BIGGEST GAME OF THE DECADE

by .

I’m writing this the night before the game.

Why am I not scared?

What is this tingling feeling… ah, it is confidence. A sensation I have not felt in an away game at City in many a moon.

But it is justified.

Arsenal is the best team in the Premier League this season, by any metric. We fight and control, we have big-game players, our defence is beastly, and our attack is on fire.

Professional footballers tend to peak between 27 and 31. Arsenal doesn’t have many players over the age of 26 years old. Why am I telling you that? Because a game like the one we’re about to face is a learning experience on the biggest stage in the world. If we win, we’ve managed nerves in a big game. If we lose, we’re going to have to learn to bounce back for two competitions. If we draw, we’ve learned to manage a big game away from home and escape unscathed.

Whatever happens, we’ll be developing our IP code stack. Don’t buy that? Look at how long it took the most expensively assembled squad in the league to win a Champions League final under the greatest manager of all time.

Football is a process. Big teams don’t happen overnight. Our wage bill is about half of the team we’re about to play. Our trophy cabinet is empty by comparison.

We are winning just by being part of a moment like this.

To give the game context Gary Neville has not… during the battle years between Klopp and Pep, neither manager won away at their major rival in the big moments. Maybe Liverpool beat City in the COVID season when it didn’t matter? I can’t be arsed to look.

This is an article from March 4th.

But City’s difficult run at Anfield goes back well before Guardiola’s arrival. Across their 26 Premier League trips to Anfield, City have recorded only TWO wins.

Seventeen of those meetings have ended in defeat for City, who have only claimed seven draws there.

I think Liverpool’s last success at The Etihad in 2018 in the CL quarter-finals.

Whatever the stat… it is a rare occasion when the two giants of the last 5 years take a win away from home.

So when Gary Neville says Arsenal’s inexperienced squad of youngsters needs to win… he’s teeing us up for a fall. It’s weak sauce analysis from a guy that fears his ‘I don’t get the strategy’ comment will be hung in the Premier League Hall Of Fame before he is.

Anything more than 0 points would be huge. If we lose, it’s not over. If we win, we haven’t won anything yet.

It’s an exciting match-up. Arsenal weren’t great against Porto in the first leg. Nerves got the better of us. Will we let the occasion get the better of us in the game today? Or will the fact we’ve tasted victory against them already reduce the fear factor?

My big worry is the Premier League has put Jarred Gillet on the game. He’s an awful, awful official, and the league just loves dumping him on big games despite his Liverpool fandom. Having someone so controversial in the VAR room for a game this important shows you how flawed the process at PGMOL is.

Selection-wise, the only major concern will be Martinelli. He can run, the risk is 1) did he feel pain in the last training session 2) is he actually fit enough 3) is it worth risking a monster player with 25% of the season still to run.

I think we’ll see Gabriel Jesus. He was a winger for City, he’s better than Trossard, and he’ll absolutely relish the chance to put one on Pep G.

Then there’s the second big question: Do you keep going with Kiwior, or do you introduce Zinchenko to help unpick a 4 center-back setup?

So many questions… they’re all about to be answered. I cannot WAIT for this game.

Just remember Arsenal fans… we didn’t think we’d ever be in conversations like this again. Here we are. Try to enjoy it.

If you want to join us LIVE after the game, sign up to our Patreon and get involved in a big one! x

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Tom

“This was the best refereeing performance of the season.”

PGMO obviously read Pedro’s take on ref appointments for this match and realized we were onto their dirty tricks, so they had a word with Taylor to keep it honest.
.
They forgot to talk to that Pool supporting scum Gillet in VAR room who made both sides drop points.

Left Testicle

MADHU, no one gives a hoot in fucking hell about womens football.
>>>>>>>>>
Agreed. We’ve just won a point away to Man City, challenging for the title and somebody wants to discuss the women’s game?! 🙄

Paulinho

DB10 –

And none of that changes my argument that we were very poor when we were on the ball.

benkind

Everyone praising our performance yet we played exactly like Porto did against us. I know what the comments were but today it is different.

Game 1 of the run in, Wednesday next. Our last 3 games shows holes in our system but we aren’t ready to discuss it. Unto the next.

Socrates

I think we played really well, we restricted City to a few half chances. Not a single City player stood out. It was a mature approach where you play conservatively and pick your moments. Shows the team has clarity in thought as to their ability to know that we can very effectively play a low block if we chose to or press like demons. Partey is class, his first touch and how he turns is reminiscent of Santi. The touch, turn and weight and angle of the pass he made to Ode almost resulted in a goal and that’s what… Read more »

Danny S

Benkind

For how many years have we moaned that we have gone to teams like city with no plan b and tried to win and got trashed.
Now we are turning up and fighting dirty for a draw or small victory and people still moan.

Danny S

For 2 seasons now there hasn’t been a single game we’ve gone into that I’ve felt nervous about. We are very difficult to beat and we are bullied by no one. That alone feels so good after years and years of being a team of weaklings.

kofi

good point. pool will falter
big shout to taylor who wasnt impressed by the crowd or the constant shithousing of city players for every foul
we had the brtter chances but looked leggy in the end and I didnt sense we had the lucky moment in us today – so happy with thr final whistle

London gunner

Saying pool will falter just because…. What? It’s wishful thinking they keep winning without too much sweat even when losing they are confident in turning it around and have a shit ton of players coming back from injury and have the easiest run in of the top 3 teams. They also have won the league before which is huge for them

Bertie Mee

That was a defensive masterclass. It also shut up the trolls who inhabit this website
Pedro read the possibilities well beforehand. We showed how much we have grown . Next season we add three superstars, City are torn to pieces because of their misdemeanours and Liverpoolhave 5o rebuild without Klopp.
And the ladies win a trophy !
A good day for the Arsenal

Siddeeq

The Havertz troller in has been on this website knows himself

Habesha Gooner

Pool are capable of winning every game till the end of the season. But we are no joke either. We just have to keep winning our games and hope they can lose more points. We are a draw away from them. So it is still all good.

Danny S

Also add the fact we started with a strong 11 and could still bring Partey, Martinelli, Trossard and Tomi off the bench! Any one of them would walk straight into any arsenal team of the last 15 yrs.

Emiratesstroller

It was not a pretty spectacle, but I would take the draw as I suggested this morning.

Manchester City are unbeaten at home in EPL this season and this is
the time that they have not scored at home in 52 games.

Liverpool have struggled in many games this season to get a result. Their main asset is frankly their resilience.

They could easily drop points this weekend when they play Man Utd at
Old Trafford.

Little Mozart

We did what we had to. The game plan was we win or don’t loose. On to the next

kofi

london gunner havent seen pool in their last two games but theyve lucked out constantly before with goals in the dying seconds, ref decisions etc if they win all their games, fair play. dont think so though, they will drop points imo against utd (more hope than believe, but never underestimate this rivalry), fulham, everton or wham, villa and/or spurs. honestly I see them winning SHU and wolves easily, palace home looks easy in paper but a new coach and returning players from injury makes them pretty tricky. I guess 6 wins for them in the last 9 is maximum,… Read more »

Northbanker

We get a draw away to one of or maybe the best team in the world and posters like X haka and Benkind already on here with their pathetic negative comments Liverpool are not going to run away with it – we have 9 games to go which is almost 1/4 of the season. It is too tight to call and many points will be lost by all 3 teams. It is an incredible title race and we should be embracing that we’re in the thick of it. We had the toughest run in but it looks a lot less… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Northbanker
WengerEagle

We’ve at least done ourselves a real favour with our January/February form and the GD.

That could be worth it’s weight in gold, 11 clear of City and 6 clear of Pool. Means that we only need Pool to draw a match rather than lose and it’s back in our own hands again.

Josip Skoblar

Bill Saliba’s post-match interview: “We cannot be satisfied when we draw.”
I like this kind of mentality! 👍

TheLegendaryDB10

Hear hear Northbanker.

Very well said, mate.

Our team is definitely going places. This season is so exciting.

We are such an exciting team to watch these days. Such a blast to be watching us and feel so confident.

Tets is doing such a fantastic job!

So proud to be a Gooner!!!!

TheLegendaryDB10

Josip

Thank you for posting that quote.

It just shows the mentality being instilled in our team.

Victoria Concordia Crescit!!!!

Last edited 12 days ago by TheLegendaryDB10
Marky Mark

Nice to see old school George Graham’s Arsenal. I’m so over the away maulings that peppered our seasons against top opposition. Arteta has moved us from 4-1 to 0-0 with 4 points against both our rivals
Top stuff

Jim Furnell

How many of you fuckers are on mogadon or are Liverpool fans. Win our games, that’s all we can do. We haven’t been in this position with a fit squad for too long COYG

Marky Mark

The biggest danger game in my book is UTD away . That could easily draw out despite poor form from UTD.
Think we need multiple need dropped points from both our rivals to do it. Not impossible but very difficult.
Anyway we remain in the hunt and that is simply where we have to be

TheLegendaryDB10

Marky Mark

I think we can beat Manure.

They are levels behind ‘pool of piss who are not playing as well as they were a couple of seasons ago.

Last edited 12 days ago by TheLegendaryDB10
Gla

Liverpool will drop points.. in April they have 4 away games , starting with Atlanta then 3 premier games

Pierre

Nice to see that Arteta is learning from previous mistakes in the big games. Home to Porto and away to city were games that previously Arteta would have sent his players to press high and try and play out from the back , games that would inevitably end in defeat. I said earlier in the season that this Arsenal team is in the mould of George Graham and I will be more than happy to see us fight and scrap for points playing pragmatic football and conceding very few chances and goals. City run out of ideas against us today… Read more »

kofi

still think 86 might be the magic number this year – achieve it we must

TheLegendaryDB10

Kofi

86 might be the magic number this year

Just like the year of our inception: 1886

I like that!! 😃

Madhu

Eboue – mind your language and wash your mouth with detergent if you can’t cleanse it properly. Arsenal women are Arsenal and if you don’t understand that then you are not an Arsenal fan. Arsenal football club runs campaign called one club which means one club across all teams of Arsenal.
Grow up man.

TheLegendaryDB10

Madhu

Whomever speaks shit of The Arsenal Women’s XI like this are misogyns.

Belittle them! This is all that they deserve!!!

Last edited 12 days ago by TheLegendaryDB10
raptora

I said like a month ago that KDB plays like a semi retired player. I got a few people laughing at that statement. He’s still got the moment of brilliance in his locker, but the physical supremacy, the beastly power he had in his runs, in his way of asserting control over the game and just dominating… You saw any of that versus us? It’s gone. He’s a shadow of his former self. He’s been back for 3 months now. It’s got nothing to do with being out of football practice. It’s physical decline. His legs are gone and usually,… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

There’s a chance we will meet City two more times soon.

allezkev

Loved todays game, considering that it came after an Interlull – and we know how tricky that can be, for me it was amazing watching two superbly coached teams trying to move each other around the pitch as they searched for weaknesses. Not one for the neutral, but I couldn’t care less about them, Sky of course were gutted that City didn’t nick if at the end so they could drone on about Arsenal bottling it. Now that that’s out of the way with our injured and recently recovered getting minutes we can get back into gear by putting a… Read more »

TheLegendaryDB10

Partey is such an amazing player.

His cameo today with his inch perfect through ball to Øde just shows what an exquisite player he is.

It’s a shame we missed out on him for most of the season

But having him ready and slowly match fit is an absolute boon for us, in particular with our upcoming CL game against BM.

He will most probably play the Hatters’ game and be rested for the Seagulls game to make sure that we have a match fit Partey for our games against BM.

Last edited 11 days ago by TheLegendaryDB10
Northbanker

Partey could be huge especially in our two forthcoming matches against Real Madrid

Madhu

Thats right DB10.

Jaroda

Not enough being said about how we have played both of the other stand out teams this year, home and away and have taken 4 points from both. Neither have been able to beat us. Immense.

NJ Gooner

Today was what I anticipated in my single post yesterday. A double pivot and trying to catch them on the break. It was a big step forward and I’m delighted with the result.

I also think today was a good rehearsal for difficult away games in Europe for the next season or two, starting with Bayern.

Jaroda

The Utd game is a banana skin exactly because they are the poorest I can ever remember and we should be tearing them apart West Ham style. They were absolutely battered by Brentford. Properly smashed up and should have been sobbing. They allowed Brentford 30 attempts on goal. Long may ETH continue.

JW1

Both matches, approx 200-minutes– City have taken two shots on target against us.

Nigel Tufnel

NJ gooner:

“I also think today was a good rehearsal for difficult away games in Europe for the next season or two, starting with Bayern.”

Really good thought.

China1

I’m pretty worried that if Utd don’t take points off liverpool maybe no one will

The finish line isn’t that far away, and if they survive the next 2 games remaining top, the klopp effect could be enough to drag them the rest

I really don’t think they’re that great. But there’s 3 points to be won and one way or another they win them.

Utd are trash but that’s the game I look at as an accident waiting to happen for pool. Need ETH to pull a rabbit out of his ass for us

Guns of SF

Man what a game. Watched it on my cell phone while my daughter drove highway 5 SF to San Diego today. No buffering! Proud of the boys! Great game!

JW1

Erling Haaland has accumulated 0.24(xG) against Arsenal in his last three appearances against them.

(Big Gabi took no crap from him today either. During or after.)

Last edited 11 days ago by JW1
China1

Big Gab has a big gab, always mouthing off at the forward he’s managing

You love to see it

Along with white he’s got the presence of someone who loves to get in your head and both are great at it

Kan

I was really impressed with our boys this morning. I stayed up here in Beijing to see the game and found it hard sleeping afterwards. Now I am at work feeling the effects, but a small price to pay for a good point at the Etihad.

I have a sneaky feeling that we will have a photo finish end to the league this season with Arsenal edging it right at the death.

Hamza

We’ve taken 8 points from a possible 12 against Liverpool and City. That my friends is league title form. Now we have to do our job and keep winning (esp at home). 27 possible points left this season is massive. If we can put together a run here against Luton (H), Brighton (A) and Villa (H), we are absolutely in the mix.

China1

Yeah Hamza I’m trying not to look too far ahead. If we draw the next game this result vs city was wasted.

But if we can survive the next few games with max points then we find ourselves right in the mix come squeaky bum time

China1

Gabriel and saliba are such a sick duo Gabriel brings the heat. He’s a bruiser who alongside being a fantastic defender is a nasty bugger to play against. He’s always shouting at the guy he’s marking. Getting under their skin. But also keeping his overall play clean and classy. He’s got a real bite to him and elite strikers don’t face very often Saliba on the other hand isn’t a talker, he is quiet but smooth as a rolls Royce. He lets his performance get in their head without saying much Add them together and you’ve got two completely dominant… Read more »

benkind

I will put this here. This was villa versus city earlier in the season. City can destroy them in the return leg bit this idea like we just had a masterclass is silly.

We were just like Porto, commiting fouls, wasting time and waiting on counter. Yet when teams play a low blockagainst us many here will be complaining. Yet, Arteta does it, it is a masterclass. Funny

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Luteo Guenreira

I’ve never seen someone fit eleven dicks in their mouth before but then London Gunner comes along and says “Hold my cosmo, let me show everyone a Liverpool suck fest.”

benkind

This was what we looked like almost all game. Good point to get but the hypocrisy when some weeks back playing a “low block” was hated by almost everyone here. Now, arteta does it it is a tactical genius.

So many issues in our game, cracks in our formation but we are so hung up on praising our manager than analysis the game.

20240401_065423
Luteo Guenreira

The amount of dumbfucks who refuse to think pragmatically about football and think every game should look the same astounds me sometimes.

Kenyangunner

Good point. And looks like Granit Xhaka is going to help Neverkusen overcome the trophy curse

Luteo Guenreira

Not to mention the toxic fucks that are so insecure in their masculinity that the mere mention of the women’s team triggers their red pill identity and their need to compensate their shattered egos. Sorry your mum didn’t hold you enough, probably fed you with a slingshot because they couldn’t stand to look at your fugly mugs.

Emiratesstroller

benkind Once again you find fault in how the manager coaches the team. Arsenal went into the game yesterday as clear underdogs with most media pundits expecting us to lose. Manchester City are unbeaten at home in EPL this season and the clean sheet yesterday was the first time in 52 games that they have failed to score. Arsenal have the best goalscoring record and defence in EPL this season despite yesterday’s result. The top three are closely matched with just 3 points between them. We may or may not win league title but we are competitive. Why don’t you… Read more »

Siddeeq

Wenger/Klopp/Alonso always play positive football, even when they are underdogs

benkind

25% possession 2nd half & not a single shot. Yeah this is positive Emiratestroller. Victim mentality, underdogs always. There is a trophy on the line. Pedro said it was the biggest game of the decade. No one will remember it. I don’t want to be “competitive” I want us to win trophies. Simple. Funny is I don’t even care we played low block. It is just the hypocrisy here. Porto did the same and man here were angry and complaining about the style of play. We were fouling, wasting time, and grinding out a point yesterday, same as porto. It… Read more »

Siddeeq

Magalhaes, Saliba are much better than Dias and Ake.
Saka and Martinelli are better than Foden and Doku
Rice better than Kovacic
Raya better than Ortega

Thats over half our team better than Man c.

Siddeeq

Blanco maybe better than Akanji or its a tie.

Bob N16

At times, Wenger’s intransigence in strategy meant we lost games we shouldn’t have. Klopp seems to play in one way. Alonso, I haven’t a clue.

Other than that Sid, do you think Arteta was wrong to adopt the strategy he did? I’m very happy to get a draw considering City’s home record and our record there. 8pts to City and Liverpool’s 3pts on head-to-heads this season, stands up very nicely.

If we do manage to finish top, yesterday’s point will have been crucial. Pragamatism should not be a dirty word.

Emiratesstroller

benkind So what if we had only 25% possession yesterday. We have had 75% possession in the past and failed to score or win games. No doubt you would criticise the team in that situation as well. Arsenal have played attractive football in the last 3 months and have scored 30+ goals in 8 EPL games and won all of them. Our defence is the meanest in EPL conceding just 24 goals in 29 games. If you want to win titles you need to be defensively solid. So frankly I don’t understand why you are so negative about what the… Read more »

Dissenter

Luton got battered in their loss to Spurs, they lost some key players to injuries.

Kan

Even if we managed to win this league at the end of May, this Benkind fella will still moan that we didn’t win it the right way, by whatever yardstick he sets at the time. Dude pretends like he wants Arsenal to succeed but his posts clearly show that he wants Arteta to fail even if it costs Arsenal. Weird stuff. Talking about cracks in our formation when Liverpool is merely getting over the line while not being as fluid and as lethal as Arsenal. Leave the moaning that we didn’t come to play football to Citeh fans. Accusing Arsenal… Read more »

Pierre

Luton at home on Wednesday is a time for rotation in midfield, full backs and attack as Brighton away at the weekend will be a game when we need fresh legs and experience. We have Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, trossard , partey, smith rowe, Vieira, Martinelli and Eddie all ready to step in to allow the likes of Ben White , Rice, Odegaard, saka , jesus , jorhinho , kiwior and Havertz to rest up for the Brighton and Bayern games. . For me, we can change any of the outfield players apart from Saliba and Gabriel , though of course I’m… Read more »

Madhu

The debate about low blocks is non starter. Jose mastered it and won bountiful of trophies. But he did have a squad who could have played better than that. Lowly placed teams will do that against financial behemoths as the disparity in spending means that they have to come out with a strategy that works for them and makes them competitive. So that’s fair and so I have never complained about any team low.blocking us. I will blame Arsenal for not finding ways to beat the low block. Same goes to Man C yesterday. For all their riches over two… Read more »

Brian Muff

@benkind, Porto came to spoil the game with dives, fouls and time wasting anti football tactics. All ugly negative stuff we hate to see. Are you seriously saying we did the same yesterday?

JW1

Brian, IKR? Think only Raya was warned/booked yesterday for holding up play.

Some gave Anthony Taylor good marks yesterday– and for the most part I agree. But maybe just C+/B-. He awarded free kicks in dangerous locations on two occasions, where City committed similar uncalled fouls in the play preceding.

Arsenal were also called for 20 fouls, City 7. So, while Taylor’s thumb-on-scale didn’t actually affect the outcome– it did seem some advantage was on offer.

Last edited 11 days ago by JW1
David.D

So so proud of that performance. Have people forgotten we have lost 7 or 8 on a row at the Etihad. No one gave us a hope yet we went and got a good point yet you get some idiots on main stream media saying we should have attacked then more and gone toe to toe. That city were weaker in defence. Excuse me but didn’t Akanji and Ake both take part in the 4 1 trouncing they dished out to us last season as well as the same 2 playing on Sunday. So how was that weakened?? Weakened or… Read more »

David.D

*new one

Kpankulu

Still don’t think Tomi was a smart sub. Partey has that bit of quality that we might have needed if we were going to win this game, but he was also pretty off the pace. [@Luteo Guenreira]

Hmmm…I wonder how else they would get minutes when all hands are needed for the final games of the season.

I also wonder whether you think that Arteta was daft in reacting appropriately to the introduction by Guardiola of two speedy wingers signaling a different approach.

Oh, well.

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