Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Fri 07 Sep 12

To judge the game solely on the scoreline would be harsh on the Sky Blues' endeavour and effort as Arsenal brought an emphatic end to their Capital One Cup campaign.

The Sky Blues took the game to the Gunners from the outset but it was Olivier Giroud who opened the scoring five minutes before half time with a neat chip after a lightning quick counter-attack by Arsene Wenger's side.

The hosts then went on to net five more in the second half through Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ignasi Miquel with a City goal for substitute Callum Ball and a penalty save from Joe Muprhy thrown into the mix.

City boss Mark Robins rung five changes to the side that lost 2-1 at home to Carlisle the previous weekend, handing debuts to loan signing James Bailey and free transfer Franck Moussa as well as giving loanee Jamie Reckord his first start.

And City started brightly, fashioned the first half-chance of the game after nine minutes when Moussa skipped past Martin Angha on the left flank and chipped a cross into the box for Stephen Elliott.

Unfortunatley for the City striker the delivery was a shade too high as he glanced a header wide of Damian Martinez's far post.

After his long-range strike earlier in the season, Adam Barton also fancied his chances from distance after 23 minutes, his effort from 25 yards always rising over Martinez's bar.

Arsenal were always dangerous on the counter-attack though and they almost opened up the Sky Blues' back four on the break away moments later when AndreY Arshavin burst down the left flank and whipped in an early low ball that just evaded the foot of Olivier Giroud.

Richard Wood was left looking disappointed with himself after 31 minutes when Gary McSheffrey won a free kick 25 yards out and then lofted his delivery into the heart of the penalty area, the ball aimed for Wood who could only direct his header over from ten yards with his back to goal.

It was the hosts who registered the first effort on target nine minutes before the break though when Francis Coquelin worked his way inside from the right flank and gave the ball to Giroud on the edge of the area, the Frenchman firing low straight at Joe Murphy who made a comfortabke save.

He was on the scoresheet four minutes later though when a one-touch move foiled the City offside trap, Arshavin's ball to Coquelin saw midfielder's first touch play the ball through to Giroud who finished with a neat chip over Murphy.

The Gunners were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to make it two just moments after the restart when Reece Brown's poor clearance header dropped into the path of Arshavin who was bundled over by Brown for a penalty.

Giroud stepped up to take the spot kick but City shot stopper Murphy guessed right and made a superb save to his right.

Ignasi Miquel then went close from the resulting corner delivery, his looping header bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

The Sky Blues responded to the early pressure as Moussa won a free kick at the other end on the left side a minute later, Baker's curling delivery finding Wood whose downward header bounced back up and over Martinez's bar.

It was the hosts who got a second though after 55 minutes with an unstoppable long range drive from Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The wideman brought the ball infield and powered a shot from 25 yards which moved in the air and fooled Murphy as it went straight down the middle of the goalmouth to double Arsenal's advantage.

City very nearly crafted a chance of their own just after the hour when Elliott received a ball in the box to feet and nearly turned Miquel to get a shot off only to have it blocked.

On Arsenal's very next attack Oxlade-Chamberlain tried to get a second when, after a tussle with Jordan Clarke, he turned inside and fired at goal, this time Murphy parrying the effort away.

The Sky Blues were caught on the counter-attack again though moments later when Oxlade-Chamberlain's through ball to Giroud was cut back across the area for Arshavin who poke a close range finish past Murphy.

Only a great reflex save from Murphy denied Arsenal a fourth on 68 minutes when a deep corner delivery found Johan Djourou whose low, diving close range header was kept out by the 'keeper.

City then went on the counter as Brown timed a challenge on Angha in midfield to double as a pass for McSheffrey who got to the goalline but could only fire wide.

Walcott made it four for the Gunners though after 73 minutes and it was a goal typical of the forward as he picked up the ball 30 yards out, raced around the outside of Richard Wood and fired low across Murphy and just inside his far post.

A neat piece of interplay from the Sky Blues very nearly resulted in their first goal as a tap through from McSheffrey found substitute Callum Ball to fire across goal and just wide.

McSheffrey then went close after winning a free kick on the right side, curling his effort just around Martinez's far post.

City deserved their goal with 11 minutes to go though when, not disheartened by the four-goal deficit, Baker's superb right-side whipped in low cross fell into the path of Ball to stab home to the delight of the Sky Blue Army behind the goal.

No sooner had they cut the deficit though, Arsenal restored it when Arshavin's delicate left wing cross found Miquel to head home from close range to make it 5-1.

Walcott then wrapped up the scoring as the game approached full time, getting inside Clarke and steaming away before tucking his finish just inside Murphy's far post.

Attendance: 58,351


CoventryCity: Murphy, Clarke, Wood, Brown, Reckord, Bailey, Baker (c), McSheffrey, Barton, Moussa (Fleck 60), Elliott (Ball 69)
Subs: Dunn (GK), Hussey, McDonald, Edjenguele, Daniels

Arsenal: Martinez, Santos, Giroud (Chamakh 72), Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gnabry 72), Djourou (c), Coquelin (Frimpong 72), Arshavin, Angha, Miquel, Yennaris
Subs: Shea (GK), Squillaci, Bellerin, Eisfeld

Bookings: Brown (COV), 

Referee: Michael Jones
AssistantReferees: Harry Lenard, Mike Mullarkey
FourthOfficial: Andy D'Urso
    Data provided by Press Association

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