Arsenal vs. Manchester City: Final score 1-1, a draw helps no one

Shaun Botterill

While a draw was a fair result for Arsenal and Manchester City, both teams will be disappointed.

Manchester City are still title favorites and Arsenal are still favorites for fourth, but neither team strengthened their position on Saturday. They both played well in a 1-1 draw and can hardly argue that any other result was deserved, but it leaves both teams with lots of work to do in their coming fixtures.

The game was a wide-open one from the outset, which was hardly surprising given the attacking teams picked by both sides. Arsenal looked dangerous in the early going and had a penalty shot in the 12th minute when Tomáš Rosický went down under a challenge by Pablo Zabaleta, but the referee saw nothing in it.

Six minutes later, Arsenal were taken apart on the counter after a bad turnover. Mathieu Flamini put Lukas Podolski in a bad spot with a less than perfect pass, but Podolski didn't do much to control it, letting City steal the ball and take off on the break. Edin Dzeko hit the post at the end of the move and David Silva was in a perfect position to poke in the rebound.

Arsenal came out with a bit more bite early in the second half and found a quick equalizer, with Flamini scoring an uncharacteristic goal from open play in the 53rd minute. Fernandinho slipped trying to track Flamini, who got on the end of a cross by Podolski and smashed a volley into the floor that bounced past Joe Hart, leveling the match at 1-1.

The Gunners looked the more comfortable of the two sides for the rest of the match, but couldn't quite find a winner. Podolski had their best chance to go ahead in the 60th minute with a vicious strike off a deflected pass by Santi Cazorla, but Hart came up with an excellent save.

In the end, both teams had to settle for a draw, which doesn't do any of them much good. Chelsea's loss to Crystal Palace now stings them quite a bit less, while Arsenal have failed to open up any kind of gap on Everton or get back into the title race.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Flamini, Arteta, Podolski (Oxlade-Chamberlain 79'), Rosicky, Cazorla, Giroud (Sanogo 85')

Goals: Flamini (53')

Manchester City: Hart, Clichy, Demichelis, Kompany, Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri (Garcia 81'), Silva, Navas (Milner 64'), Dzeko (Negredo 85')

Goals: Silva (18')

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