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Good, Bad and The Ugly: Arsenal make a point in Manchester

It wasn't pretty but we'll take it.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Going to Etihad Stadium is never an easy trip. In recent years, it's been a veritable fortress. However, it has been a place Arsenal has found results, having not lost to Manchester City since the disastrous 6-3 drubbing. Turning into a bit of a bogey team for the Sky Blues, especially now that the draw has put them at risk of missing the top four should Manchester United win out. Neither team managed to grab hold of 3rd spot, leaving something to play for on the final day but Arsenal have to be feeling a lot better going into it than Man City.

The Good

Olivier Giroud. Hey, buddy... where you been? One very good headed goal from a corner and one superb assist capped off a very good day for the French striker. There were still issues but overall, it was the performance we expect from Big Sexy and, frustratingly, one we haven't seen since January. Doubts over whether he can cut it as the top man remain (and I'd vote against it) but Giroud showed yesterday what he can bring to the team when there's nothing left to play for on a good day.

Arsene Wenger making changes. There will always be voices that proclaim Wenger doesn't do tactics but yesterday was another example of why they were wrong. Sensing issues going down 2-1 early in the second half, the usually patient Wenger wasted little time bringing on Theo Walcott for the struggling Alex Iwobi. The change paid dividends as it energized the attack and saw Theo put in one of his better games, unfortunate not to find a few slightly better balls/moves for a goal himself. Also, while forced into it early, Wilshere played very admirably for the injured Welbeck.

Alexis Sanchez. A lot has been made of his current distemper with contract negotiations. Well, his goal was wonderful and maybe will just let us enjoy what he can do. No really, just watch it again.

St Tott's is still on! Sure, requires Spurs to lose to Newcastle but if anyone can do that, it's Spurs. I have faith in you, Tottenham.

The Bad

Cech's 'Keeping. Aguero and De Bruyne's goals were the product of excellent team play and individual skill, but both were low, near post shots. Even on the best of those, you look to your keeper to do better. Cech did not. They should be goals that bother the hell out of him.

Francis Coquelin. Wenger's substitution mistake. Said a lot about Arsenal's emergency recalled DM but yesterday was shocking even for him. Often lost the ball and tried to force very poor passes. He helped in small ways to keep the Man City attack at bay but that's pretty much all he could do. Once Elneny came out, the control left Arsenal's side. It wasn't pretty.

Alex Iwobi. He looks tired and had a non-event of a game. Honeymoon's over; time to let him rest up for next year.

The Ugly

Welbeck's injury. I've torn my meniscus before. Knee injuries will always be ugly and this one doubly so because now Danny Welbeck has two broken knees to contend with. After last years lengthy lay off, another injury is the worst thing for him and potentially will keep him out of Euro 2016. It's an awful break, let's hope it's not serious.

No record. With Mesut Ozil out, it seems likely the assists record won't be broken. What was such a torrent of skill for the first half has completely dried up and it feels like a missed opportunity to put in something special in this otherwise terrible season. I'd be surprised if Ozil makes the start against Aston Villa, focusing on the summer and being healthy, but who knows. Maybe he'll get one last stab at it but it feels like he'll just have to try again next year.