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Manchester City displayed their title credentials as they came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
The second-half started evenly but City drew level in the 57th minute. Granit Xhaka pulled down Bernardo Silva inside the box and after a VAR check, the visitors were awarded a penalty. Riyad Mahrez stepped up and sent Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way. Gabriel was sent off two minutes later for a second bookable offence after bringing down Gabriel Jesus. Seconds earlier, Gabriel Martinelli failed to find the back of the net from close-range after a mix-up in the City defence led to Nathan Ake clearing the ball off the line.
Pep Guardiola's side dominated from that point on and they took the lead in the third minute of injury time when Rodri pounced on Arsenal's inability to clear the ball away.
Manchester City go 11 points clear of second-placed Chelsea. Arsenal, meanwhile, remain fourth after the loss.
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(Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
January 1, 2022 at 10:42 AM EST
Thanks for joining our coverage of Arsenal vs Manchester City. What a game to start off 2022!
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January 1, 2022 at 10:22 AM EST
Speaking to BT Sport, Pep Guardiola said: "Congratulations, they were better. We face a team who had 6-7 days since the last game. We had 2 days and come back and didn't have a team. that's why we put one more player in the middle. It was difficult, we didn't have energy.
"We had many cases from COVID this season and injuries. Phil Foden, Kyle [Walker] today was back for the first time and in this period today we were incredibly tired. Arsenal were better today but football happens."
January 1, 2022 at 10:12 AM EST
Speaking to BBC, Arsenal assistant Albert Stuivenberg said: "We are very frustrated with the outcome if you play a game like this against one of the best teams in the world. At the end to have zero points is frustrating because we should have won the game."
On the potential penalty in the first-half, Stuivenberg said: "I think it is a penalty but I am looking for consistency. We have VAR in place so why not check yourself as a referee? That did not happen so it is disappointing.
"We did really, really good, how many chances did they really create? Until the end, they have lucky chance when it drops to them. The fans enjoyed our performance today, we had our chances, we had the big one at 1-1 with Gabriel Martinelli, it did not go our way but proud of the performance."
On Gabriel's red card: "It is something we have to learn, we have young players in the team and have to control our emotions. I am not sure the first yellow is because of that (scuffing the penalty spot), I cannot ask the question to the referee now. If you are on a yellow you have to be smarter."
"A lot of positives and we have to build from here, this is the level we have to play. Everyday we work hard to create this situation. We want to see a team with belief and can compete with a team like this and can play against a team like this too. We showed all of that today."
January 1, 2022 at 10:01 AM EST
Speaking to BT Sport, Aaron Ramsdale said: "Tough to take but we have to take it, that is the result. I don't think for large parts of the game teams have done that to Manchester City. The red card changes the game, we were so close. We go again, we have a big semi-final coming up.
"They are one of, if not the best team in the league. We are a young team and don't fear anyone.
"Both penalties, I don't know why the referee is told to see one and not the other. It is there for a reason, go and use it. It is the inconsistency. The whole point is to help the game out, in real time it didn't look like one and slow it down on a screen and it is given."
January 1, 2022 at 9:32 AM EST
Arsenal 1-2 Man City: Rodri's last gasp strike wins it for City. The Arsenal players drop to the floor. They gave it their all but City show their title credentials yet again. It's a crucial three points for them.
January 1, 2022 at 9:25 AM EST
90+3' – Arsenal 1-2 Man City: It's heartbreak for Arsenal. De Bruyne deliver a cross into the box. White heads it towards Laporte whose shot come off Holding. Rodri is there to tuck it away.
January 1, 2022 at 9:22 AM EST
90' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Arsenal win a corner but can't take full advantage as the visitors defend it well. Not long to go now. Six minutes of added time to follow
January 1, 2022 at 9:19 AM EST
87' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Mahrez picks the ball on the right and he attempts to get past Tierney on the inside before Xhaka comes across to deflect the ball out for a corner.
January 1, 2022 at 9:14 AM EST
82' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: The City pressure is relentless but Arsenal manage to play it forward to Martinelli. But Laporte is there to sweep it up before sticking out an arm which leaves the Brazilian on the deck.
January 1, 2022 at 9:06 AM EST
74' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Unsurprisingly, City are in complete control and they're knocking the ball about well. Silva picks the ball up on the right and delivers it in with the outside of his foot but it's too close to Ramsdale.
January 1, 2022 at 9:02 AM EST
71' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Arsenal make a change as Lacazette makes way for Smith Rowe. Martinelli goes down the middle.
January 1, 2022 at 9:01 AM EST
Arsenal have become the first side in Premier League history to receive 100 red cards, with the Gunners having 11 players sent off under Mikel Arteta in the competition, also more than any other side since his first game in charge.
Stat courtesy of Opta.
January 1, 2022 at 8:57 AM EST
65' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: To their credit, Arsenal are still pressing. But City go from one end to the other within six passes. Sterling cuts in but his shot goes well over the bar.
January 1, 2022 at 8:52 AM EST
60' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Laporte heads the ball into Ederson's direction but the keeper is already out. Ake is there to clear it off the line and Martinelli somehow can't put the ball into an empty net.
From the restart, Gabriel bring Jesus down and he's sent off for a second bookable offence.
January 1, 2022 at 8:47 AM EST
56' – Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Mahrez steps up and sends Ramsdale the wrong way. Emphatic penalty.
January 1, 2022 at 8:45 AM EST
53' – Arsenal 1-0 Man City: Silva goes down after being tugged down by Xhaka. A VAR check follows and the penalty is given…
January 1, 2022 at 8:41 AM EST
49' – Arsenal 1-0 Man City: It's a strong tackle on Martinelli by Rodri, who slipped on his way down. Arsenal have corner instead of a free-kick …
January 1, 2022 at 8:36 AM EST
Arsenal 1-0 Man City: We are back underway at the Emirates Stadium. No changes for either side during the interval.
January 1, 2022 at 8:30 AM EST
Aged 20 years, 118 days, Bukayo Saka is the second-youngest Arsenal player to score a Premier League goal against the reigning champions, after Nicolas Anelka v Manchester United in November 1997 (18y 240d).
Stat courtesy of Opta.
(Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
January 1, 2022 at 8:21 AM EST
Arsenal 1-0 Man City: Saka's low strike is the difference as we go into half-time. The Emirates crowd roar as the Arsenal players head into the tunnel.