Media balls: Arsenal on course for second after a lucky draw with hopeful Manchester City
Media Balls: a look at biased football reporting. Today in the Premier League, Arsenal drew 2-2 with Manchester City. Arsenal are in no state of crisis, whatever the media tell us. The Gunners have the same number of points after 28 games this season as they did in season 2015/16.
Last season after 28 matches players, Arsenal were on 51 points – just 6 points behind eventual champions Leicester City. This term, the Gunners are on 51 point – 17 behind Chelsea. Arsenal under Arsene Wenger are the very model of consistency.
Can the Gunners secure that top four spot that secures Champions’ League football next season?
Manchester City, under a new manager, are a project. Pep Guardiola, for it is he, is no flop, despite the the Sun naming him “the biggest disappointment in the battle of the Premier League managerial superstars”. City are fourth in the PL table – five points ahead of Manchester United – and in the semi-final of the FA Cup. What else do the reporters tell us?
Manchester City’s first goal – the game’s opening strike.
The London Evening Standard: “Kevin de Bruyne… played a hopeful ball forward…”
The Manchester Evening Post: “Leroy Sane raced onto Kevin De Bruyne’s fine ball out of defence…”
A prod forward or a lovely pass?
Manchester City penalty appeal.
In the game’s finale minutes, did the ball strike Nacho Monreal on the hand as he defended in the Arsenal box?
London Evening Standard: “Arsenal were fortunate to escape a strong handball appeal in stoppage time”
Manchester City website: “Late penalty appeals against Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal were waved away as City pushed for the winner”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “I know this referee because we have had him before but I don’t want to discuss the penalty.”
The BBC: “Handball? Did Nacho Monreal punch that? That looked very, very much like a hand in the box…”
The Guardian: “It was clumsy and really did seem like it struck his flailing arm. Arsenal appear to have been lucky to get away with that there.”
Arsenal website: Not a word on the incident.
Islington Gazette: No word on the appeal.
Such are the facts.