Sunday, 10 August 2014


Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post - where I have a LIVE Commentary of the match between Arsenal and Manchester City, in an official curtain raiser before the season begins next week Saturday. 

Both teams will be eager for the win to see them win the first piece of silverware ahead of the new campaign, and it will be intriguing to see how both sides perform under pressure at Wembley later today. 

13:51 - I will have official confirmation of the team news and starting line-ups for today's game when it is released, the match is set to kick off in just over an hour's time.

13:52 - Both teams will not be at full strength today, because Pellegrini and Wenger are both resting some of their key players who were playing in the World Cup back in June and July. 

13:53 - Arsenal have been unusually busy in this summer transfer market, and their business is not even done yet according to Wenger! 

13:54 - Club captain and defender Thomas Vermaelen's £15million move to Barcelona is now official, the deal was agreed yesterday and he was unveiled earlier this morning.

Done deal: Vermaelen poses alongside the Barca badge for a media photo
13:55 - Confirmed starting line-up for Manchester City has been released now. 

13:56 - City's starting 11 for today's match: Caballero, Clichy, Boyata, Nastasic, Kolarov, Fernando, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Navas, Jovetic and Dzeko.

13:57 - Dzeko and Jovetic start alongside each other in a weakened City side without the likes of Aguero, Kompany, Zabaleta and Joe Hart.

14:00 - Arsenal's starting 11 for today's match: Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla and Sanogo.

14:02 - Debuchy, Chambers and Alexis all get to start for their new club, Sanogo starts as the main striker with Sanchez probably playing behind him. 

14:05 - No Ozil, Mertesacker, Podolski, (all have longer break due to World Cup duty) Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky and Flamini all on the bench as well as striker Olivier Giroud. 

14:07 - A reminder that if the game is a draw after 90 minutes, the match will go straight to a penalty shoot-out. I doubt it will stay deadlocked though.

14:10 - Lots of key players on display today, hoping for a great game.

14:15 - Last time these two teams met, there were 9 goals in an entertaining 6-3 win for Manchester City at The Ethiad in the Premier League.

Baby on the way: Walcott scored a brace for Arsenal during the game, but it wasn't enough
Aguero and Fernandinho were among the scorers for Manchester City in an entertaining watch
14:18 - Arsenal won the FA Cup in May, while Manchester City took the EPL title from underneath Liverpool's noses dramatically to win the championship last campaign.

14:25 - In a pre-season friendly earlier today, Liverpool beat Borussia Dortmund with a convincing 4-0 win at Anfield. Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Dejan Lovren, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson gives The Reds the best send off before the start of the season.

Early opener: Sturridge broke the deadlock in the 10th minute with a neat finish.
Taking advantage: Lovren was unmarked in the area and headed past Langerak to make it 2-0
Teamwork: Coutinho, Sturridge and Manquillo were superb for Liverpool in a solid performance
They play against Southampton next week, with manager Ronald Koeman watching in the stands. 

14:40 - And it may have just slipped out that Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has just confirmed another signing; Porto defender Eliaqium Mangala in his press conference. 

14:50 - 10 minutes to go, who's ready? Both teams are ready and raring to go, both would like to win today though.

15:00 - The referee Michael Oliver checks his watch, and starts the game at Wembley Stadium.

Full team line-ups for today's game: 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla and Sanogo.

Subs: Rosicky, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Monreal, Flamini, Campbell and Martinez.

Man City: Caballero, Clichy, Boyata, Nastasic, Kolarov, Jesus Navas, Toure, Fernando, Nasri, Dzeko and Jovetic.

Subs: Hart, Richards, Milner, Sinclair, Rekik, Silva and Zuculini.

LIVE Commentary - Arsenal vs Manchester City:

0: And the match begins! The sun is shining and we are ready for an entertaining game today.

5: City corner, the first of the game and Nasri is set to take it with a chorus of boos behind him from the Arsenal supporters after his comments in the media about the "stupid" abuse.

6: Good defensive work on the flank to dispossess and quash the attacking threat from City, as Arsenal get clear. 

7: Encouraging pressure from The Gunners, doing well to force mistakes from their opponents today as City struggle to get the ball away to safety. 

8: Great double cross by Debuchy, into the path of Sanogo who is blocked from jumping up to head the ball towards goal.

9: Possession stats in the opening 10 minutes or so, it's been all Arsenal. 71% so far, and looking solid all-round. 

10: Dzeko and Jovetic just sitting in midfield now, waiting for a pass to set them on their way to creating a potential attack. 

11: Aguero, Lampard and Demichelis are pictured in the stands, watching the game as they are unavailable to play. 

11: Aguero is resting after World Cup duty with Argentina, same with Demichelis - Lampard is currently not 100% match fit to play. 

12: Good through ball by Alexis to find the energetic run of Sanogo, he latches onto the pass and hits a effort which is well blocked by defender Matijia Nastasic, thus resulting in a corner-kick.

13: Quick counter attack by City almost comes off, Nasri has a shot blocked well by Debuchy, hitting his chest before Sanchez does well to clear the danger with an anticipating block from a potential shot on the edge of the area.

14: City playing with two strikers today, Jovetic and Dzeko who both will be eager to prove themselves. Dzeko has been given a chance by his new manager, proving that he is trusted to do a job for the team - while under Mancini he was heavily linked with a move away. 

Despite that, Dzeko is a world-class finisher and Jovetic isn't bad either.

15: City foul given after Gibbs accidentally kicks Clichy as both battle for the ball in mid-air, no yellow card given though.

17: Good last-ditch sliding block from Clichy on the edge of the 6-yard box, after nice pass-and-move between Gibbs and Wilshere inside the area.

18: Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshere does well to pressurise Boyata and Clichy near the flank, and forces them into making a mistake.

19: Good energetic run by defender Calum Chambers to burst inside the area; he gets past his marker and forces the City defence backwards as Arsenal get forward again.

21: GOAL! Arsenal go ahead! A bright start to the game, and The Gunners break the deadlock thanks to a low drilled strike on the edge of the area by Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla after Wilshere is fouled during a bursting run towards the box.

Slotted past the keeper: Cazorla breaks the deadlock in the 21st minute outside the area
New team-mates: Cazorla and Alexis share a hug after Santi's opener
24: Good chance for Arsenal to go 2-0 ahead, Sanogo is set through on the counter attack and his shot is just wide of Caballero's post. 

25: City go forward and almost get in-behind the Arsenal defence, an ambitious through ball by Yaya Toure towards the path of Jesus Navas who sprints towards the pass but it trickles out for a goal-kick.

27: Szczesny comes out of his area to collect the dangerous in-swinging cross, and comfortably catches the ball to cheers from the most part of the supporters inside the ground today.

28: City look dangerous in possession, but they have failed to make any real chances as of yet. 

29: Arsenal corner, after a very quick counter attack - Sanchez sprints 30 yards before his attempted pass is cut out and partially cleared into the path of Cazorla, he hits a strike first time which is deflected off Boyata and out of play. 

31: Cross into Sanogo, he heads towards goal but Caballero does well to hold onto the headed effort and throw away. 

33: Good anticipation from Chambers, and a better clearance by Szczesny as Jovetic sprints towards the ball after a flick on by Dzeko from Navas' loften through pass into the area.

35: Wilshere wins a throw-in after being blocked off by the challenge from Yaya Toure, as Arsenal attempt to get forward again. 

36: Good block by Navas, he slides in well and anticipates the run of Cazorla - Dzeko wins the ball near the centre circle and sprints forward but Arteta halts his run with a tactical foul.

37: Nasri has a real chance for a shot on target, as City go on the counter attack with Jovetic and Kolarov sprinting forward. Kolarov gets forward and hits a powerful low cross into the area, Nasri is unmarked in the area and is unable to sort his feet out quickly enough to have an attempt on goal.

38: Encouraging attacking play by City, but Arsenal get the ball clear. 

39: Ironic cheers around the ground as the vanishing spray is used for the first time in a match outside of the World Cup, City have a free-kick but do not make full use of it.

42: GOAL! Arsenal double their lead! Another goal for The Gunners, and City will be needing the half-time break now. 

A great defence-splitting pass by Sanchez finds Sanogo in the area, he lays-off the run of Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey who makes no mistake to slot powerfully beyond Caballero. 

2 before half-time: Ramsey wheels away to celebrate his goal to double Arsenal's lead.
45: The fourth official signals for just the one minute of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half, as Sanchez goes close after being unleashed with a through ball past the City defence; Caballero runs out of his area and slides well to deny the Chilean from making it 3-0 before the break.

45+1: The referee blows his whistle to end the first-half, a very good first 45 for The Gunners and they are deservedly 2-0 ahead. 

HT: Arsenal 2 Manchester City 0 - 
The Gunners are deservedly ahead, and City have been unable to stamp their authority on the game as of yet, but manager Manuel Pellegrini will be eager to change this during the half-time break. Goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey separate the two teams. 

16:04 - Three substitutions for Arsenal, and one for City.

City SUB: Nasri OFF, Silva ON

Arsenal SUBS: Koscielny, Alexis and Sanogo OFF, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud. 

45: The second-half begins, and City will be eager to start the second half better than they started the first. 

46: David Silva is one of the best creative midfielders in the world on their day, and he will be key for Manchester City in this half if they want to get back into the match. 

47: A comeback is still possible, but City need to up their game significantly. 

48: City have a free-kick, 40 yards out. Yaya Toure goes down after an accidental clash with Olivier Giroud who lifts up a high boot and catches him.

49: Giroud goes to ground after a challenge from the back, by Nastasic. 

49: City get forward with Silva, who controls the ball well on the half-turn and looks forward to the run of Jesus Navas. Navas sprints down the byline and attempts a cross, but is blocked. 

50: First yellow card of the game goes to Manchester City's defensive midfielder Fernando - he argues with the referee after a previous foul that was not given, but Michael Oliver books the Brazilian for a tug on Wilshere as he was bursting forward. 

52: And it's the first real save of the game by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, he does well to anticipate a cross and parry away after Jovetic heads from a Navas delivery into the area, before The Gunners go forward. 

55: Good save! from Szczesny, he gets down low to parry away a power strike by Jovetic from close range. 

56: City have started the second-half well, and have pushed most of the Arsenal players back into their own half as they continue their pressure of The Gunners.

57: 2-0 to Arsenal currently, just over 30 minutes to play and City have improved but not enough to score as of yet.

58: Cameras are show Pellegrini; not looking very happy as well as some of the City substitutes walking down the steps to start warming up. 

59: Manchester City SUB: 
Edin Dzeko OFF
Yaya Toure OFF
Bruno Zuculini ON
James Milner ON

60: GOAL! What a finish by Olivier Giroud! The Frenchman came on at the start of the second-half, and he's scored with his first shot of the game. He picks up the ball 25 yards out, darts past a marker and curls a swerving strike past Caballero to make it 3-0!

Curling strike: Giroud made it 3-0 after 60 minutes thanks to a neat finish beyond Caballero
61: City left stunned, having got their foot back in the door - now they are 3-0 down and need an instant response to get back into the match.

62: Cheers around the ground, and a main section of Arsenal supporters are celebrating by doing City's main celebration - the Poznan.

Time to celebrate: Arsenal supporters do the Poznan after Giroud's strike
64: Good defensive sweeping by Calum Chambers; Debuchy doesn't see Jovetic running behind him and loses the ball - City try to get forward but a through ball into the area is cleared away by Chambers and Arsenal avoid the danger. 

65: Debuchy apologises to his team-mate, he did not see Jovetic behind him and if City had players forward it could have resulted in a goal.

67: Arsenal SUB - 
Jack Wilshere OFF
Mathieu Flamini ON

68: Fresh legs for Wenger, Wilshere has played well today and been energetic on and off the ball. Flamini coming on to add steel in the midfield for the last 20 minutes or so. 

69: Czech Republic creative midfielder Tomas Rosicky is getting ready to come on, receiving team instructions from the coach.

70: Arsenal SUB - 
Santi Cazorla OFF
Tomas Rosicky ON

71: Cazorla is replaced by Rosicky for some more fresh legs for Arsenal; 20 minutes remaining.

72: A hefty tackle by Flamini near the centre circle, timing his sliding challenge on Kolarov perfectly as Arsenal clear the danger. 

74: Manchester City corner, set to be taken by Jesus Navas.

74: Navas' delivery is partially cleared - an ambitious long-range hit by Milner is shot first-time, but blocked away as Arsenal attempt to clear. 

75: Arsenal finally get the ball clear, and attempt to get forward.

77: Good anticipation from Szczesny to smother the ball in his area after a good through pass by Silva towards the path of Milner. 

81: City free-kick in their own half, after Flamini is adjudged to have fouled Navas. Just under 10 minutes to play now.

83: Arsenal preparing a substitution, Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell is set to come on for the final few minutes. 

84: English full-back Kieran Gibbs goes down after a sliding challenge, clutching his leg in pain. Physio comes on to treat him, he looks okay to continue and hopefully he's okay.

85: Manchester City SUB: 
Jesus Navas OFF
Scott Sinclair ON

85: Arsenal SUB: 
Aaron Ramsey OFF
Joel Campbell ON

86: Ramsey has played well today, and is replaced for the last 5 minutes for Joel Campbell - he will hope for some playing time this season after two successful loan spells at Olympiakos and Betis in the past two campaigns.

87: It's a real shame that Sinclair has not had his chance to prove himself at City, they may be looking to sell him because there is a good chance that he will not have much game time this season. 

88: Close! City almost make it 3-1 from a corner-kick, a delivery is whipped into the box and Boyata jumps highest to head the ball towards goal with Szczesny rushing out to try and parry. 

90: The fourth official signals for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match.

90+1: Szczesny goes down after coming out of his area and sprinting forward to head clear as Sinclair sprints towards a loose ball, and he collides bashing his head in the process.

90+2: Szczesny receives treatment from the physio, and eventually gets back to his feet after a moment of scare.

90+3: Full-time! The referee blows his whistle, and Arsenal win at Wembley for the second time in 4 months. The Gunners were the better team on the day, and they have deservedly won today against a weakened Manchester City side who started slowly and couldn't get back into the match. 

17:00 - Arsenal players wait patiently while the Community Shield runners-up collect their medals. Commiserations to City, hopefully they can strengthen when they get their key players (some of which were missing today) back. 

17:05 - Mikel Arteta leads the Arsenal team up the steps, and eventually lifts the Community Shield!

17:10 - Thank you for following my LIVE Commentary today, I will be back later on in the week with more footballing content.

Until then, follow me on Twitter here -

and read some of my articles on VAVEL here.

Have a good day, thanks again!