Manchester City have started the New Year with a thrilling 2-1 win over Arsenal. At the Emirates, the Sky Blues were expected to compete against an in-form Gunners side but were still labelled ‘favourites’ in this crunch fixture away from home. Thankfully, for City, their final result bore fruit as they were able to chuck out all three points thanks to a late winner from Rodri.
Manchester City falter at the start
In the first 45 minutes, the Sky Blues looked out of sorts on all fronts of the pitch. Moreover, their attacking unit seemed to lack creativity and had found it tough to breach the Arsenal backline. On the other end, the hosts enjoyed some fine moments in their final third as they were a constant threat to the City’s defense.
Bukayo Saka found success for the Gunners in the 31st minute after left-back Kiernan Tierney provided a neat cross to the attacker, which was later slotted back home by the English international.
Probably, for the visitors, their main lows in the first half were the inability to register a shot on goal with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez having no impact in their attacking half.
Operation ‘Comeback’ initiated by Manchester City; Arsenal forced to play with 10 men
Trailing 0-1 at half-time, Guardiola’s side were hoping to pull things back in the next 45 minutes. Fortunately for City, Riyad Mahrez equalised with a spot-kick after Bernardo Silva was firmly pulled down by Granit Xhaka, which was later pointed to the spot by the referee after a brief consultation with VAR.
Gabriel’s 59th-minute red card spelt more trouble for Arsenal as they found themselves playing with 10 men with almost half an hour left in the game. With a man down, the hosts did try their best to hold on to the scoreline. A point at home looked certain for the Gunners, until Rodri stepped for his side at stoppage time to claim a brilliant winning goal, shattering the ‘resistance’ of the home side.
The home fans were absolutely distraught after the winning goal as they weren’t satisfied with their team’s performance in the second half. On the other side, Guardiola was a relieved figure in the City dugout as he saw his side stage an excellent comeback at away territory-a feat which has been rare in the ongoing league campaign.
After an exciting win at the Emirates, the Sky Blues are 11 points clear at the top and are currently looking like a side who could defend their title in May. Up next, they are scheduled to face Swindon Town for the 3rd round of the FA Cup next week.