Arsenal vs Manchester City Match Review
Second Half ‘Ressurection’ secures a point for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger perhaps can dodge the bullets of his critics for another game week as his Arsenal side participated in a universally enjoyable Premier League stalemate against Pep Guardiola’s vibrant Manchester City.
The Gunners showed immense desire not to lose infront of their home crowd by twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with the Citizens on Sunday, but Champion’s League qualification seems quite difficult at this very moment.
Guardiola’s men took an early lead with 5 minutes on the clock through the young German sensation Leroy Sane’s calm bottom right corner finish as he used his stubborn pace to beat Arsenal full-back Bellerin with ease after receiving a quick long pass from Kevin De Bruyne from inside City half. Arsenal then gradually grew and started to dictate the momentum troubling the visitors’ right where the Spanish midfielder Jesus Navas was used by the City manager as a makeshift rightback.
Inspite of controlling the midfield, the home side clearly lacked creativity to make the visitors pay. But the class of Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal almost made the bed for Alexis Sanchez to score who got rattled out by an impeccable sliding tackle by Fernandinho inside the box during 29th minute.
Finally the tireless endeavours yielded result as Theo Walcott pounced upon a clumpsy mistake of Gael Clichy to bring Arsenal on level terms with five minutes remaining in the first half.
Wenger’s relief got cut short as the parity lasted barely two minutes. This time the gunners gave David Silva too much space around the penalty area who played a sleek pass to Sergio Aguero who managed to find the net from a very difficult angle where someone might argue about the positioning of Arsenal keeper David Ospina. Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin got booked along with City’s Jesus Navas in the first half.
Both teams made single change at the half time as Captain Laurent Koscielny having problem with his Achilles replaced by Gabriel Paulista where the Spanish manager made a tactical change introducing Yaya Toure in place of Raheem Sterling.
After a monotonous start to the proceedings, Arsenal got their equalizer for the second time as Skrodran Mustafi jumped high enough to avoid Nicolas Otamendi to steer Ozil’s corner down to left bottom corner beyond the reach of diving Willy Caballero around the 54th minute mark.
At that moment, everybody got their seats tightened up to visualize another spicy half an hour. But the game somehow didn’t pan out in that way where the inspired substitutions of bringing Olivier Giroud in place of the scorer Walcott and Alex Iwobi instead of Welbeck , failed to produce fruits.
During the injury time, Monreal really got lucky to survive a handball appeal inside his penalty area which obviously didn’t make the visitors happy and again carved a pavement of criticism of the referring personnels.
Though Arsenal managed to resurrect a point at the Emirates, the supporters are clearly not pleased with their manager for the team’s series of half-hearted and inconsistent performances, urging for a change.
After this game, Manchester City find themselves at the 4th place where they are 5 points clear off their city rivals having played an extra game and one point behind the 3rd placed Liverpool having played one game less. Arsenal on the other hand are sitting at the 6th place with 7 points behind City having played one game less.
City now will visit Antonio Conte’s men at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday who are 7 points clear of second placed Tottenham Hotspurs, when the Gunners will host the London Derby against West Ham at home.