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Analysing Fernandinho's Performance vs. Arsenal

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Fernandinho of Manchester City celebrates scoring their fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho shined with a pair of goals in the second half to help lead the Sky Blues past Arsenal, 6-3, in an exciting battle of Premier League title contenders.

The veteran midfielder scored his first goal shortly after halftime to give City a 3-1 lead. Poor communication at the back by Arsenal allowed him to run onto the ball with a clear path toward goal and he made no mistake from just outside the box.

Not only was it a crucial strike to give City a cushion in the match, but it also marked his first goal with the club, as the Sky Blues noted:

Even before that tally, Fernandinho was making a major impact. He completed 80 percent of his passes while getting consistent touches in the midfield and racking up four tackles, according to match analysis by WhoScored.com. He finished the match with a superb 9.4 rating.

City fans have witnessed that type of play from him all campaign. He's been a constant force in the middle of the pitch, helping to jump-start attacking opportunities and tracking back to help defensively with numerous key tackles.

Of course, it's hard to attract widespread attention for a midfielder without putting the ball in the net. It was the only element that the Brazilian was missing before the key clash with Arsenal, but he brought an abrupt end to the drought.

His second goal came off a combination of skill and luck.

Samir Nasri made a nice run into the box and found a charging Fernandinho. His first touch wasn't perfect, which is where luck came in because it still managed to elude Per Mertesacker, and then the City midfielder used a delicate touch to chip it past Wojciech Szczesny.

The goal capped another outstanding showing by Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. They have now earned victories in all eight of their league home fixtures with a 35-5 goal differential, which is nothing short of remarkable.

The win moves City within three points of Arsenal for the top spot in the table. Everybody knew it was a crucial match for the Citizens, who certainly didn't want to fall nine points behind the league-leaders with the season nearly half over.

Luckily for City and their supporters, the squad rose to the occasion with a tremendous performance, led by the play of Fernandinho in the midfield.

If he continues to showcase the form Arsenal witnessed, there's a good chance it's only a matter of time before the Premier League has a new club atop the table.

 

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