Friday 13 December 2019

Demichelis salvages late point for Manchester City

Arsenal 2 Manchester City 2

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (right) is challenged by Arsenal's Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (right) is challenged by Arsenal's Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy
Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates with team-mate David Silva after scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his first goal
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (left) is challenged by Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (R) scores a goal against Arsenal
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere celebrates after scoring a goal against Manchester City
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey (left) is tackled by Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London
Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini reacts during their Premier League match against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium

Duncan Bech

Martin Demichelis seized a point for champions Manchester City with a late headed equaliser at the Emirates.

It was a blow to Arsenal, who appeared to have done enough to mark Danny Welbeck's debut with a precious victory. But the outstanding forward was Sergio Aguero, whose wonderful finish of Jesus Navas's sublime pass opened the scoring for a City side deadly on the counter.

A further setback to Arsenal saw full-back Mathieu Debuchy carried off on a stretcher after falling awkwardly.

Frank Lampard made his City debut, but he lasted only until half-time, with a foul on Aaron Ramsey that earned a yellow card his headline moment.

Arsenal bristled with intent in a superb start, but City's ability to threaten on the counter was highlighted when Navas broke clear and forced a key clearance from Per Mertesacker.

Moments after Alexis Sanchez had almost ghosted through City's defence, the champions struck a clinical opening goal after a 50-50 clearance in midfield looped over to an unmarked Navas on the right wing. The Spaniard set off and delayed his pass perfectly for Aguero to slide his shot past Wojciech Szczesny. Szczesny then had to prod clear a shot by David Silva.

Aguero's goal deflated the Gunners and it was not until the start of the second half that they threatened again, only for Pablo Zabaleta to prevent Welbeck from reaching Sanchez's cross.

Just as Arsenal appeared to be fading once more, they struck a 64th-minute equaliser through Jack Wilshere. Aguero lost the ball in midfield and Sanchez pounced, threading a pass to Ramsey who found Wilshere. The England star still had work to do, but he rounded Gael Clichy with a wonderful touch before lofting the ball over Joe Hart.

Nine minutes later, Wilshere was involved again as Arsenal surged ahead through Sanchez, who volleyed his team-mate's header into the net. Demichelis capitalised on a mix-up between Laurent Koscielny and Szczesny to plunder City's equaliser, and Arsenal were relieved to see the flag to go up after their former player Samir Nasri stabbed the ball into the net in injury-time.

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