Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has insisted he knew he would score against Arsenal, despite missing a first-half penalty, during his side’s comfortable 2-0 victory at the Emirates.
Laurent Koscielny was shown a straight red card after felling the striker inside the area, with the Bosnian’s effort saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
But, City’s top goalscorer this season eventually did hit the target, adding to James Milner’s 21st-minute opener, to keep up pace with league leaders Manchester United.
“I didn’t score [the penalty] but I knew I was going to score afterwards because I told myself ‘OK you missed the penalty, now you have to work hard and try to score from another chance,” Dzeko told Sky Sports.
The 26-year-old has found himself in and out of the City starting line-up this season despite the 10 league goals to his name already this campaign.
However, due to the injuries to Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli, Dzeko has found himself a firm fixture in Roberto Mancini’s starting XI.
“It’s very important for my confidence to know you’re going to play the next game,” he admitted. “I think I’ve started the last four games and I think I’ve scored four goals so I’m happy.
“The most important thing is that the team is winning the games and that we are still there fighting for first place.”
Fellow goalscorer James Milner shared his team-mate’s delight at the victory over Arsenal, City’s first away at the London club since 1975.
“It’s a tough place to come and we haven’t had much success here in recent years,” offered the England international. “We wanted to put that right and we got three points.”
On his goal, Milner said: “I saw a little pocket to run into and it was a nice weight of pass and I thought I’d have a go. Luckily enough, it went in.”
Javi Garcia was handed a rare start in midfield due to the absences of Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri, and he confirmed that United’s victory against Liverpool earlier in the day had given him and his team-mates an incentive to take all three points at the Emirates.
“It was a very important win,” Garcia told the club’s official website.
“The team worked very hard and it was a very important three points to continue to go forward. For us it is a very important three points because United won today and we need to fight until the end with them.”