The emotions following the loss to Manchester City are hard to describe. The obvious anger that exists and was vocally evident from the Arsenal crowd throughout the match towards the officials and City players became something very different at full time.
The chants of, “Arsenal! Arsenal! Arsenal!” heard echoing around the Emirates at the game’s conclusion equalled the defiance shown by the players. No longer will sides such as City have a win handed to them, this Arsenal team is different, and this group of players are a determined and united force.
Arsenal were dire at the Etihad. A beaten side before the whistle had been kicked, almost an acceptance that their opponents were destined to win.
The match today showed the Arsenal players had no fear. Respect for their opponents most definitely, but it was going to take far more than solely the quality of Pep Guardiola’s players for the Gunners to lose and very fortunately for the visitors, they received more than their fair share of the favour.
A Martin Odegaard penalty call that when shown to supporters at half-time, with images not previously seen during the VAR assessment, the Norwegian is clearly taken out first by Ederson before he meets the ball. A clear penalty, not even asked to be looked at by Stuart Attwell.
Having waved away Granit Xhaka’s challenge on Bernardo Silva, the VAR sends the referee to the monitor to suggest a clear and obvious error had been made. From everything seen in the replays, a dive, a grapple, to suggest it was a clear and obvious mistake not to award a penalty in the first place is stunning.
Even after an archetypical Arsenal red card in their immediate collapse. The side regained their composure and fought hard in their attempts to hold City to a point.
Everything about the 2-1 loss to Manchester City hurts and rightly so. However, as shown by the crowd’s reaction to the Gunners players at full-time, it can be something different to bounce back from.
This time, they are not having to get back up from a 4-0 or 5-0 defeat at the hands of a side considered on a whole different level. Instead, they have an incentive to fight to achieve the ultimate season target and reach the top four.
Mikel Arteta may not have been present on the sidelines, but his team played the way they have done for the last four league matches prior to the Citizens’ arrival.
Blitzing Southampton, West Ham, Leeds United and Norwich City, Arsenal didn’t bow down. They went at City and their goal was fully deserved and stylistically what we have come to expect from Arteta’s team since that Etihad rout.
Liverpool is next and instead of a side licking its wounds, we should expect an Arsenal team ready to go again and regain their footing. The Reds should be worried, this is not the side that visited Anfield in November. Underestimate them at your peril.
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Source by Football London