Having given it the big build up, it was actually very simple, just play well and score more goals than the opposition, if only that happened every week! A clean sheet thrown in too, what more could one have asked for? I actually predicted the starting eleven correctly for the first time in a while, Arshavin did start, while Denilson came in for the suspended Wilshere. City were defensive as expected, the midfield trio of De Jong/Barry/Toure in the middle, Milner and Silva on the flanks with Tevez up top.
A key moment came very early, Fabianski produced his best save of the game to deny Silva's clever flicked effort after Clichy had been caught way out of position, Djourou also guilty of losing concentration. In fact if there was one criticism of our defence today, it would be this soft left side, Clichy was erratic and often poorly positioned, Djourou was therefore exposed and he also made a few needless errors.
Then the red card which changed the game. Clattenberg had no choice at all, Boyate took down Chamakh when clean through and he was quite clearly the last man. I admit it's a stupid rule, it would be better to give a penalty goal and no red card, but that's the stupid rule and City have to live with it.
Clattenberg then proceeded to referee with absolutely sod all consistency. Several Arsenal players were yellow carded for pretty soft fouls, while De Jong got away with two very bad late lunges. He seemed to be trying to even things up, fortunately we showed a lot of discipline and never gave him that opportunity.
Nasri scored the important first goal, a lovely one two with Arshavin, the little Russian played him in delightfully, the touch and finish were faultless. Cesc then had the opportunity to give us breathing space just before half time, Kompany's idiotic lunge gave away a penatly, only Hart's exceptional save kept things competitive at the break.
The second half was strange. We had a fantastic five/ten minute spell to start it off and should have gone further ahead. City then came back into the game somewhat and started to threaten, the c*nty Adebayor guilty of missing a rather clear headed opportunity. Song's outstanding top corner finish then killed the game, Bendtner's third goal was the icing on the cake, the job was already done.
There were so many positives from today's game, it was our first really big win in the Premiership against a top side for some time and it should give us some real confidence upon which to build. Fabianski looks a new man, another very solid game. Sagna and Squillaci were solid, the former very dangerous in attack, the latter grinding out a very solid defensive display. The midfield were awesome, Cesc was at his best, finding space where there was none, Song was everywhere, Denilson played with real discipline and a great work ethic. Nasri was probably my man of the match, he was involved in everything good, so incisive in the final third and he worked back as hard as anyone.
The little Russian Andrei Arshavin has taken an unfairly disproportionate amount of criticism of late and consequently I think he deserves a slightly disproportionate amount of praise today. He worked hard, he found space, he created the first goal which was so key and he gave his all. Chamakh was a tireless as ever up front, he looked absolutely dead on his feet by the end, another terrific performance for the team.
I am sure the media will be full of the Mancunian moans but if City fans want someone to blame then they should look no further than Boyate, a stupid tackle that gave the referee no choice. We must remember that the game was nil nil after than incident, we still had to win the game and we did that with style. City worked hard to their credit, but we came out deserving winners in the end and make no mistake, that was a big three points.