If Edin Dzeko is by any remote chance reading this blog, I implore him not to come to City because he'll become a castaway in Roberto Mancini's grind scheme of things.
City came to the Emirates not to play but to salvage a point which they did by parking the bus. Mind numbingly formulaic and efficient. On attack, City were little more than gnats apart from some individual forays by Tevez and Yaya Toure. Boring, boring, Citeh!
A clearly frustrated Cesc Fabregas jawed with Mancini post match. It was not hard to lip read. "You call that futbol because my abuela could play better than that."
City looked absolutely ripe for the taking in the first 15 minutes as a scintillating Arsenal broke in waves. But they were helped by a team that was not ruthless enough. Jack Wilshere's effort just wide off the mark should have been finished by RVP or Walcott but both failed to attack the goal.The post also denied the Dutchman and a little later Fabregas. The Fabregas effort had Hart absolutely beaten and the City goalkeeper must have heaved a huge sigh of relief when the post kept the ball out.
In the second half, RVP's touch which seems to have gone for a long stroll sputtered back on but Joe Hart effected a fine save to deny a long range blast. In between there were some dreadful bloopers.Overall, he is distinctly a step slower and less hungry in front of goal. Walcott's beautifully placed cross was shepherded off tamely by Kolo Toure as RVP was nowhere in sight. Ditto for Fabregas's cross. The most skillful Dutchman in the Premiership without doubt is Rafael Van Der Vaart.
Arsenal also enjoyed a huge advantage in corners but settled for the short version repeatedly because lets face it, the City defense made the Gunners look Lilliputian. And when did you last see an Arsenal goal through the air? The match was now entering familiar territory - the home team camped in the opposition half moving the ball around fluidly and authoritatively but running into a roadblock.
Wenger's substitutions amounted to a big doughnut. Arshavin did little but lose the ball, chase back futilely, and then foul. Nicklas Bendtner did not even touch the ball. Why was Chamakh, a more skillful striker left on the bench?
The defense delivered on the few occasions they were called on to act. Wilshere and Song were on hand to clean up and get the ball moving up field.
The match winding down to an inevitable draw was marred by an incredulously stupid set of decisions which could prove costly to both teams. Bacary Sagna brought down by Pablo Zabaleta on the sidelines retaliated and both engaged in a mutual head massage which rated a PG-13. But referee Mike Jones saw otherwise and gave both red cards. There will be protests and a good chance that these will be rescinded.
Man Utd benefits most from this result and have a game in hand. Chelsea lost to Wolves in now what appears to be increasingly looking like Ancelotti's last days. And Spurs increased the long odds on winning the title by losing to Everton.