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Arsenal vs. Manchester City Premier League match report: Good start, less good finish

Arsenal got out to an early lead, but proved unable to hold it in a second consecutive loss.

Manchester City v Arsenal  - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal fell in their second straight match, in a 2-1 loss at the Etihad against Manchester City. Here’s how it happened.

Fast start

Arsenal got out to an early 1-0 lead, as Hector Bellerin waltzed through the whole Manchester City team to deliver the ball to Alexis Sanchez, who found Theo Walcott with a very nice pass. Theo finished calmly and we were off and running. Arsenal held that advantage all the way through the first half; City threatened a few times, but the lead was maintained.

The vagaries of the offside rule

With one goal for ruled out and two against allowed, Arsenal ended up on the short side of the offside stick three times after taking the lead. I’m not sure that any of the calls were necessarily wrong – I can’t find a replay of Theo’s “second goal” that was called out, but the two City goals aren’t egregiously bad calls or anything like that. But it’s the margins that kill you in a road game against a good team, and in this case all the margins ended up going against Arsenal.

Another stumble

It’s hard to complain too much when a team goes four months without losing a single game, but it is certainly frustrating to lose two games in a row that were both winnable. Next up is West Brom on Boxing Day, which is a good opportunity to get back on track. Let’s take it.