The 25-year-old estate agent departed delighted that Roberto Mancini's team had won but "disgusted" by the apparent overreaction of stewards and police who confiscated a homemade banner he unfurled inside the stadium. Along the way some important questions about free speech and the police's duty in a democracy were raised.
The specific issue in question here was the steepling £62 the club had charged away fans for tickets to the Premier League match. That price – approaching double the £35 Southampton are asking of City supporters for seats at next month's game on the south coast – had seen the Manchester club return 912, or almost a third, of their 3,000 allocation.
Alarmed by what is becoming a rapidly inflationary trend, Taylor found an old bedsheet and proceeded to paint "£62!! WHERE WILL IT STOP?" across it. He and the group of friends he travels to away games with have been concerned about rising admission prices for some time and considered staying at home to watch the Arsenal match on television.
"We had heard rumours that Arsenal was going to be expensive a few months ago and thought about knocking the trip on the head," he said. "But then, by booking three months in advance, we managed to get train tickets to Euston for £20 and thought that maybe evened the cost out a bit."
In the days leading up to the game, the ticket price became a hot topic and Taylor decided it was worth making a point at the Emirates. "Ticket costs are becoming a big problem for fans, especially at away games, and I thought that, by making a banner, we'd get the issue a bit of publicity," he said.
"We took it into the ground and it seemed to create a bit of a stir; people were taking photographs of it. Then, within a couple of minutes, a steward walked over. He told me: 'I agree with what you're trying to say but I'm under strict orders from my boss to take it off you.'"
Taylor, who remained calm and good-humoured, reminded him of the right to peaceful protest while also questioning what harm the banner could possibly do. "It used no offensive language and there had been no complaints about it," he said. "But the steward replied that it was against ground regulations and if I didn't give it to him he'd have to get the police."
After Taylor again refused to surrender his handiwork, events moved swiftly. "Suddenly two policemen were on one side of me and two on the other," he said. "They told me to hand it over or be escorted out of the ground and arrested [for a breach of the peace]. Part of me didn't want to give in but I didn't want to miss the game and, in the end, I decided it wasn't worth the hassle so I let the police take it away.
"A steward brought it back at the end but it's disgusting that we couldn't use it to challenge the ticket prices peacefully. It's disgraceful."
An Arsenal spokesman said the banner had been removed because "it impeded the view of supporters and for no other reason".
Taylor believes it does not have to be like this. "In Germany it's very different," he said. "When we travelled to Dortmund [last month] to watch City in the Champions League our tickets were £24 and we had free travel from Düsseldorf."
Taylor believes the Premier League can learn much from the Bundesliga's approach to customer care. "The Southampton game in early February has been switched to 5.30pm on a Saturday," he said. "But there are no trains back to Manchester afterwards so, unless you drive or travel by coach, you have to stay over."
He is not alone in believing that travelling fans require more considerate treatment. At the final whistle on Sunday, John Brooks, one of the linesmen, was caught on camera urging Joleon Lescott and Joe Hart, the City defender and goalkeeper, to applaud their fans. "They've paid 62 quid over there; go and see them," he said.
At £126 for the dearest seat at a high-profile game, Arsenal sell the most expensive tickets in the Premier League – the equivalent at Liverpool is £48 – but they argue they try to offer away fans some competitive prices, starting at £25.50 for category C games.
The problem with the City game was its designation as "Category A" by police, thereby forcing up costs in the away end appreciably from the Emirates average of £39.32. This compares favourably with Chelsea, whose average away seats are £50.68, but badly with Wigan, where the median price for visiting supporters, the cheapest in England's top division, is £23.84.
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image: © Mark Freeman