Kolo Toure and Joe Hart back Blues 0-0 draw - Manchester City FC

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Season 2010/11

Case for the defence

  • 06 January 2011 10:41
  • Posted by David Clayton

Kolo Toure and Joe Hart believe City showed a streak of steel worthy of a team challenging for the title at Arsenal.

It was a backs-to-wall performance by the Blues who have come in for plenty of stick for their perceived lack of adventure at the Emirates Stadium, but Toure believes the point earned in North London could be crucial in the months to come.

“Chelsea came here and lost, we left with a point,” said the Ivorian, who was also landed the man-of-the match award.

“Arsenal played well and we wanted to get the three points, but it was a really difficult game. They are playing really well at the moment so I think a draw on their ground is a really good result.

“We defended really well throughout the team and Joe Hart made some fantastic saves – as usual – and I think we did really well as a unit.

I think it’s very important to have a strong defence if you are challenging for major honours. Strikers can win you games, but defenders win you titles

...Kolo Toure

“We came up against a very tough team in Arsenal and we’ve left with a very useful point which sets us up for the next game.”

Meanwhile Joe Hart was in superb form against the Gunners, making several fine saves and one stunning stop from Robin Van Persie in the second half of the goalless draw.

“I was hoping to get to ten minutes without conceding a goal because I played here last season with Birmingham and had to pick the ball out of the net twice in the first seven minutes!” joked Hart.

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“I thought the same might happen again the way Arsenal started,  but it just shows what grit and determination we’ve got at this club and players like Kolo were pumped up for this game as were the other lads.”

In response to being asked whether the Blues were lucky not to concede, Hart replied: “Our defence and midfield made some great tackles at important times, but as for our goal living a charmed life, well, the goals are the same size for every game and it’s all about putting the ball between the posts rather than hitting them!

“I thought after the first 20 minutes we restricted them to shots from the edge of the box and the shots I saved I feel I should be saving.

“When you play against Arsenal they are very dangerous with their passing and movement from around 18 yards out and they can hurt you. We kept a good line and were disciplined and they were ultimately forced to start shooting from distance which is a credit to the lads in front of me.”

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