With all three points against title rivals Manchester City, Arsenal close in on their gap with league leaders Leicester.
We are in December and this match was no title decider. But, it was about gaining confidence and momentum. Despite Leicester’s heroics, people still believe that it will be either Arsenal or Manchester City who will take the title this season. As it looks now, Arsenal hold the edge over their rivals.
In the first half-hour, Arsenal looked shaky and City was controlling the game. The Gunners needed something to get back into it. Just after the half-hour mark, Kevin De Bruyne latched onto a nice pass from Aguero and missed from near distance. This miss was really crucial as just one minute later, Theo Walcott produced a beauty from the edge of the box to beat Joe Hart and give his team the necessary lead.
After that, the Gunners took charge of the game and just before the half-time whistle, Giroud doubled the lead with a firm left-footer. This time also, Mesut Ozil was the provider with a nicely waited pass, taking his tally to 15 assists in Premier League this season.
Ramsey and Campbell should have taken this lead further in the second half to seal the game. But, their inability to do so gave City a chance for a late surge. In the end, they could not find the equalizer after Toure pulled one back with one of his characteristic strikes.
Arsenal were well-organised in defence to see off the threats from Pellegrini’s men. Koscielny was again at his very best to deny Aguero any clear chance.
It was again one of those matches where Arsenal have managed less than 45% of the ball possession but emerged winner at the end. This counter-attacking football looks like a ploy Wenger is using successfully against bigger teams.
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mertasacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini; Campbell (Gibbs 70′), Ozil (Chamberlain 76′), Walcott (Chambers 88′); Giroud.
Manchester City: Hart; Sagna, Mangala, Otamendi, Clichy; Toure, Fernandinho; Delph (Sterling 46′), Silva (Navas 73′), De Bruyne; Aguero (Bony 63′)
Arsenal vs Manchester City Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||5||6|
|Fouls conceded (Bookings)||5 (0)||16 (2)|
Arsenal vs Manchester City Highlights:
Photo by Ronnie Macdonald