After an emphatic win against Chelsea and an impressive 0-3 away win at the fortress that is St Andrews Arsenal looked once again to be proper title contenders. Minus a slight loss of form at Wigan Arsenal looked set to rival the two Manchesters at the top of the table.
It was not to be, Arsenal drew 0-0 at home despite dominating the match and had they taken their chances. They would have sealed second spot with an important win. Arsenal were impressive, even magical at times. The passing and fluidity was still constant and once again, that ability to press high and win the ball back was evident. This is a new talent they have started to acquire as I did not see it before the Chelsea match. From the first minute Arsenal looked like contenders, their passing was near to faultless, Fabregas pulled the strings, v.Persie led the front line and Nasri and Walcott surged on the wings. A resolute Man City defence seemed to be the only barrage as de Jong seemed uninterested and frankly, Yaya Toure was only intersted in going forward which is not his natural instinct.
Arsenal should have won the game, this is an indisputable fact. City attacked almost solely on counters and only about 10 minutes of possession during the game led to nothing. The fact that one of the top teams in England was unable to worry a sometimes, if not often, shaky Arsenal defence is definitely a positive Arsenal can take from the match. However, hitting the post three times and dominating the match suggests that Arsenal definitely should have scored earlier. They were good, even very good at times but over-elaboration was their fault once again and they were unable to finish off a host of good chances.
True at times, if not for most of the match Manchester City played a closed defensive game. Roberto Mancini even stated after that it was most important not to lose, hence the defensive choices. Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong are all essentially defensive mid fielders with often little thought to attack. They attacked only on the break and they seemed to have one offensive player performing, Carlos Tevez. He was the only man who really threatened to destabilize the Arsenal defense and score a goal. James Milner was ineffective at most times, Jo was obviously out of fitness and was unable to make an effect. It was a shame since Man City seemed more concerned in not losing than actually trying to get something more out of the game.