Moments later Walcott got to the by-line and forced the ball back into the danger area, it eventually came to Wilshere who couldn’t quite beat Joe Hart low to his right. Then van Persie twisted and faked the Man City defense on the edge of what was now a truly bombarded 18 yard box, before unleashing a shot that hammered against Hart’s near post.
I was beginning to get an unwelcome yet familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri demonstrated some of that dangerous telepathy they’re developing this season, the kind showed at Birmingham. The pair of them found a way through after a counter attack had simmered down and Man City had regrouped. They played a few passes between each other on the left side of the penalty box, then Nasri waited with the ball until the time was right and just poked it into Fabregas’ path. The Spaniard clattered the post, the ball flew back across the face of goal and Hart was lucky it didn’t deflect in off the back of him, the ball broke for Walcott but his effort hit the other post, but it was academic as Walcott was ruled offside.
It really was tear your hair out time, the second half was much of the same, Man City didn’t threaten much, Arsenal pressed and played, then van Persie, who is beginning to look really sharp, unleashed a booming strike from thirty yards that was bound for the top corner but Hart got his glove to it.
Right at the death Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta went forehead-to-forehead and the referee judged it to be too aggressive and sent the pair off.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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