Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal: Sterling Stunner Downs Passive Gunners as Pep’s Men Jump Into Second

Manchester City jumped into second in the Premier League standings after coming from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Theo Walcott slotted home in the opening five minutes to give the Gunners the lead, but two second half strikes from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling gave the Citizens all three points.

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Arsene Wenger’s side’s unbeaten run since the opening day of the season was ended last week after conceding a last minute goal away at Everton to lose 2-1, and this defeat made it consecutive losses for the first team in the campaign, falling nine points behind leaders Chelsea.

Pep Guardiola’s men secured their fifth win in 11 matches, and jumped above rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in the table to close the gap to seven points behind Antonio Conte’s Blues.

Manchester City v Arsenal  - Premier League

In terms of team news, City were without midfielder Ilkay Gundogan after the German international suffered a cruciate knee injury in midweek, while Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho continued their suspensions following their sendings off against Chelsea two weeks previous.

Raheem Sterling started down the middle for the Citizens, while Fernando was given the job of sitting in front of the back four that included Aleksander Kolarov in central defence.

Manchester City v Arsenal  - Premier League

For the Gunners, Aaron Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi sat this one out with hamstring injuries, with Gabriel Paulista replacing the latter in the centre of defence.

The away side started the better of the two, and as a result took a deserved early lead. A counter attack, started by Hector Bellerin from his own half, led to Theo Walcott giving a nice one-two with Alexis Sanchez on the edge of the box that allowed the England international to calmly slot home in Claudio Bravo’s right-hand corner.

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But moments later, City should have been level. A beautifully weighted cross from the left from Kevin De Bruyne found Raheem Sterling in the middle after losing his marker Laurent Koscielny, but he could only blast his header just wide of the post.

The home side continued their good reaction to going a goal down, with masses of possession in front of the Gunners back four, but Arsenal looked dangerous on the counter attack, taking advantage of some poor defending out wide by City’s full backs Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta.

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Arsenal perhaps were disappointed not to go into the second half more than a goal to the good, having spurned a few good attacking positions and opportunities through Walcott and Sanchez, while Yaya Toure’s header on the stroke of half time was the home side’s first shot on target.

However, City made amends after just a minute into the restart, after David Silva’s lofted pass over the top of the Arsenal defence found the on running Leroy Sane. He looked a smidgen offside, but slotted home well past Petr Cech to level the scores.

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Wenger’s men struggled to get a foothold in the game following the equaliser, with City looking threatening on the attack, and Sane perhaps should have got his second as he was put through by De Bruyne, but Cech closed down well to make a point-blank save.

The introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was Wenger’s attempt at reigniting his side with some pace out wide, however City continued to push forward in numbers, and were rewarded with a fine goal from Sterling.

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De Bruyne produced one of the passes of the season out to the Englishman, and after some tentative retreating from Nacho Monreal, Sterling cut inside and caught Cech by surprise at his near post to put his side into the lead with 15 minutes left.

A few minutes later, De Bruyne should have killed the game off with a flick on from Jesus Navas’ low cross, but the near post saved Cech’s blushes.

City comfortably held on to their one goal advantage with no real onslaught from Wenger’s men, as they headed back to north London empty handed.