A lucky Arsenal kept their top-four hopes alive by playing out a 2-2 draw with Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s men began the proceedings at the Emirates in fine fashion and took the lead after only five minutes when Leroy Sane found the back of the net from a Kevin De Bruyne pass. The visitors nearly doubled their lead inside ten minutes but De Bruyne’s effort crashed against the woodwork before David Ospina made a good stop to deny David Silva from the rebound.
Arsenal soon began to find their rhythm and deservedly equalised five minutes from the break through Theo Walcott. However, the parity lasted for only a couple of minutes as Sergio Aguero capitalised on a defensive error from the home team to restore City’s one-goal lead.
City were the dominant side after the break too and could have given themselves a 3-1 cushion soon but an unmarked Aguero sent his headed effort wide of the post. And the visiting team had to pay a hefty fee for that missed chance when Arsenal levelled for a second time after 53 minutes when Shkodran Mustafi was left alone in the area to head an Mesut Ozil corner.
Both the teams had a few small chances to seal the game but neither of them showed any determination for the three points and looked content with a draw.
Here is how the players fared:
David Ospina: 6/10
Could do very little with City’s opener but should have done better with the second goal when Aguero shot across the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. Made several good saves as the game progressed.
Hector Bellerin: 5.5/10
A poor day at the office, the Spaniard was poorly exposed by Sane for the opening goal. Struggled to deal with Sane throughout the game.
Shkodran Mustafi: 7/10
Scored a brilliant header to secure a point for his team and lead the defense brilliantly in the absence of Laurent Koscielny.
Laurent Koscielny: 6/10
Not the most impressive of performances from the Frenchman but made some vital interceptions before being withdrawn at half-time due to Achilles issue.
Nacho Monreal: 5/10
He was at fault for City’s second goal and gave Aguero a lot of space throughout the game. Was lucky to not concede a penalty in the dying minutes.
Francois Coquelin: 5/10
Performed poorly in the first-half but improved after the half as he showed the willingness to defend and cover the ground. But failed to make a big impact.
Granit Xhaka: 6/10
Struggled to distribute quality balls and once again made several reckless tackles.
Mesut Ozil: 6.5/10
Provided the assist for Arsenal’s equaliser but is still struggling to find his rhythm. His attitude is still questionable.
Alexis Sanchez: 6.5/10
Looked busy in the opposition half but did little to help his team while defending.
Theo Walcott: 6.5/10
Scored Arsenal’s opener but apart from that he failed to make any other contribution. Struggled with the possession and missed several chances in the first half.
Deployed in the middle, the England international worked his heart out but had very little to show for his hard work. Lacked the quality to create anything dangerous in the opposition’s half.
Gabriel (Koscielny 46): 6.5
Olivier Giroud (Walcott 68): 6
Alex Iwobi (Welbeck 76): 6
Willy Caballero: 6/10
Had very little to do throughout the game but could have done a little better with Arsenal’s second goal.
Jesus Navas: 5.5/10
Pep Guardiola left everyone surprised by starting his compatriot as a right-back and as expected the Spaniard struggled to do well. But fortunately, Arsenal could not exploit him much.
John Stones: 6.5/10
Did well to keep Welbeck at bay throughout the game and made a vital interception.
Nicolas Otamendi: 5.5/10
Looked vulnerable throughout the match
Gael Clichy: 6/10
Was at fault for Arsenal’s opener but dealt well with Theo Walcott’s threat.
Did his defensive duties well but should have done better in possession.
Kevin De Bruyne: 7.5/10
Made a brilliant assist to Sane for the opener and hit the woodwork twice.
Raheem Sterling: 6.5/10
Was withdrawn at the break but caused a lot of trouble for Monreal.
David Silva: 7.5/10
Commanded the midfield brilliantly and provided the assist for City’s second.
Leroy Sane: 8/10
Continued his impressive form with another goal. Was a constant threat for the Arsenal defense.
Sergio Aguero: 7/10
Scored a goal but had a poor game by his standards as he missed several chances.
Yaya Toure (Sterling 46): 6
Pablo Zabaleta (Silva 89): 6