Honours were even in London as a second-half Shkodran Mustafi header was enough to earn Arsene Wenger’s struggling Arsenal a point, in a 2-2 draw which either team could’ve easily won.
City led twice via Leroy Sané and Kun Agüero, before being cancelled out – both times by sloppy defensive errors. The first goal came from two bits of individual brilliance as Kevin De Bruyne found Sané in typical De Bruyne fashion. The German used his electrifying pace to wriggle off Bellerin and round the goalkeeper, before slotting City into the lead after just five minutes.
Minutes later, De Bruyne could’ve put City two ahead. His effort reminded me of his goal against PSG last season where he almost passed the ball into the goal. This time he was denied by the width of the post, and Silva also could’ve scored from the rebound.
Following this, City lost control of the game – they sat back and couldn’t keep the ball on the rare occasion they got it. The defence survived a few scares before Arsenal did get an equaliser via Theo Walcott. At first glance, Theo looked offside but replays showed Clichy lost concentration and failed to get out quick enough. Walcott finished well and Arsenal found themselves level.
Before the Arsenal fans could sit back down, City were back in the lead. Özil lost the ball cheaply to De Bruyne who had a lot of space to operate in. The ball eventually fell to Silva, and there is no player you want on the ball in these positions more than the Spanish magician. He almost hypnotized Monreal towards him, before neatly picking out Agüero, who finished from a tight angle.
It was Mustafi who scored Arsenal’s second equaliser, as he rose above Otamendi to nod past Caballero. It was a good header, but the space he found himself in will surely put Pep under more desire to sign a partner to Stones in the summer.
The game petered out from this point – neither side taking many risks. City missed Sterling in the second half, as De Bruyne often drifted inside meaning the outlet ball wide right wasn’t on. A point wasn’t great for either side, but avoiding a loss was more important in the top four race.
Despite this, City looked the more likely. Fernandinho and Agüero both tested Ospina, who made a few smart saves today as he deputised for Čech. Nevertheless, Mesut Özil easily could’ve scored a winner for the home side as Otamendi elected to pass back to the keeper instead of clearing his lines, miss-kicking the ball straight to the Arsenal man.
In the last five or so minutes, City stepped up their intent. There was a huge talking point in injury time as Monreal handled the ball in the box. The Spanish full back has allegedly admitted it was a hand ball since, but Marriner turned down City a huge penalty shout, not for the first time this season.
Overall, neither team could’ve grumbled about a loss today, as both defences looked poor. Although the pundits have suggested a draw today has ended City’s title dreams, the title has been gone a long time. The draw today summed up City’s season – disorganised at the back and wasteful in attack. Despite this, draw is better for City than Arsenal, matching the results of the teams in fifth and sixth this weekend.
No player really stood out for either team today as a man of the match, but Agüero and Fernandinho were both industrious on and off the ball. Sergio now has 26 for the season, which is a great tally considering his suspensions and being dropped for Jesus.
City return to London on Wednesday, for a big match against leaders Chelsea. Guardiola will seek revenge on Chelsea, who won at the Etihad in December, when City were the better team on the day.