Both Manchester City and Arsenal dropped two points during their last Premier League games. These results failed to fully capitalise on Chelsea's loss to Stoke, ensuring this week's match at the Etihad is even more important for the title contenders.
Manchester City's home form has been excellent this season, while Arsenal's only blip on the road came against Manchester United. Can Arsene Wenger's men put themselves nine points clear of Manuel Pellegrini's squad at the top of the table? Will City breathe new life in the title race with a win?
We've simulated the game using FIFA 14 on Xbox One to determine just that.
Manchester City vs. Arsenal, FIFA 14 highlights
3'—The ball remains central as both teams struggle to maintain possession. Arsenal enjoys a little more control, but both teams work hard to close space.
7'—HUGE CHANCE! Arsenal maintain possession and begin to push forward, although Olivier Giroud looks lonely next to the presence of Vincent Kompany and City's defence.
13'— Smart play from City, as Sergio Aguero bursts into the box. His shot is saved, but the loose ball falls to Yaya Toure. The Ivorian, who so often scores in important moments for the host, blazes over the bar with a wild strike. The goal was open, but Yaya misses.
14'—GOAL! Wojciech Szczesny's simple pass from the resulting goal-kick is intercepted by Aguero, who lays the ball toward Alvaro Negredo and continues his run into the box. Negredo plays an excellently weighted pass back to the Argentinian, who squares to Fernandinho. The Brazilian makes no mistake with the simple tap-in.
27'—Arsenal remain patient in the centre and continue controlling play. Wenger's men are struggling to create anything when they enter City's half.
35'—Both teams become wasteful in possession. Stray passes keep the turnovers coming, as Arsenal's defence looks to back Pellegrini's men toward their goal.
38'—GOAL! Aaron Ramsey is left unmarked on the edge of the area. He receives the ball from Kieran Gibbs, turns brilliantly and rifles a shot off Costel Pantilimon's post. Luck is with the Welshman, as his effort clatters into the net.
43'—Pantilimon's called into action, as Giroud shoots from outside the box. A straightforward save, but Arsenal maintain pressure.
45'—Fernandinho makes a pivotal interception, almost as important as the goal. The Brazilian's stretched leg stops Mesut Ozil slipping Giroud in, who would have been one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
HALF-TIME: Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal, (Fernandinho, Ramsey)
48'—GOAL! City start the second-half brilliantly. Alvaro Negredo is allowed to stroll into the box without a challenge and has his shot saved. Unfortunately for the Gunners, it is parried back into Aguero's path, who slides further than Gibbs to poke home. Instinctive stuff from the prolific forward!
56'—SUBS: Rodwell for Fernandinho, Walcott for Wilshere.
62'—Superb play by Ramsey on the edge of the box. He passes to Ozil, who sprints to the ball and shoots just wide from inside the area. Arsenal pressures, but City's defence looks determined to overpower their opponents.
70'—Another stalemate period in the middle of the park. There's nothing to choose between either side in a lull that will have both sets of fans struggling to keep their eyes open.
82'—Arsenal's defence become incredibly sloppy on the edge of their own area. Gibbs' pass across the middle is picked up by Aguero, who gets the ball and plays to Samir Nasri. The former Gunners star shoots from a wide-angle but sees the ball cannon off Szczesny and away from danger.
86'—Arsenal give it away on the edge of the box again, and a long-range Nasri strike is just plucked away.
89'—SUB: Edin Dzeko on for Negredo.
90'—TWO MINUTES OF ADDED TIME TO BE PLAYED.
90+2'—FINAL WHISTLE! City see out the game with no problem at all. Arsenal stutter to their third defeat of the season, while Pellegrini's team pull to within three points of the Gunners at the top.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal, (Fernandinho, Ramsey, Aguero)
So, there we have it—a huge win for City, and a major spanner in the works for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger's men must quickly regather their momentum, as Chelsea are the next side to take on the Emirates outfit.
Will City gain the plaudits in the real match? What would you like to see from future simulation articles? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below, and hit me up on Twitter:
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