Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCity still have a part to play this season - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough City still have a part to play this season - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

City still have a part to play this season

If you’d have asked a City fan at the beginning of the season that they wouldn’t get their first league defeat until December I think that few wouldn’t have ripped your arm off at that point for that kind of deal. Had you also offered them second place, only a few points behind top spot . That was exactly what happened earlier on in the season when Arsenal visited the Etihad and City got back to winning ways that time.  Now the important thing for City when visiting Arsenal on Sunday is to get back to winning ways once more.

The first game between these two teams came way back on November 11th 1893 when Woolwich Arsenal took on and beat Ardwick. The return League fixture was the same and score and Ardwick struggled. That was when both clubs were in Division Two and the first game between the two in the top flight happened eleven years later as again Woolwich Arsenal again beat, the now named City, 1-0. 
In fact the history between these two in the League shows Arsenal on top winning just over half all the meetings and just under double the total wins that City have enjoyed. That said, Manchester City have knocked Arsenal out of two of the last three Carling Cup competitions at the Quarter Final stage and who can forget that 4-2 win at home in September 2009 when Richards, Bellamy, Adebayor and SWP all got on the scoresheet for City. 
The last League home game against Arsenal was due to be a tribute to the recently departed Malcolm Allison but an early sending off for Boyata meant that City would have a mountain to climb. Despite the final score being a 3-0 win for the visitors City did make a contest of it. After going down 1-0 with twenty minutes on the clock from a now City Nasri strike they held on until just over twenty minutes left when Song doubled the Gunners lead with Bedtner adding the third with seconds remaining. 
Almost 117 years to the day of this game City (Ardwick) demolished their opposition 4-1, Billy Meredith scored twice that day. 
On October 1975 City won 3-2 with Rodney Marsh scoring his last goal in a City shirt and left before City completed the League double over the Londoners, with a 3-1 win following at our ground. 
In our relegation season of 2000/01 we had one of our worst fixtures with Arsenal. We lost both games that season by a total of nine goals and scored none in reply. We had been in the second tier the previous season and found ourselves back there the next.
With Manchester United now ahead of City and playing earlier in the day it will be important for City to focus on their own game come Sunday afternoon.
As far as City goes, Joleon Lescott should be back in the team on Sunday to face Arsenal and that has to be good news for Mancini who only got Kompany back a few games ago and before that was trying to get a partnership of Kolo Toure and an inexperienced Savic to work.
The last five home games in all competitions against Arsenal have seen City come out on top three times, scoring eleven goals and conceding eight. A repeat of the Cup game earlier this season would be more than welcomed for Mancini who is unhappy with ‘soft’ goals being conceded and the lack of clean sheets. A defeat for the Manchester  club could be devastating, and it may mean the end of their title run.
In away League games against Arsenal, City haven’t scored since a DeMarcus Beasley consolation goal in April 2007. That said we have drawn the last two away league meetings with the Gunners 0-0, that may not be good enough this time around with United potentially eight points ahead of us come kick off. City fans will be looking at the most recent cup visit to the Emirates when a late Aguero strike gave the visitors the 1-0 win. Hopefully City can find their early season form and send a signal to United that this is far from over.
PA Cityboy
For more Football Blogs and opinion from football fans around the world