Manchester City were left feeling outraged after their 3-0 home defeat to Arsenal. Goals from Nasri, Song and Bendtner ensured Arsenal left Eastland`s with three points, after a controversial red card to Dedryck Boyata in the 4th minute spoilt the game.
The makings of a good refereeing performance are simple. The old famous saying of a good performance from a ref is when he isn`t noticed or talked about is generally accurate. It always makes you wonder then when Mark Clattenburg- a qualified Premier League referee- decides to make himself centre of attention.
A fixture between Manchester City and Arsenal- two sides with desperate title ambitions- would usually be one to enthral, a match pleasurable for a neutral, a fixture between two thoroughbreds. However, after only four minutes referee Mark Clattenburg decided to take matters into his own hands and end a potentially great spectacle.
Young defender Dedryck Boyata has impressed with his performances in the first team and started ahead of Joleon Lescott- a defender who looks surplus to requirements. Nothing would have felt more crushing though for the defender when he received his marching orders. Chamakh was through on goal and before facing the difficult obstacle of Joe Hart, he was brought down from a last ditch tackle.
With City facing Arsenal-one of the best footballing sides in the world- with only 10 men for the remainder of the match, the task was unenviable. Samir Nasri increased the difficulty for City after he slipped past Gareth Barry unnoticed and sent his shot flying into the roof of Joe Hart`s net.
Defensive stalwart Vincent Kompany was the next man in line to feel the harsh decision making of Clattenburg after he was penalised for a challenge on Fabregas, a penalty was the only outcome. Fabregas stepped up, but was spectacularly denied by Joe Hart.
Despite being a man and goal down City`s spirits remained high and an equaliser looked possible. David Silva was creating problems and would have brought City level if it wasn`t for 3 unbelievable saves from Fabianski. The Arsenal goalkeeping situation has been one of high concern for a long period of time now, but if Fabianski continues to perform at that standard, Wenger will again be reluctant to spend.
City continued to push for the elusive goal and with Arsenal looking shaky at the back, it only added to the frustration when Arsenal scored the next goal- a goal that certainly killed off City and added more cement to tired, heavy legs.
Alex Song scorched home from 12 yards after fortune again favoured the away side- a stray ball falling to Song.
Arsenal now sensed that City`s defence was cracking and with fatigue setting in Arsenal grabbed a 3rd. Nicklas Bendtner added further salt into the wounds from close range.
The scoreline didn`t reflect the true nature of the match and had Mark Clattenburg- the gambling addict- not been determined to ruin a terrific fixture the result could have been oh so very different.
Great penalty save could do very little with either goal.
Was strong and provided a good outlet down the right.
After being penalised he was bailed out by Hart. Other than he was again flawless.
Would be unfair to give him a match rating. Red card 4th minute obviously changed the game.
Hasn’t impressed as expected.
Never stopped fighting, strong, full throttle performance.
Unfortunate to be removed. Was playing better than Barry.
Probably his worst display in a City shirt this year. At Fault for the first goal and was off the pace throughout.
Tried n vain.
Was the main outlet upfront. His skill was exceptional at times and he was unlucky not to score.
Again tried his best but an injury cut his game short.
Worked well when he came on.
Was a good replacement at left back.
Very hard to judge off this performance. Not enough time and just coming back.