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Manchester City vs Arsenal at Etihad Stadium

FT
Etihad Stadium Referee : Martin Atkinson
3rd February 2019 4:30 PM (GMT)
  • 3 Manchester City

    • ‘1' Sergio Agüero
    • ‘44' Sergio Agüero
    • ‘61' Sergio Agüero
  • 1 Arsenal

    • ‘11' Laurent Koscielny

#mancity

Commentary By Neil Leigh

20:21

Goodbye for now...

That's all for today, Blues. A vital three points. Don't forget to explore the player stats via the tab above!

See you on Wednesday for the game at Everton. 

19:11

Treble yell

19:09

Old pals' act?

Just throwing a thought out.

Rafa Benitez did Liverpool a favour last week by inspiring Newcastle to victory over the Blues.

Can Manuel Pellegrini lend his former City players a helping hand with West Ham tomorrow night when the Hammers host Liverpool?

18:58

Pep - 'We must be ourselves'

"I prefer to be in the position of Liverpool. The pressure is when you are behind and you lose points, it’s tougher.

"The important thing is to be ourselves. At Newcastle we didn’t recognise our team. The players knew that.

"Today we came back."

18:54

Pep on Sergio...

"In the first season, people said I didn’t like him but always I was delighted.

"I judge the intention. The intention from Sergio was always perfect since we’ve been together."

18:53

More from Pep...

"We scored first and kept trying for more, that’s the biggest lesson we can learn.

"Many things can happen.

"Now it's (the gap) two points. Tomorrow it could be three or five."

18:51

Pep's verdict...

"Of course we have to win. After the Newcastle defeat, everyone thought we would go seven behind.

"A lot of things will happen between now and the end of the season. 

18:36

Ferna - We deserved it

“We got back on track, playing good football. We went for the game from the first minute, scored another early goal and deserved the win."

18:32

German bite

All subjective of course but for my money Ilkay Gundogan was terrific in that second 45 minutes. Alongside Bernardo, David Silva and De Bruyne it made for a formidable midfield quartet.

18:23

Over to you

The attention at the top of the table now switches to Monday night's clash at West Ham who play host to leaders Liverpool.

But for now we can enjoy what was a hard-fought but deserved victory.

We're back in business!!

90'

Full time

All over here and a huge three points in the bag for the Blues.

Sergio Aguero the hero with a vital hat-trick. The gap at the top is now just two points!!

82'

Almost...

Yet more Bernardo magic sets up David Silva who cracks in a first time shot that is palmed away by Leno. The Arsenal keeper will have bruised hands tomorrow!

75'

Solid Silva

More genius from El Mago as he weaves in and out of the Arsenal defence on the left flank but he just can't get his final pass away. A joy to watch him play.

72'

Close quarters

Kevin De Bruyne has done everything but score so far. David Silvs threads a delicate ball into the Belgian in the middle of the Gunners box  but he just can't convert.

69'

Second sitting

The Blues have been excellent so far in this second half.Twenty minutes left to seal what would be a perfect start to a crucial week.

61'

Treble yell

Just felt like that third goal was coming. Arsenal claiming there was an element of handball but to no avail.

What a massive goal that could prove to be!!

61'

Just call me mystic Meg!

Brilliant work from Raheem on the left flank. He fired over the ball and Kun stretched and squirmed and forced the ball home for his hat trick!!

56'

Almost!

Another wonderful flowing City move ends with De Bruyne free on the left side of the box but he can't get enough power in his shot.

That would have been some goal...

48'

Off key

That's a collectors item.

Bernardo shanks a shot after a careful build up. City however earn a free kick just outside the box after Kun is dragged down.

KDB territory?

HT

All to play for...

If nothing else that first half was another reminder that nothing ever comes easy in the Premier League.

It's all going to be about belief and mental strength as well as skill and ability between now and May. 

HT

Half time

Breathless stuff at times but we'll take that.

Job done so far thanks to Sergio's double strike.

But Arsenal are still a threat. More to do after the break.

44'

Wonderful move.

Poetry in motion.

Gundogan flicked the ball over the Gunners defence to Sterling.

The England man whipped in a pin point cross and Sergio did the rest.

What a crucial, crucial goal. Get in!!

37'

Better

City drive forward and David Silva fires in a dangerous left wing cross with Leno claws away with no City player able to gather the rebound.

34'

Just in time

Ederson makes a crucial dash out to intercept the ball from Aubameyang as he looked to latch onto Lacazette's through ball.

Another warning for the Blues there.

28'

Off radar

At the other end a rebound from Atkinson bounces kindly for the Blues but De Bruyne's shot is to high to trouble Leno in the Arsenal goal.

18'

Chance

First Raheem Sterling tries a shot on goal and then as the ball is patiently reworked Nico Otamendi tries his hand but to no avail.

City looking a threat though every time we attack.

16'

Game of patience

Sergio is caught offside much to the Blues' frustration.

Worth remembering we are only 15 minutes in. No need to force the game.

4'

Penalty shout

The Blues appeal for a penalty after Shkodran Mustafi appeared to pull back Sergio.

Ref Martin Atkinson says no.

Looked a goods shout from here

1'

What a start

Bernardo made the first inroads then the ball came to Aymeric Laporte who delivered a wonderful cross and Sergio finished with a diving header. Get in!!!

16:10

Warm-up time

The Blues are out on the pitch going through their pre-match paces.

Think that rain will only help make the surface slicker and quicker.

Hopefully that will suit us down to a tee.

15:52

Pundit's prediction...

Here's how the BBC's Mark Lawrenson sees it:

"I am going to go with City to bounce back here. Yes, their whole team was flat against Newcastle on Tuesday but in my experience that just makes it easier to lift them collectively.

"Every team puts in poor performances sometimes, and nobody really knows why, but I don't think it is a sign that City are about to struggle."

Prediction: 2-0


15:44

Stat attack...

Arsenal have lost 11 of their last 19 away league games (won 5, drawn 3), with their sole clean sheet during this sequence coming in a 1-0 win at Huddersfield in May 2018.

15:39

Lethal weapon

Sergio Aguero has scored in seven of his last 11 matches against Arsenal in all competitions, although he has not found the net in the last two meetings.

15:22

Eager anticipation

Fans beginning to filter in and the press room is busier than usual with a lot of Fleet Street's finest here.

Feels like a proper game this one.

Can't wait for kick-off

15:21

Good news, bad news...

Good news: It's not quite as cold as it has been but...

Bad News: It's raining!

Still, as my Grandma used to say, you can't have everything.

15:11

Opening shots...

We started off our Premier League campaign away at Arsenal back in the balmy days of last August. Remember - when it was WARM!!

It was the perfect way to kick-off our title defence too.

A wonderful 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

A repeat would be nice!!

15:00

Numbers game

City have won our previous five home games in the league and cups, and have scored 24 unanswered goals in our last four matches at the Etihad Stadium.

14:52

Putting the record straight

Of course this afternoon's game also offers us the chance to bounce back to winning ways after last Tuesday's frustrating night at Newcastle.

No doubt Pep and the players will be double determined to respond in the best way possible.

Victory, of course, would also reduce the gap at the top of the table behind leaders Liverpool to two points with Jurgen Klopp's side playing away at West Ham tomorrow night.

So there is no lack of incentive for the Blues...


14:46

Pep's thoughts...

"Of course we are not happy about our last performance. But without the motivation we would not be here where we are in all the competitions.

"Many times when people say we are the perfect team and we are invincible my answer is always the same - every game we must improve, every game is a challenge to see what we can do better and sometimes there are ups and downs.

"Look at the results for this week - it was difficult for (Manchester) United and all the teams in the top six to win their games. There are a lot of games and to sustain that sometimes it is tough. That is the challenge."

14:43

Freeze frame

Just a heads-up to any Blues still to set off for this afternoon's game.

It's a tad nippy here at the Etihad. Four layers have helped turn me into Mr Michelin Man - and it still feels cold!!

Hopefully there will be no end of action on the pitch to warm us all up!!

14:39

All to play for...

Today's assignment is followed by two more equally tough fixtures.

We visit Everton in a rearranged game on Wednesday evening before returning to the Etihad next Sunday when we take on Chelsea.

And with 14 league games still remaining there is still everything to play for...

14:37

Lucky omen?

City have won our last three Premier League matches against Arsenal and another victory this afternoon would make it four in a row in the top flight against the Gunners for the first time since April 1937.

10:19

Team news

Pep Guardiola has revealed that both Benjamin Mendy and Ederson are in contention to face the Gunners.

Mendy has played just 28 minutes since returning from a long-term knee injury while goalkeeper Ederson suffered a knock in last Tuesday's defeat at Newcastle.

But previewing the crucial clash against the Gunners, the City manager revealed that all of the squad were available for selection bar skipper Vincent Kompany and long-term absentee Claudio Bravo.


10:12

It's matchday!

A very good morning, Blues!

The games continue to arrive thick and fast, and we're back in action this afternoon as we entertain Arsenal at the start of a crucial week.

It's a 4.30pm kick-off at The Etihad with the Blues looking to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool to just two points.

As always, we'll bring you all of the build-up, live coverage and post-match reaction.

Let us know your thoughts on the clash by getting in touch on Twitter, using #cmoncity!

Other games that day

  • Leicester City0
    Manchester United1
    FT

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Liverpool 24 +41 61
3 Tottenham Hotspur 25 +27 57
4 Chelsea 25 +22 50
5 Manchester United 25 +14 48
6 Arsenal 25 +15 47
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 +1 38
8 Watford 25 -1 34
9 Everton 25 0 33
10 Bournemouth 25 -7 33
11 Leicester City 25 -1 32
12 West Ham United 24 -7 31
13 Brighton and Hove Albion 25 -9 27
14 Crystal Palace 25 -7 26
15 Newcastle United 25 -12 24
16 Southampton 25 -15 24
17 Burnley 25 -20 24
18 Cardiff City 25 -24 22
19 Fulham 25 -30 17
20 Huddersfield Town 25 -33 11
Link To Full Table