By Coral Barry
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Oliver Giroud will be licking their lips in anticipation, Manuel Pellegrini needs a striker that can offer a real alternative to Sergio Aguero and other things we learned from Manchester City 2 Swansea 1.
Ozil and Giroud will annihilate this City defence
In the absence of Vincent Kompany, City have a centre-back pairing costing over £70million and they are way out of their depth. In the absence of their leader, City’s defence has collapsed. Even the managerless Swansea found chances easy to come by today. City have conceded 16 times in eight Premier League games without Kompany compared to just one goal relinquished in the eight with him. The Belgian is tentatively pencilled in to return against the Gunners, but if he does not make the game, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Arsenal could match Liverpool’s four-goal haul in their mauling of City last month.
City do not have a blue-chip Aguero replacement
Wilfried Bony scored today, but he is nowhere near City’s Argentine maestro. That is true of most strikers but it will concern Pellegrini and his staff that he struggled to get involved in the home team’s build-up play and treasure possession of the ball. Aguero is expected to resume full training next week and Pellegrini is hopeful his top goalscorer will make next week’s clash with Arsenal. In his continued absence Bony has managed a creditable three goals in seven league games but it goes without saying that defences breathe far more easily when City’s No10 is not around.
Joe is having too many Hart-stopping moments
It is not hard to imagine what Hart must think of the defenders in front of him at the moment. A few expletives probably would not be far from his mind. The England No1 had the familiar experience of being forced to make a series of crucial saves just to keep his team in the game as the centre-backs and full-backs were cut open in front of him. His first stop from a one-on-one with Wayne Routledge after five minutes set the tone for man of the match performance. These heart-stopping moments are keeping Joe on his toes but his status as one of the planet’s finest goalkeepers is growing more secure by the week. The three points belong to him today.
Swans are far from drowned
Whether it is Gus Poyet or, more scarily, Avram Grant who arrives in the next week, the new manager might not have such a gargantuan task on his hands to save Swansea. In fact, it will probably be the easiest relegation rescue job this season. The Swans sit in 15th just one points above the drop, but have a well-balanced squad full of talent and grit. There is the sense that this side will rediscover it’s groove after just one win in 12 games and you have to feel that Gary Monk was perhaps unlucky not to be the one to lead the inevitable revival. They were well beaten by a superb Leicester last week, suffered a narrow defeat to Liverpool a fortnight ago and were unfortunate to come up against an inspired Hart as they went down to a late goal today. Swansea will be okay and any manager looking to revive his England career will surely be urging his agent to get on the phone to chairman Huw Jenkins.
Sagna proves Jamie Carragher right
The most memorable moment of Bacary Sagna’s game came when the Frenchman kicked Swansea’s Routledge in the head. It was a clumsy and dangerous challenge, earned him a yellow card and showed how far the former Arsenal man’s standards have slipped. The resulting free-kick forced yet another great save from Hart in goal and was at a time when Swansea were piling the pressure on City. Jamie Carragher branded Sagna ‘lazy’ this week and no one will be using this performance as part of the right-back’s defence against the TV pundit.
By Coral Barry