Laurent Koscielny scored a late equaliser as Arsenal came from behind to snatch a well-earned point from a breathless encounter with Manchester City.

The Frenchman found the net nine minutes from time, thumping in from close range after the champions had failed to clear the danger from a corner.

City had taken a scarcely deserved lead when Joleon Lescott headed in David Silva's corner five minutes before the break.

But Arsenal kept going to salvage a point from a match that maintains both clubs' unbeaten starts to the season and leaves them locked together on eight points from five matches.

City manager Roberto Mancini cut a fraught and frustrated figure throughout the game, as City once again failed to recreate the attacking fluency that became their trademark in the early months of last season.

Defensive 'problem' concerns Mancini

He could only bring himself to describe his side's Premier League campaign as "satisfactory" in his programme notes before the game. Against Arsenal there was little evidence to persuade him to change his verdict.

Life has not been easy for his opposite number Arsene Wenger these past few years. With Robin van Persie joining the recent exodus of star players from the Emirates Stadium, a sense of anguish among the north London side's supporters is understandable.

But this was an accomplished performance, made all the more satisfying by the contributions of Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey.

The Arsenal faithful even mocked their City counterparts' "Poznan" celebration, by turning their backs to the pitch and bouncing up and down when Koscielny found the net.

And at the final whistle the overwhelming emotion in their section was a sense of pride in the continuing improvement of their team.

If the scarcely believable events against Real Madrid at the Bernebeu on Tuesday night had left City deflated and leggy, Arsenal did their best to exploit it during a frantic first half.

Using the energy of Abou Diaby and the guile of Cazorla, Wenger's side were sharper to the ball and swifter to use it, but yet somehow still found themselves behind at the interval.

Fortress Etihad

Manchester City extended their unbeaten home league run to 32 matches, stretching back to a 2-1 loss at Everton in December 2010.

With Yaya Toure restricted to a deep-lying midfield role and Javi Garcia largely ineffectual, Arsenal bossed the midfield battle early on, with Ramsey and Mikel Arteta pulling the strings. It was Arteta's Spanish compatriot Cazorla, however, who really caught the eye.

Whether dribbling or passing the ball, he showed once again that he has the alertness and imagination to see and exploit openings of which others have no inkling.

He was at the heart of Arsenal's most creative moments, combining with Ramsey to put Gervinho in behind the City defence after 16 minutes, only for the forward's first touch to desert him.

Cazorla twice tested City keeper Joe Hart with shots of his own, once from open play and once from a free-kick, as Arsenal attempted to convert their dominance into goals.

Gervinho found space again only to shoot into the side netting, while a low cross by Gibbs skidded across the six-yard line as City defenders willed it to safety.

Only Sergio Aguero, on his return to the side, carried a potent attacking threat. The Argentina striker tested Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone with a wicked low shot after 13 minutes, but it was not until Mancini switched Scott Sinclair, making his home debut, to the right flank that City's luck changed.

Wenger credits Arsenal 'spirit'

The home side's goal was straightforward; Silva's 40th-minute corner was headed in by Lescott as Koscielny and Lukas Podolski stood by and Mannone came and missed. Captain Thomas Vermaelen, absent with flu, may just have made the difference.

The goal woke City from their slumber. Mannone went some way to making up for his error by tipping a fierce Edin Dzeko shot just over the crossbar before half-time and City's momentum continued after the break.

Aguero might have gone to ground in colliding with Koscielny in the penalty area. The City striker, to his credit, stayed on his feet only for his shot to be deflected to safety when a penalty might have been greater reward.

Arsenal were far from finished, however, as City retreated deeper and deeper, happy to strike from distance. Cazorla drew a stunning save from Hart with a shot that appeared destined for the top corner.

But Arsenal were not denied for long, finally getting their reward as Koscielny found the net with a thunderous shot after City had failed to clear the resulting corner.

Vincent Kompany almost restored the lead immediately with a dramatic overhead kick, with Aguero forcing a follow-up narrowly wide.

Gervinho might have won it for Arsenal as the clock ticked into injury time, only for his shot to fly high and wide.

It was hard not to imagine what might have been had Wenger been able to call on the services of a world class striker, like Van Persie, to finish off so much of his team's good work.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Man City

  • 01 Hart
  • 04 Kompany
  • 05 Zabaleta
  • 06 Lescott
  • 22 Clichy
  • 11 Sinclair (Rodwell - 46' )
  • 14 Garcia Booked
  • 21 Silva
  • 42 Y Toure
  • 10 Dzeko (Tevez - 68' )
  • 16 Aguero (Balotelli - 85' )

Substitutes

  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 13 Kolarov
  • 33 Nastasic
  • 17 Rodwell
  • 18 Barry
  • 32 Tevez
  • 45 Balotelli

Arsenal

  • 24 Mannone
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 25 Jenkinson
  • 28 Gibbs
  • 02 Diaby (Giroud - 71' )
  • 08 Arteta
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 19 Cazorla
  • 09 Podolski (Walcott - 72' )
  • 27 Gervinho (Coquelin - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 36 Martinez
  • 11 Santos
  • 20 Djourou
  • 14 Walcott
  • 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 22 Coquelin
  • 12 Giroud
Ref: Dean
Att: 47,318

Match Stats

Shots

14 10

On target

10 4

Corners

9 4

Fouls

11 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:33 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +1:53

Free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.

90:00 +1:53 Booking

Booking Francisco Javi Garcia receives a yellow card.

90:00 +1:46

Francisco Javi Garcia concedes a free kick for a foul on Carl Jenkinson.

90:00 +0:56

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Jack Rodwell. Vito Mannone restarts play with the free kick.

89:47 Substitution

Substitution Francis Coquelin on for Yao Gervinho.

89:47

Effort on goal by Yao Gervinho from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.

87:18

Foul by Aaron Ramsey on Yaya Toure, free kick awarded. Vincent Kompany takes the free kick.

83:39 Substitution

Substitution Mario Balotelli is brought on as a substitute for Sergio Aguero.

83:39

Corner taken right-footed by Carlos Tevez from the left by-line, Shot by Vincent Kompany. Effort on goal by Sergio Aguero from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal. Save by Vito Mannone.

81:52

Assist on the goal came from Santi Cazorla.

81:52 Goal scored

Goal! - Laurent Koscielny - Man City 1 - 1 Arsenal Laurent Koscielny fires in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Man City 1-1 Arsenal.

81:05

Santi Cazorla takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a brilliant save. Santi Cazorla takes a inswinging corner to the near post,

79:31

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save made by Vito Mannone. Corner taken by David Silva played to the near post, Olivier Giroud makes a clearance.

78:38

Theo Walcott produces a cross.

75:09

The assistant referee flags for offside against Olivier Giroud. Joe Hart takes the free kick.

73:52

Corner taken by Santi Cazorla, clearance by Vincent Kompany.

73:38

Carl Jenkinson sends in a cross.

73:24

Yaya Toure concedes a free kick for a foul on Santi Cazorla. Santi Cazorla takes the indirect free kick.

70:46 Substitution

Substitution Theo Walcott is brought on as a substitute for Lukas Podolski.

70:46 Substitution

Substitution Olivier Giroud replaces Vassiriki Diaby.

68:04

Yaya Toure has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.

67:01 Substitution

Substitution Carlos Tevez joins the action as a substitute, replacing Edin Dzeko.

65:55

Shot by Yao Gervinho from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

64:39

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Yao Gervinho by Vincent Kompany. Indirect free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

62:17

The ball is delivered by David Silva, Laurent Koscielny makes a clearance.

61:23

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Silva by Carl Jenkinson. David Silva restarts play with the free kick.

58:37

Kieran Gibbs produces a cross, Vincent Kompany makes a clearance.

57:01

A cross is delivered by Gael Clichy.

56:25

Lukas Podolski gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta. Vincent Kompany takes the indirect free kick.

54:43

Corner taken by David Silva from the left by-line to the near post, Francisco Javi Garcia takes a shot. Vito Mannone makes a save.

54:27

A cross is delivered by Carl Jenkinson, save by Joe Hart.

53:14

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Kieran Gibbs gets a block in. Corner taken by David Silva.

50:14

David Silva takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post.

49:13

Sergio Aguero produces a right-footed shot from close range that goes over the bar.

48:35

Mikel Arteta challenges Edin Dzeko unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Silva crosses the ball in from the free kick.

47:21

Aaron Ramsey sends in a cross, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.

46:46

Corner from the left by-line taken by Santi Cazorla, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.

45:51

Yaya Toure produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Jack Rodwell joins the action as a substitute, replacing Scott Sinclair.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

43:23

Foul by Sergio Aguero on Per Mertesacker, free kick awarded. Per Mertesacker restarts play with the free kick.

43:02

Santi Cazorla has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

42:52

Centre by Kieran Gibbs.

40:59

Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Vito Mannone makes a save. Corner taken by David Silva from the right by-line.

39:16

Assist by David Silva.

39:16 Goal scored

Goal! - Joleon Lescott - Man City 1 - 0 Arsenal Joleon Lescott finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Man City 1-0 Arsenal.

38:52

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Silva,

38:36

Centre by Gael Clichy, clearance by Per Mertesacker.

37:49

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by David Silva. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

35:55

Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Yao Gervinho goes wide of the left-hand post.

33:33

Yaya Toure takes a shot. Mikel Arteta gets a block in.

32:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Vincent Kompany on Aaron Ramsey. Santi Cazorla fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Joe Hart makes a save.

31:37

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Kieran Gibbs gets a block in.

30:35

Santi Cazorla takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Edin Dzeko.

24:38

Corner taken by Scott Sinclair. Santi Cazorla fouled by Pablo Zabaleta, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

23:35

Effort on goal by Lukas Podolski from just inside the penalty area goes over the target. Lukas Podolski gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Francisco Javi Garcia. Francisco Javi Garcia takes the indirect free kick.

21:47

Vassiriki Diaby takes a shot. Joleon Lescott gets a block in.

20:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Yaya Toure by Santi Cazorla. Free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.

19:27

David Silva challenges Mikel Arteta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Vito Mannone takes the free kick.

17:01

Kieran Gibbs sends in a cross.

16:14

Foul by Francisco Javi Garcia on Yao Gervinho, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

14:07

Inswinging corner taken by Francisco Javi Garcia.

13:35

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Vito Mannone.

12:42

Handball by Edin Dzeko. Indirect free kick taken by Vito Mannone.

11:57

A cross is delivered by Aaron Ramsey, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.

11:17

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Vincent Kompany. Indirect free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

9:26

Yaya Toure takes a shot. Mikel Arteta gets a block in.

9:08

Lukas Podolski concedes a free kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta. Pablo Zabaleta takes the free kick.

8:37

Santi Cazorla takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.

6:45

A cross is delivered by Kieran Gibbs, clearance made by Vincent Kompany.

5:14

Mikel Arteta produces a cross, save by Joe Hart.

0:00

The match begins.

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