Arsenal level twice with Citizens
Written By: Robert Halter
Arsenal had lost just once in nineteen home meetings with Manchester City as both sides met at the Emirates stadium, beginning of April. In the third minute, Fernandinho cleared the path for Raheem Sterling but the ball clattered against David Ospina, and away for safety. Arsenal then responded with a ball over from Alexis Sanchez, and the outstretched leg of Danny Welbeck, drove the ball wide of the right post. But from a long delivery by Kevin De Bruyne, inside his own half, Leroy Sane charged through and then turned the ball into the bottom right corner, to give the Citizens an early fifth minute lead. In the tenth minute, Arsenal survived as David Silva put the ball over on the left, and a low strike by De Bruyne, cannoned against the bottom right post, before Ospina blocked the rebound shot by Silva. In the twenty first minute, Sanchez played a diagonal ball to Ozil, whose right footed effort went directly at Willy Caballero. On twenty four minutes, from an Ozil corner, the ball was headed back down by Laurent Koscielny, before the ball was launched over the crossbar from Nacho Monreal. On the half hour mark, Ozil found Sanchez, who bent the ball over the top right corner of the far post. In the thirty fourth minute, after Sanchez went over the trailing leg of Sterling, a free kick by Sanchez, went too far over. Four minutes later from a Silva corner, a miss timed header by John Stones, went out wide to the left. But Arsenal got back in the game on forty minutes, from a quickly taken corner by Ozil to Sanchez, whose delivery was poorly headed out by Nicolas Otamendi, and as the ball was played back in by Shkodran Mustafi, the ball was tumbled in by Theo Walcott. But it only inspired the Citizens, as Gael Clichy played through De Bruyne, who from the left side of the area, struck the ball against the near post, but the Gunners were opened up again, as Sterling’s ball deflected off the outstretched leg of Koscielny, and Silva supplied Sergio Aguero, who fired the ball into the bottom left corner to restore City’s lead in the forty second minute. Just before the break, Sanchez teed the ball up for Walcott, who on the volley, struck the outside roof of the net. Before the re-start, Koscileny with an Achilles injury was replaced by Gabriel Paulista while Man City took off Sterling for Yaya Toure. On fifty two minutes, Fernandinho put the ball over to Jesus Navas, whose delivery was put past the right post by the head of Aguero. But it was Arsenal celebrating a minute later, when off Ozil’s corner, a header by Mustafi was guided into the bottom right corner. But City reacted when from De Bruyne’s corner, a poor header out by Gabriel, was met first time by Fernandinho, with a fierce strike that Ospina kept out at full stretch, and then required treatment as Otamendi clattered into him. On sixty six minutes, a poor back heel from Sanchez in the box set up Navas, whose cross was met by an Aguero header which was caught by Ospina, as he sprung to his right. The Gunners soon brought on Olivier Giroud for Walcott and later took off Welbeck for Alex Iwobi. On seventy nine minutes, from an over the top delivery by Sanchez, a mistake by Otamendi presented the ball to Ozil, but he lost his footing in range of the target. From a short corner by De Bruyne, the ball was rolled out by Toure, into the path of Silva, who pulled his shot past the right post. But Arsenal went close three minutes later, as the ball was pulled back by Hector Bellerin, before Iwobi snatched the ball over the upright. City then replaced Silva with Pablo Zabaleta, who instantly set up Navas, who drove a shot wide to the left. At the end Pep Guardiola contested a penalty claim as the outstretched arm of Monreal, fended away Navas, as the points had to be shared in a 2-2 draw which did not help Arsenal, who were unable to keep pace with the top four to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, while Manchester City could not put pressure in the title race with front runners, Chelsea before facing the Blues in a midweek game at Stamford Bridge.