Arsenal 1 Manchester City 1
(Flamini 53, Silva 18)

Arsenal grabbed a very credible point in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Emirates stadium in Saturday’s late kick off. Injury ravaged and after a succession of poor results, the Gunners looked to be heading for another questionable on field performance after David Silva had given the visitors the lead after 18 minutes. With the threat of another home defeat hanging over their heads, and the threat of the first since the opening day loss to Aston Villa however, it was a rousing Arsenal reply which saw Mathiu Flamini level eight minutes after the break. Confident and searching for a winner, Arsenal were only denied the three points after Lukas Podolski had beaten City’s offside trap with a low shot, but Joe Hart got just enough on the ball to make the save, conceding a corner.

Nervous in defence, the Gunners ceded too much early space to their visitors, almost expecting City to take the initiative. Pablo Zabaleta roamed forward at will and having got beyond Kieran Gibbs, chose to pass when a shot would’ve tested Szczesny. Jesus Navas was next in line to take advantage of the Gunners” unwitting hospitality, curling a shot just wide of Szczesny’s post.

Having soaked up City’s initial pressure, Arsenal starting to confidently pass the ball, They had a great shout for a penalty when having raced clear Rosicky was clipped by Zabaleta, but Mike Dean deemed it to be no penalty. City then took the lead after an Arsenal attack broke down.

Arsenal lost, possession deep in City territory, Silva raced away unchallenged and found Dzeko to his left. Surprised to be in so much space, the Bosnian struck a low shot which beat Szczesny but came back off his upright. With no Arsenal defenders reacting Silva pounced on the rebound to put City in the lead after 18 minutes.

Three minutes after conceding, the Gunners responded when Mathieu Flamini saw his lob from Podolski’s cross loop over Joe Hart and into his net, but much to the frustration of the home side, the Arsenal number 20 was ruled to be marginally offside.

Booed at every touch, the returning Samir Nasri almost put his former side two goals behind. Gibbs saw his pass intercepted by his former team mate who then hit low, but Szczesny had enough behind the shot to save comfortably.

Two City yellow cards in quick succession as firstly Yaya Toure and then Vincent Kompany found Dean taking their names for fouls on Rosicky and Mikel Arteta respectively. The Gunners’ midfield had been combining effectively as Cazorla found Rosicky who in turn fed the willing Podolski on the left. His cross needed the interception on DeMicheles to avert the danger.

As the half drew to a close, Silva’s studs up challenge on Arteta saw Dean produce another yellow card when on another day he could have been given his marching orders.

With their first assault on Hart’s goal after the break, Arsenal drew level. Flamini had seen an earlier first half effort ruled out for offside, but there was no denying the France player this time. Arsenal patiently worked the ball from right to left and found Podloski. The German picked out Flamini who caught the ball on the half volley and struck beyond Hart. The relief of the Emirates crowd was palpable and now gave way to new found desire. Seconds after levelling, Bacary Sagna sent over an inviting cross which eluded everyone. Giroud should have gambled as the net was begging.

Podolski’s low effort was on target and looked to have gone beyond Hart, until the England ‘ keeper got something on the ball to deflect it for a corner.

City were still searchkng for a second goal themselves and threatened when Nasri’s free kick found Silva who volleyed into a crowded penalty area. Toure was once a Gunner until passport issues took him away and onto the path he is now on. He and midfield partner Fernandinho were having a quiet game offensively, that was until the latter hit a shot which Szczesny got fingertips to for a corner. Toure lurked deeper and deeper and when he rounded Szczesny a goal seemed imminent until the Arsenal defence cleared from his and Dzeko’s follow up.

With twelve minutes remaining, Oxlade-Chamberlain came on for Podolski. The England man gave the Gunners pace and a new threat. Yaya Sanogo was eventually brought on for the tiring Giroud with five minutes remaining. One wonders if his menacing power could’ve been utilised earlier to give the Gunners the edge in attack.

A point a piece however it was, and a fair result. Arsene Wenger declared his pride in the result especially after the recent results and inspite of many of his first team regulars who are still injured.