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Arsenal vs. Manchester City Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2014

Arsenal rallied from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

City took an early lead through David Silva, but they were prevented from going top of the table by a second-half leveller from Mathieu Flamini.

The visitors made a fine start and threatened early on, with Jesus Navas curling a shot narrowly wide of the target.

Arsenal made calls for a penalty 12 minutes in as Tomas Rosicky tumbled in the box under challenge from Pablo Zabaleta, but the appeals were waved away by referee Mike Dein.

The Gunners have struggled defensively in recent weeks, and they did not help their cause by giving the ball away for City’s opener on 18 minutes.

From the moment Arsenal gave the ball away, City were sensational. David Silva galloped forward before delivering a glorious pass into the path of Edin Dzeko.

The forward fired in a crisp strike that crashed against the woodwork and into the path of Silva who bundled the ball over the line.

Arsenal: Have conceded in their last 3 home league games having kept a clean sheet in the previous 5

WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 29, 2014

Further sloppy play from Arsenal almost cost them on the half-hour mark, but Wojciech Szczesny was able to get down to his right and keep out a drive from Samir Nasri.

Arsenal mustered just one shot in the first half. Their productivity improved in the second 45, and Joe Hart had to be alert to keep out a deflected strike from Santi Cazorla.

Hart, though, had no chance with Flamini’s leveller on 53 minutes. The midfielder timed his run into the box to perfection to turn home Lukas Podolski’s fizzing cross.

PHOTO Cazorla, Rosicky and Arteta celebrate Flamini's equaliser for @Arsenal. Arsenal 1-1 Man City (70 mins) #ARSMCI pic.twitter.com/1NizWgMCAf

— Premier League (@premierleague) March 29, 2014

Arsenal were transformed by the goal and should have taken the lead on the hour. A slick passing move set Podolski in on goal, but he was denied by the boot of Hart.

City were unable to exert the same control they had in the first half, and Olivier Giroud had a decent chance with 20 minutes remaining but he was unable to guide his header on target.

Yaya Toure was not at his sensational, rampaging best but he went close 15 minutes from time. A driving run took him into the box, but Szczesny stood tall to delay the midfielder's shot and Arsenal were able to scramble the ball clear.

Arsenal finished the game by far the stronger of the two sides, but City weathered the storm and were able to claim a point that could still prove vital at the end of the season.

Arsenal Player Ratings
Player1st Half2nd Half
Szczesny78
Sagna77
Mertesacker88
Vermaelen77
Gibbs68
Arteta77
Flamini68
Rosicky77
Cazorla89
Podolski68
Giroud65
B/R

With Chelsea losing earlier in the day, Liverpool were the big winners in the title race. City, though, have games in hand and have their destiny in their own hands in a title race that could still go one of four ways.

Arsenal are one of the sides still in the hunt, but Arsene Wenger’s men have dropped vital points in recent weeks and do look to have too much ground to make up.

A win was a must for Arsenal over City. They did not find it, but Wenger’s men at least showed real character after being outplayed in the first half.

Manchester City Player Ratings
Player1st Half2nd Half
Hart67
Zabaleta87
Kompany87
Demichelis88
Clichy66
Fernandinho87
Toure77
Navas76
Silva97
Nasri77
Dzeko87
B/R

Wenger, speaking to Sky Sports, felt his side recovered from a slow start and should have won the match.

I think we started nervy, and Man City was more confident at the start of the game.

We were a little on the back foot, but we slowly got into the game and in the second half I feel we controlled the game and were unfortunate not to score a second goal.

It was a good game with two quality teams.

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