Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1: what we predicted and how it panned out
PUBLISHED: 13:09 22 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:09 22 December 2015
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What we predicted
Our radar’s been a bit inaccurate of late, so we’re feeling more than slightly pleased with ourselves for forecasting a 2-1 home win.
Although City enjoyed the better of the first half, with Kevin de Bruyne twice going close to scoring, they somehow found themselves 2-0 down at the break.
Mesut Ozil supplied yet another assist for the Gunners’ opening goal on 33 minutes, an eye-catching rocket from Theo Walcott that zipped past Joe Hart and into the far corner.
And Hart was beaten again on the stroke of half-time as Fernandinho gave the ball away and Walcott and Ozil combined to play in Olivier Giroud, who fired through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Arsenal improved in the second half, exploiting gaps in the City defence, but neither Joel Campbell nor Aaron Ramsey could capitalise on chances to kill the contest with a third goal.
Yaya Toure set up a tense climax eight minutes from time, latching onto Bacary Sagna’s pass and nonchalantly steering a left-foot finish into the top corner, but the Gunners held on to secure a crucial victory.
Buy him a pint
Walcott and Campbell worked hard on the flanks, while Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny put in solid performances at the back to keep the likes of Sergio Aguero quiet for most of the evening.
However, Ozil continues to go from strength to strength. Not only was he Arsenal’s creative nucleus and – inevitably – played a part in both goals, he also got stuck in when required.
Get your coat son
Mathieu Flamini had a few iffy moments, especially when he stood off Toure and allowed the City captain to make it 2-1 – but he didn’t look anywhere near as uncomfortable as Nacho Monreal.
The left-back was given the runaround by De Bruyne during the first half, with Koscielny often pulled out of position to cover, and his passing was none too hot either.
For a moment that got fans on their feet, we can’t really look beyond that sizzling strike from Walcott that turned the course of the game.