exquisitely chipped the stranded Almunia to make it 2-0 to City.
Robinho could have had a hat-trick if his back-heel wouldn’t have been ruled offside, he also forced Almunia in producing a couple of fine saves and had an effort cleared off the line by Johan Djourou.
Arsenal did have a couple of efforts, with Niklas Bendtner shooting straight at Joe Hart and Robin Van Persie’s goal being disallowed for unsporting behaviour after he took the ball off Hart. But City were dominant in attack and increased their lead further when substitute Daniel Sturridge was fouled by Djourou. He coolly finished the resulting penalty in style, topping off a miserable day for Wenger and Arsenal.
City can take many positives away from the result. Although Robinho ran the show, Ireland once again looked hungry, passionate and devoted. More footballers should look to him as a great example and he will hopefully develop into a superb player. Both Elano and Sturridge came on and looked hungry and like they wanted to prove a point, although their time was limited. Although the left back position has been an issue for a while at City, Javier Garrido has been putting in decent performances of late. Wright-Phillips looked confident and fiery after international duty and his pass for Robinho’s goal was pinpoint accuracy.
Perhaps now City can build on this result to try and piece together some consistency. They face a very difficult week; Schalke away in the group stages of the UEFA Cup and Manchester United at home on Sunday. With City you never know what to expect, hopefully Hughes’ Blues can continue to impress and with Robinho on fire it will never be dull!