Manchester City 2 - 1 Arsenal

Published 18/12/16 

Manchester City came from one goal behind to record a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in Sunday afternoon's key Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Theo Walcott sent Arsenal, who have now lost their last two in the league, into a fifth-minute lead in Manchester, but Leroy Sane equalised early in the second period before Raheem Sterling won it for Pep Guardiola's side 19 minutes from time.

Man City boss Guardiola made two changes to the team that beat Watford last time out, with Sane and Fernando taking the places of Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito. Kelechi Iheanacho remained on the bench, however, meaning that Sterling started through the middle in the continued absence of Sergio Aguero.

As for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger made just the one change following the 2-1 defeat at Everton and it came in an attacking position as Alex Iwobi returned to the side in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who dropped to the bench.

The Gunners made the breakthrough in just the fifth minute of action when Alexis Sanchez found space in a dangerous position before sliding a pass into Walcott, who had time to slot the ball past the isolated Claudio Bravo following some lacklustre defending from the home side.

Man City should have been level less than two minutes later when Kevin de Bruyne picked out Sterling with a wonderful cross from the left, but the Englishman somehow headed wide of the post from close range.

Chances were few and far between in the 20-minute period that followed, with Man City restricted to a couple of long-range attempts from De Bruyne as Arsenal sat with a deep defensive line and looked to threaten on the counter-attack through Iwobi, Walcott and Sanchez.

Arsenal had to wait until the 32nd minute to create another chance of note, but Walcott volleyed over the crossbar from inside the Man City box, before Granit Xhaka headed just wide of Bravo's post in the 36th minute of action.

The Gunners had another opportunity five minutes before the break when Hector Bellerin met a loose ball outside the Man City box, but the Spain international fired into the stands during a very difficult spell for the struggling hosts, although Guardiola's team did end the first period on the front foot.

Bacary Sagna for Pablo Zabaleta was Man City's only change at the interval despite a difficult first half, but there was a shuffle in terms of players and that alteration worked as the home side levelled less than two minutes into the restart courtesy of Sane.

The goal came from a terrific Silva pass and the summer signing from Schalke 04 allowed the ball to drift onto his foot before slotting past Cech, although there did seem to be a hint of offside.

Arsenal went into their shell in the period that followed as Man City, who were much-improved from the first period, continued to dominate possession in the final third of the field. Indeed, Silva, Yaya Toure and De Bruyne all started to see more of the ball as the tactical change from Guardiola proved dividends.

Sane had a golden chance to score his second of the match just past the hour after De Bruyne released the German, but Petr Cech was on hand to make a smart save, before Sterling's long-range effort just missed the post.

Cech again had to be at his best 20 minutes from time to keep out a deflected strike from De Bruyne, but the Arsenal goalkeeper was beaten at his near post in the 71st minute as Sterling skipped past Nacho Monreal and squeezed one into the bottom corner to send Man City 2-1 ahead.

De Bruyne struck a post for the home side in the 76th minute as Man City looked to secure all the points, but Arsenal were also threatening and substitute Olivier Giroud headed over in the 83rd minute during a nervy period for the home supporters.

Man City continued to retreat as they looked to hold onto all three points and Arsenal could not find a leveller as the Gunners threw away a one-goal lead for the second time in the five days.

Next up for Man City, who have moved into second position in the Premier League table, is a trip to struggling Hull City on Boxing Day, while Arsenal will welcome West Bromwich Albion.

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