Tag Archives: aguero

Man City 3-1 Arsenal – A Tough Lesson

Manchester City played out a tough lesson to Arsenal as they took the points in an entertaining Premier League clash.

Pep Guardiola’s men played with real purpose and looked dangerous on the ball, but it was their press that strangled the life out of their opponents and set up a stable foundation for victory.


Arsene Wenger opted for stability in his lineup. A surprise call was to drop Alexandre Lacazette and name Alexis in the sole striker spot, with three men in midfield. Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka had the task of quelling the runs of DeBruyne, Silva and Sane, but the gamble was to backfire.


The first minutes were pretty well balanced as both came close to opening the scoring, only for the final ball to let each of them down. It didn’t take long for City to hit top gear though.


The 19th minute to be precise.


DeBruyne’s shot from outside the box was well saved by cech but the ball eventually found the Belgian again and he arrowed in a low shot into the far corner to give the home side the lead.









City were unrelenting and refused to let us into the game. We were battling hard, but Coquelin seemed to be dropping into defence and wires were being crossed. We were winning the ball but we were unable to retain it in the final third. Every time we attacked, City would hound us and then break at speed.


City broke through on three or four occasions, but a combination of desperate defending, some unfound passes across the box and Petr Cech kept the scoreline at 1-0.


Raheem Sterling came closest to doubling the score, but instead of shooting in a great position, he opted to pass and missed his intended teammate. Then, we had a chance to level at the best time, just before the interval.


Aaron Ramsey was found in the box. He checked back and hammered a shot but Ederson parried it away. The whistle blew and we went into the break a goal down and bewildered at our opponent’s strength.


We were battling well and were competitive, but the gap between where we want to be and where we actually are was exposed by brutal City. It took only five minutes for City to get their second goal. Raheem Sterling got the right side of Nacho Monreal and both were running into the box, shoulder to shoulder. Sterling went down easily, but in this present day version of our game, these decisions are being given and Michael Oliver didn’t hesitate to award the spot-kick. Sergio Aguero stepped up and scored, 2-0.


Wenger made an early change. On the 55th minute he hooked Coquelin. The decision to stifle City had not worked, so Lacazette came on in his stead. Back to our favoured formation, and we started to work a lot better.


Ten minutes later, we had a lifeline. Aaron Ramsey found Lacazette and the Frenchman ran onto the ball and fired through Ederson’s legs.


Game on.


The match went one way and the next, with promising situations for both teams ending prematurely. It could’ve gone either way, but City always looked a little sharper, a little more capable than we did in attack.


It showed, as substitute Gabriel Jesus took advantage of a poor offside decision to slot home from close range. Replays suggested that both DeBruyne and Jesus were offside, but there was no flag and they reestablished their two goal cushion.


From there, we made subs and huffed and puffed, but in truth, City ran out deserved winners. It is a sad indictment of our side that we were outplayed in the style we used to be the best at. Now, we must concentrate on top4 and cup runs because on this evidence, we are miles away from being the best.


City were quicker and made better decisions. We are not a million miles away but we are not where we should be.

After this game there can be no doubt about that.

Arsenal Vs Manchester City – FA Cup Semi-Final Preview

The green shoots of recovery were on show in our battling 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Monday. 

The performance was hardly fluid, but our desire to win the game was enough to see off a desperate Boro team, and this will hopefully be enough to remind our players of what they are capable of before we travel to Wembley for the Cup Semi against a dangerous City side.

This tie must be treated with the utmost of importance as the Cup is intrinsically linked to Arsenal. We have won it more than any other team – we are tied with United on 12 Cups – and this season has been so desolate in terms of high spots, we could really do with a Cup final to hold onto.

A lot of the talk on our win over Boro was Wenger’s apparent switch to a 3-man defence – and he will have to look at this option again as Shkodran Mustafi is again injured. David Ospina is still out along with Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez. 

Pep Guardiola may just have young Brazilian saviour Gabriel Jesus back in the ranks after hsi rapid recovery from a broken bone in his foot. Sergio Aguero should again lead the line, but watch out for a possible cameo from the youngster. John Stones is still out, so Nicolas Otamendi will again partner recently fit Vincent Kompany. 

There are some interesting stats to grasp onto that may give us all a strand of optimism. We have faced City four times in the FA Cup. The last time was in 1971, when we went on to win the Double. The last time we faced City at Wembley was in 2014, when we won the Charity Shield 3-0. So it may be in the stars. Let’s hope this run continues!

The league games this season have been tight affairs, with City winning the first 2-1 and the second game ended in a 2-2 draw. If we are to stand a chance in the face of City’s attacking talent, we will have to be at our best at the back, so a lot hinges on young Rob Holding – the kid has impressed in his first season but this is surely his biggest match to date.

Our club has made the most appearances in the Cup Semi-final, and a win here would really act as a salve for us Gooners, we really could do with something to cheer! 

There is also the small matter of the game against Leicester City in midweek, so rotation will be key. Granit Xhaka will likely play, but who will partner him? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was effective on the right against Boro, but he has also played well in the centre so The Ox is an option. Ramsey may well be first choice though, but with the games coming thick and fast, we will need every player. Theo Walcott missed out in our last game and he may well be utilised.

Both Managers need this for vastly different reasons, and players will want the chance for silverware. This game should not need more motivation for the players. 

So, the stage is set. Let us hope we have a great game to watch, and the result matches the entertainment value. 

Who Will Win the Golden Boot?

With just over half of the season already played out, the pecking order in the Premiership table is starting to take shape. 

The indicators for which sides are the cream rising to the surface, and which are simply floating with no purpose in the middle, are clear to see. These teams grouping near the top of the league are there through superior tactics, a stout rearguard or ample firepower. Even if they have a modest armoury, these clubs will not be sitting in the position they are in without at least some goals.

Goals are the currency on which results are earned, and every team has to pay the price to get into the VIP club – the European places. Without goals in your pocket, you will not get past security.

Chelsea, Arsenal, tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United and even Everton have contenders for the crown of top goalscorer for the season. Whomsoever of these hotshots grabs the accolade, it may just be enough to fire them above their rivals for a very esteemed league position? 

So, who is odds on for the Golden Boot? We look at English Premier Betting at William Hill for a hint at which of these strikers may just give their side an edge in the latter half of the season:




Diego Costa





















The turbulent Brazilian turned Spaniard has apparently turned over a new leaf since Italian coach Antonio Conte has taken over at Chelsea. His 15 goals scored thus far have seen the best of Costa, and his efficient finishing has seen him rise to prominence in Chelsea’s rise to the top of the league. If things continue in this current vein, then Costa will be one of the leading contenders to win the top scorer award. It wouldn’t be Costa without one blot on the copybook, and his recent hiatus from the side was shrouded in mystery amidst rumours of a bust-up with the very coach who has been responsible for returning him to form. What the fallout will be from this is debateable, but Costa is sitting pretty right now. 



Alexis Sanchez












This striker from Chile is on fire. He has been on such form that defenders have no answer for his high jinx. He is currently level on goals with Costa, and has rescued his side on numerous occasions. He is also regarded in the same way by the bookies, as his odds are similar to Costa’s too. Fitness is one thing that Alexis prioritises as well as playing time and that should see him get enough games to grab the goals that keep him in contention. He is also the striker with the most assists in this list. An all-out Action Man.






Zlatan Ibrahimovic
















The giant Swede has continued to bang in the goals after his move from Paris Saint Germain, and his aerial ability and self-belief have given United a life raft in the sea of mediocrity. Jose Mourinho has overseen a run of results which has seen them ride on the coattails of the frontrunners, but fail to make any inroads on the gap between them and the Champions League places. Zlatan has been the difference between points – and no points. He did go through a dry spell, but he is only one goal behind the top two strikers, so it obviously didn’t hamper him and his giant ego too much. 




Harry Kane













This slack-jawed poor annunciator has continued his goalscoring from the previous season, and his team are looking very dangerous. He has also missed a few weeks and is still amongst the hottest of strikers. Kane is profiting from plenty of chances crafted by Delle Alli, Christian Eriksen and their effervescent full-backs. Harry Kane is indeed the real deal and will definitely be amongst the shouts for top scorer, but right now, he is two goals behind Sanchez and Costa. Last seasons top scorer has some work to do.


Romelu Lukaku





















The big Belgian has his detractors, but just like last season he is firing the goals in. The Toffees have been ridiculously inconsistent, but the one thing they have been able to rely on is Lukaku. The big man is surely on the radar of some big clubs, and has 12 goals so far. Even in his teams poorest spell he was still bagging goals, so he cannot be discounted. Last season he finished four goals behind Kane and in third place overall. Can he go two places better?



Sergio Aguero































The Argentinean is four goals behind in the stakes, but only a fool would not consider him. He has missed a large part of the season – four games alone through suspension – but he is still in contention in the face of this. He has the pedigree, but does his team? Man City are stuttering, but he will be forever amongst the goals. If his hamstrings stay healthy, then Aguero will be on the list. Maybe a bit more teamplay may benefit Aguero – he is the only striker on the list who has not registered an assist. 

There are a few others in the running. Jermain Defoe is proving age and playing for Sunderland is not doing him any harm. The 34year old has 12 goals so far. Just imagine if he was playing for a team who created just a little more. Delle Alli has eleven goals to his name as his star burns ever brighter. There is no reason why this youngster cannot continue to plunder as he has done thus far.
These are the runners and riders for the Golden Boot 2016/17.

Who is your money on?

Sanchez Can Be Our Striker – and our Aguero

People don’t like change.

However much we moan about the same old routine, if something unexpected crops up and forces us to change direction – no matter how slightly – it perturbs us. It puts us on edge. 

Routine may be boring, but it is safe.

Perhaps this was the thinking when the furore erupted over Alexis Sanchez playing as a lone striker.

He can’t play as a striker! 

He’s too small to play as a lone man up top!

He’s not clinical enough!

He’s far more effective on the left and cutting in!

These are just a select few choice cuts that I’ve seen through the many guises of social media. There are others, but what it boils down to is that many believe – or did believe up until recently – that Alexis Sanchez is NOT a striker.

There are certain players though, that have enough attacking talent to be able to lay a claim to any position across the attack. 

Have we not witnessed enough from our Chilean wonder that we should have learned not to doubt him? On so many occasions, the muscle-laden South American has dragged us out of trouble with his goals. Repeatedly, he has been the man to make the difference when we have struggled.

During his tenure at Barcelona, Alexis bagged 39 goals in 88 games, with 27 assists in La Liga alone. 

Having played 100 games exactly for our club, he has grabbed 47 goals thus far. A slight improvement in goal ratio, but being bereft of Lionel Messi will do that to your numbers I guess….

This season, he has been played primarily as a centre forward, and in the seven games he has taken part in, he has 5 goals, and 3 assists (correct at the time of writing).

Of course, this could be a mere purple patch, a rise in numbers on the great dipping rollercoaster of a career. On further inspection, under the fierce light of scrutiny however, the move to the centre may be responsible for his frankly amazing stats this campaign. 

His low centre of gravity, one of the main reasons his bursts into the box go unchecked, has allowed him to hold the ball up well. His strength has been vital in duelling for position with defenders. He has been a nightmare for the opposition. His ample assists highlight that his link up play and awareness are where they need to be to play as a striker.

Whatever tack we choose to take, Alexis has all the tools necessary to adapt. If we play on the break, we are all aware of his blistering pace, the same pace that can see him latch onto through balls when hanging on the last defender. If we play possession football, then he has the touch and toughness to take part in link-up play. 

Sanchez has also scored both types of goal. His run and finish against Chelsea showed his speed, and any lingering doubts anyone had about his finishing were finally dispelled as he showed incredible composure to dink a wonderful finish over Thibault Courtois.

Sergio Aguero, probably the best striker in the Premier League, and one of the best in the world, is of similar height and build. Yet he has scored enough goals to fire his team to two titles. 

Is there any disparity between the two South Americans in regards to talent? No. Both can single-handedly destroy the opposition. There are certain strengths that are stronger for one over the other – Aguero’s finishing is on a par with anyone in the world – but Sanchez isn’t far behind. 

So, why can’t Sanchez play as a striker? With our cosmopolitan brand of football, and the talent in our team, we should have no worries in playing him there. 

In fact, he could feel a tad miffed that he isn’t first choice striker. There will be games where Giroud will be of more use than others, and Lucas Perez seems cerebral enough that he can fit in whatever the style we choose, but Sanchez – if fit – should be our centre forward.

With his previous experience on the flank, he can float and pick up possession wherever, and his footballing brain will allow him to incorporate others into the move. 

There is simply nothing he cannot do. For a diminutive player, even his heading is far and beyond what it should be. His incredible athleticism allows him to get the drop on his markers and leap higher than he really ought to be able to.

Sergio Aguero may be viewed as the leading marksman for City, and in the Premier League, but Alexis Sanchez could just be our own Aguero. 

We all know we would benefit from that. Wenger plays him as a striker, so he has obviously seen all the markers in his play that is required for centre forward utilisation – and Wenger knows more than we do, ultimately. Over thirty years of top-flight coaching will give you that knowledge.

Sergio Aguero – Alexis Sanchez. If both stay fit, then the battle for the Golden Boot – and perhaps the title – will be compulsive viewing.