On a super-hyped, super Sunday, Arsenal were away at Manchester City for a match that could potentially shape the tone of the rest of the campaign for either side.
Arsenal were entirely dominant for the first 40 minutes of the first half, looking technically brilliant as they pinged the ball around the pitch, made overlapping runs and constantly manipulated and stretched the Manchester City defense. Manchester City were not to be entirely outplayed however, as they continued to press on the counterattack and made their way deep into the Arsenal half on several occasions.
Gervinho seemed to be the main point of Arsenal’s attack going forward, but the speedy Ivorian didn’t seem to be able to produce when called upon, as he had quite a few shots go streaking over and well wide of the mark. He did an excellent job of stretching the Manchester City defense, though, whenever he would push out wide and look to receive a through ball from Cazorla or Arteta. One particular incident sparked a memory late on, as Gervinho was challenging for the ball, he went in and tackled on of his fellow Gunners, showing shades of Emmanuel Eboue.
Sergio Aguero announced his comeback to the City side, as he started today’s match alongside Dzeko, which left Carlos Tevez, City’s current man in-form, on the bench to watch as the weather turned for the worse. The Argentinean was a constant threat to the Gunners defense whenever City pushed forward, but failed to hit the mark on six occasions.
The goals from today’s match came from the back, as the forwards failed to hit their mark. A misread from Arsenal’s ‘keeper Mannone, left Jolean Lescott open to rise and take the shot with his head, as City took the lead right before half-time. City maintained this momentum from the second half kick-off and constantly looked to slide in a forward behind Arsenal’s defense, but only managed to get corners out of their prodding, managing nine corners in their pursuit of a second goal.
It was not to be for the Citizens, as Arsenal finally showed up in the second half, late on. A blistering strike from Cazorla set up a corner for the Gunners in the 82nd minute. From that corner, Cazorla whipped the ball in, which was knocked down by the City defense to the feet of Koscielny. From there, Koscielny, turned and fired a reaching shot into the top-right corner of the net, to make it one-all.
As time ran down, City only had one more chance of real danger, as Arsenal failed to clear it from the box. With this, Vincent Kompany (you read that right) attempted a bicycle kick, which was parried away by Mannone to the feet of Aguero, who slid it just wide of the post.
At full-time, Arsenal fans looked happy with the point. City fans will reflect on the chances they squandered. Arsenal are now in fifth, behind West Bromwich Albion and Everton, on nine points. Manchester City maintain their seventh position in the table, also on nine points.