Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester City

Mikel Arteta’s late strike gave Arsenal a much deserved victory over Manchester City.

The blue half of Manchester will surely have to settle for second place now after being dominated throughout by a brilliant Gunners performance.

The home side came within inches of taking the lead early on when Robin Van Persie’s goalbound header hit Thomas Vermaelen, and unfortunately for Arsene Wenger’s side City held on to clear.

Mario Balotelli should have seen red midway through the opening 45 minutes, his wreckless challenge on Alex Song went unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson much to the anger of the Emirates faithful.

Yaya Toure was substituted for David Pizzaro in the first half, as City’s title challenge began to crumble, just as Arsenal’s grip on third place became more secure.

Wenger’s men were to powerful for their opponents and played them off the park, the Citizens lucky to go in level at the break.

Van Persie again came so close to putting Arsenal ahead this time the post stopped the Dutchman, who has been out of form of late, from netting his 27th league goal of the season.

With 20 minutes to go three Arsenal players conspired to somehow not put the ball in the net, Theo Walcott’s shot came off the post and between them Vermaelen and Yossi Benayoun somehow could not get the ball over the line from less than a yard.

City’s luck finally ran out in the 87th minute, Arteta capitalised on a mistake from Pizzaro and scored a brilliant long rage goal to put Arsenal back into third spot.

Roberto Mancini’s side’s day got even worse when Balotelli, who should have been sent off in the first half, recieved his marching orders for a late lunge on Bacary Sagna.


Michael Cox

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