Carling Cup: Arsenal 0 - Manchester City 1
Posted on December 4th, 2011 at 3:09 AM
This seasons Carling Cup hopes came to an end as a strong Manchester City side overcame a young Arsenal team to qualify for the Semi Finals.
It's well known that Arsene Wenger likes to field the second stream of players in Carling Cup games and even though this match was against an expensive City side it made no difference and Arsene stuck to his Guns. In past seasons the Carling Cup has allowed many youth players the chance to gain experience at the top level and prove they are worthy of a place in the first team, it's also been a successful way to rest first team players at a busy point in the season.
The team lined up to start the game as follows:
The formation made a change as recently we've stuck firmly to a 4-2-3-1 in all competitions choosing to keep two midfield players a little further back as added cover. Could this 4-4-2 approach be a possible solution for the future to suit Song, Frimpong and Coquelin into one team as they mature? Although with Ramsey and Wilshere it's probably not a long term thought but just allows us a more solid way to play.
Throughout the game Arsenal managed to hold their own and could have even gone ahead one or two times had Man City's keeper not made some brilliant saves. The team certainly impressed and managed to control the likes of Aguero, Dzeko, Johnson and Nasri for most of the game. Unfortunately City managed to counter from an Arsenal corner in the 83rd minute and Aguero put the ball past Fabianski to knock Arsenal out of the competition.
After last seasons heartbreak in the final it was a little easier to take this knockout but due to our current baron trophy-less run it's always a shame to be denied the chance to end it, right now I'd take any sort of silverware bar the Emirates cup!
One young Arsenal player that clearly stuck out was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, if I'd had choice of MOTM then it would've easily been his! He showed excellently what he's capable of doing going forward and was very unlucky not to score with a few of his attempts on goal.
So all in all not a negative performance for Arsenal but just a lucky'ish' goal for City that allows them continue their attempt at buying all of Europe's silver.
Written by Dan