[Ratings & goals] Arsenal 1-2 Man City: Partey stars for unlucky Gunners

By on January 1, 2022

thomas partey arsenal

It was another frustrating game for Arsenal against one of the big boys as poor referring decisions cost us during an undeserved 2-1 defeat to Man City this afternoon.

Arsenal started well and should have had a penalty in the 10th minute when Ederson clipped Martin Odegaard in the area. The referee waived away our protests and despite VAR having a close look, they decided not to intervene. Replays showed Ederson made contact with Odegaard’s foot and not the ball, so it was surprising VAR didn’t suggest a penalty.

We continued to push and took a deserved lead in the 31st minute when Bukayo Saka slotted home following a good move down the left flank and we were rightly ahead at half-time.

However, things all changed shortly after the break when City were awarded a contentious penalty. Bernardo Silva took a blatant dive in the box and Granit Xhaka [stupidly] tugged his shirt as he collapsed to the floor. The referee rightly waived play on but the VAR intervened and instructed him to take another look at the monitor. The VAR said the shirt pull was enough for a penalty and the ref agreed. Decision overturned, and penalty awarded.

Riyad Mahrez scored the penalty to make it 1-1 and gift City a way back into the game but not before Gabriel was booked for scuffing up the penalty spot. The silly decision was punished to the full when the Brazilian was quickly given a second yellow card for a block on Gabriel Jesus near the half-way line.

Arsenal were down to 10-men with over 30 minutes remaining. To compound matters, the Gabriel sending off came shortly after Gabriel Martinelli had missed a golden chance to put Arsenal back in front so it was a pivotal couple of minutes in the game.

Arsenal dug deep and restricted City to very little and it looked like we’d take away a more than deserved point. However, deep into stoppage time a poor header from Rob Holding and a huge stroke of luck lead to the ball dropping straight to Rodri in the area. The midfielder, who arguably should have been sent off for a handful of fouls during the game, poked home for 2-1 to give City an undeserved win.

Here are my ratings:

Ramsdale  6/10 | Weirdly, had very little to do as City had just two shots on target – one being the penalty. Solid at claiming crosses and good with his feet.

Tomiyasu  8/10 | Another excellent performance. Kept Sterling quiet all day and was strong in all areas of the pitch.

White  7/10 | Was having a great game but could perhaps have done better to clear the ball before the Rodri winner.

Gabriel  5/10 | Two moments of madness ruined an excellent performance. A needless booking for scuffing the penalty spot and silly challenge on Gabriel. Needs to learn from this.

Tierney  8/10 | Great assist to set-up Saka for the goal and was always a threat. Great to see him back to his best.

Partey  9/10 | Outstanding. Bossed the midfield, broke up play and instigated attacks quickly. Worked hard once Arsenal were down to 10-men. Real shame to lose him to the AFCON just as he’s hitting top form.

Xhaka  6/10 | Another brainless decision to tug on Silva’s shirt. The City man was taking a clear dive BEFORE Xhaka made contact so why the need to tug his shirt?! Infuriating.

Saka  8/10 | A terrific finish from the youngster to put Arsenal ahead. Terrorised Ake in the first half.

Odegaard  8/10 | Was outstanding once again in the first half when he ran the show. Was unfortunate to be sacrificed when we went down to 10-men.

Martinelli  7.5/10 | Another top performance for much of the game. Worked his socks off and was a real threat, especially early on. However, missed a golden chance to make it 2-1 at a pivotal time in the game.

Lacazette  7/10 | Linked up play nicely at times and worked hard up front. Perhaps looked a little tired at times.


Holding   6/10 | Poor header lead to the City winner.

Smith Rowe   6.5/10 | Added some energy but couldn’t find another goal off the bench.

Elneny   N/A | On too late.

This was one of Arsenal’s best performances in a big game for years. Sure, Martinelli should have scored to make it 2-1. Gabriel shouldn’t have got himself needlessly sent off and Xhaka’s shirt tug was brainless, however, the poor officiating is what really cost Arsenal today. It’s happened too often to be a coincidence.

Watch the goals and highlights here: