Arsenal emerged victorious in an important clash against Manchester City at the Eastlands. The Citizens were reduced to 10 men in the fourth men, when youngster Dedryck Boyata was sent off for a foul on Marouane Chamakh, because he was the last defender for City. Manchester City did not lose heart after the initial setback, and tried their best to earn any points from the encounter.
However, two men denied Manchester City any points at home, and they helped Arsenal climb to second place ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City on superior goal difference. It would be difficult for me to name only one of them as the Man of the Match, which is why I would award them the joint Man of the Match in the game against Manchester City.
Samir Nasri was on form entering into the match, and showed his class against Manchester City, who just could not handle him on Sunday. With Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings in central midfield, Samir Nasri started the game for Arsenal on the right wing. From the start of the game, Nasri looked lively and made some useful runs on the right flank.
He likes to drift to the centre at times, and that helps to create spaces on the right flank for Bacary Sagna to storm forward and deliver crosses into the box for Marouane Chamakh. His link-up play with Sagna was impressive on Sunday, and he also tracked back to help in the defending. Arsenal gained their rhythm after the red card, but could not create any clear opportunity till the 20th minute.
In the 20th minute, Nasri played a lovely one-two with Andrei Arshavin in the penalty area, and finished the move with aplomb to the delight of Arsenal supporters. It gave Arsenal the lead and heaped pressure on City, who only had 10 men. Nasri is currently the leading goalscorer for the season for the Gunners, and it is a great improvement from last season, where he managed a total of 5 goals in the season.
Nasri was energetic, and played with a lot of passion for the Gunners. In the closing stages of the game, City looked to push forward leaving spaces in the defence. Nasri did brilliantly to keep the ball in play on the touchline, and supplied an exquisite through ball for Nicklas Bendtner, who finished confidently to seal an emphatic win for the Gunners.
Samir Nasri is one of the best players for Arsenal, and his versatility also provides various options for Arsene Wenger. He has shown his quality, and is ready to step into a bigger role for Arsenal in this season.
Lukasz Fabianski came under intense scrutiny after his errors in the last season, which led to calls from many quarters to drop him from the Arsenal squad for this season. However, Arsene Wenger must have been impressed by him in training, which is why he retains a lot of belief in the Polish youngster. Fabianski's season started not too well, when he failed to stop a Robbie Keane shot in the Carling Cup game against Spurs.
But in the game against Partizan Belgrade, he enjoyed his finest moment in this season, when he saved a penalty, and made an impressive save in the closing stages of the game, to give Arsenal an important win against Partizan. From that game, he has looked confident, and has shown his talent on more than one occasion. He was excellent against Chelsea, though they scored twice, and was safe against Birmingham and Shakhtar, but he proved his class against Manchester City.
City started off the game brightly and could have scored through David Silva, but Fabianski was alert and produced a smart save in the second minute. That proved to be pivotal as Manchester City lost a man in the 4th minute, and from then on, it was Arsenal who had the advantage.
Fabianski was safe in handling set-pieces, and after a long time, Arsenal's defenders were encouraged by the confidence of their keeper, which was important in the context of the game. He made a brilliant save when Arsenal had a one goal lead. Silva hit it with a lot of power from a slightly tight angle, but Fabianski got his angles right, and deflected the ball to concede a corner. It was another important save, as Arsenal scored a second through Alex Song to give them a healthy lead.
Fabianski made a number of impressive saves, other than these two and denied Adebayor, Tevez, Balotelli and Silva from finding the back of the net. Since January, Arsenal had not had a clean sheet in an away game, and Fabianski ensured they did not concede against City to give Arsenal's first away clean sheet of the season.
He has clearly worked on his goalkeeping, and justified the faith of Arsene Wenger on Sunday thwarting City on many occasions, and helping the Gunners to defeat one of their direct title rivals.