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Match Report: Manchester City 2 - 2 Arsenal. A fine point

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Arsenal grunt out a vital point in the race for third.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

A gritty and often nervy draw saw Arsenal preserve their three point lead over Manchester City over in the race for third, and no extra qualifying in the Champions League, as well as leave a slight opening to snatch second from Spurs.

The home side started strong, having pretty well all the ball and putting Arsenal firmly on the backfoot. In the 8th minute, they were rewarded. Fernandino headed down a Navas cross to the deadly Sergio Aguero who took a touch and fired home past Cech.

But celebrations were short lived. Just two minutes later, former Gunner and potential secret agent Gael Clichy, under absolutely no pressure, comically headed the ball back towards his own net missing both Hart and the open goal by a hair's fraction. On the subsequent corner, Mangala completely lost Olivier Giroud, who found himself with a free header which he actually converted! It was the Frenchman's first league goal since January 13th.

City continued the pressure but failed to find the net despite nearly having their way with the Arsenal defense until the 20th minute, when Danny Welbeck, one of the few players trying to force something for Arsenal, twisted his knee on a challenge. Welbeck tried to continue but eventually left the game to be replaced by Jack Wilshere.

After Welbeck's departure, a lot of life went out of the game as it began to get chippy, with few chances created. Although Man City had the better half, Arsenal went into the break on the draw.

The second half started like the first, with Man CIty on the front foot. A 50/50 ball between De Bruyne and Bellerin fell kindly for De Bruyne who took off on an excellent solo run before putting a fairly timid shot past Cech at the near post. It was an excellent individual goal but clearly the whole defense and Cech could have done better.  Shortly after, Man City could have made it three as Iheanacho led a three on two attack but decide to take the shot himself than set up an open Navas and  fired wide.

Sensing a change was needed, Wenger made a rare 60th minute sub, as Theo Walcott came on for Alex Iwobi, who it must be said was having a bit of a non-event out there. The switch seemed to re-energize Arsenal who promptly went on attack. It led to Alexis Sanchez having an Alexis Sanchez moment. Played the ball into the feet of Giroud who deftly flicked it to the top of the box where Alexis pounced and fired home passed Hart. 2-2.

The game turned again in Man City's favour with Aguero firing shots wide and De Bruyne hitting a dangerous free kick right at check. Both teams took their last role of the dice in changes with Arsenal bringing on Francis Coquelin in place of Elneny and  Man City bringing on Bony and Yaya Toure for Navas and Fernando. City's worked well as they saw the lions share of the ball. Arsenal's, not as such, as Coquelin did his trademark "get in the way then lose the ball" routine.

Man City had a shot to win the game with a weak penalty shout and Bony hitting the bar but Arsenal were able to see out the final minutes to earn the draw. While it doesn't change the table, it leaves some final drama for the last day as Manchester United, should they win midweek, are suddenly in the hunt for fourth place at the expense of either Arsenal or Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have yet to lock up second. Fighting for the table scraps while Leicester parade; just as we all had it in August.