Arsenal hold off late Manchester City’s fightback for 3 precious points as both teams look to close the gap on high flying Leicester.
The Gunners – without a title triumph since 2004 – showed the sort of impressive drive, cutting edge and resilience that will lead manager Arsene Wenger to believe Arsenal can finally end that barren spell.
Manchester City dominated early possession but Kevin de Bruyne wasted a good chance and Theo Walcott punished the visitors with a right-foot finish from 20 yards in the 33rd minute.
Eliaquim Mangala’s dreadful clearance allowed Mesut Ozil’s 15th assist of the season as he set up Olivier Giroud for an angled finish in first-half stoppage time. Yaya Toure’s clever shot from outside the area set up a tense finale which saw both Toure and substitute Wilfried Bony waste chances to equalise.
Man Of The Match: Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil was, again deservedly, Man of the Match today. Two assists and a tremendous amount of defensive work made him an obvious choice but you can see how important he is the minute he goes off the pitch. He’s so calm, assured and reliable on the ball – Arsenal can play to him and know that he won’t lose it, and more often than not, can create something at the same time.
Manchester City – David Silva, the player he was being compared with earlier, was marked out of the game by Flamini and in the moments he did get the ball near the Arsenal goal wasn’t able to create anything of note. He’s still a class act but Ozil enjoyed himself tonight.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their 19 English Premier League home games against Manchester City.
- Manchester City have won none of their last five Premier League away matches.
- Mesut Ozil recorded his 14th and 15th assists of the season in this game, reaching the total in 16 appearances, faster than any player in a single Premier League season.
- Ozil now has 29 Premier League assists in his career, as many as Eden Hazard but in 59 games fewer.
- Five of Arsenal’s last six top-flight title wins have seen them in second place at Christmas, including two of their three Premier League titles.
- Man City have lost five games this season. The last team to lose five or more games before Christmas and still win the title were Everton in 1986-87.
Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (EPL) | SGSoccerPitches | Soccer News | EPL