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Arsenal close in on EPL leaders Leicester after beating Manchester City 2-1

Photo Courtesy: Goal.com
Photo Courtesy: Goal.com

Arsenal managed to narrow the distance between themselves and EPL leaders Leicester City to only two points, following a narrow 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Emirates.

First half strikes from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud proved enough as City were only able to score a late consolation through Yaya Toure.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors in the 7th minute, after some poor defending from Arsenal allowed David Silva to have a go from the edge of the box. However, the chance went begging as the Spaniard blasted his effort into the stands.

Three minute later, Fernandinho found himself in a similar position outside City’s box, but his effort, despite being a little better than Silva’s, still went over the crossbar.

In the 22nd minute, De Bruyne, after collecting the ball on the right flank, cut inside past Nacho Monreal, before firing a powerful low effort that was just turned wide for a corner by Petr Cech.

Ten minutes later, a good ball from Nicolás Otamendi was superbly flicked on by Aguero towards De Bruyne, who blitzed into a very dangerous position. Although the former Chelsea man could have sent the ball towards Silva (who had made an excellent run towards goal), he decided to go for goal himself. In the end, his decision proved to be a poor one as he fired his effort wide of the target.

City were immediate made to rue for their missed opportunity as Arsenal took the lead through Walcott in the 33rd minute. Ozil, after collecting a pass from Koscielny, cut the ball back for Walcott, who found the nets with an absolutely stunning finish that saw the ball fly into the far corner of the net.

Before City could recover from the first goal, Arsenal doubled their lead through Olivier Giroud, right on the stroke of half-time. A poor pass from Mangala resulted in Walcott getting the ball in City’s half. The winger immediately sent a pass to Ozil, and the German in turn teed up Giroud, who made no mistakes as he fired home from close range.

Seven minutes into the second half, Ozil was again in the thick of the action as he released Monreal on the left flank with an excellent pass. The Spaniard whipped in a brilliant low cross towards Joel Campbell, but the Costa Rican’s effort went over the crossbar.

In the 56th minute, an excellent long ball from Koscienly sent Campbell clean through on goal. Although the Costa Rican did well to shake off a City defender, his meek prod towards goal was easily kept out by Hart.

Arsenal got another good opportunity to triple their lead at the hour mark, when a quick counter from the hosts resulted in Ozil slipping an excellent pass to Campbell. The Costa Rican, in turn, played a clever little ball to send Ramsey clean through on goal, but the Welshman’s effort was kept out by an alert Hart.

In the 73rd minute, Sterling, after collecting a pass from De Bruyne, cut in from the left, before trying his luck from the edge of the box. Although his effort was well struck, Cech was able to make a comfortable save at the near post.

Six minutes later, City got a very good opportunity to pull a goal back, but a poor decision from Jesus Navas saw the chance go begging. The Spaniard was played in clean through on goal by Fernandinho, but the former Sevilla man, instead of going for goal himself, tried to square the ball towards Bony. This decision proved to be a very poor one as his pass was easily intercepted and cleared by Mertesacker.

City finally managed to pull a goal back in the 82nd minute through Toure. The Ivorian, after exchanging some passes with Bacary Sagna, unleashed a superb lofted effort that nestled into the top left corner of the net, past an absolutely still Cech.

Although City threw the kitchen sink at Arsenal in the closing stages of the game, the Gunners managed to hold on, and the game finally ended 2-1 in their favour.

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