Premier League
ArsenalArsenal2Man CityManchester City2

Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Emirates Stadium
Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez (centre) scored to give Arsenal the lead at Emirates Stadium
  • Danny Welbeck hits post on Arsenal debut
  • Frank Lampard plays 45 minutes on City debut
  • Arsenal fight back from 1-0 down to take lead
  • Demichelis ensures City avoid back-to-back defeats

Arsenal were denied victory by Martin Demichelis's late equaliser as they fought out an entertaining draw with Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

England striker Danny Welbeck made his Arsenal debut after his £16m move from Manchester United - and should have celebrated with a goal only to strike a post when clean through early on.

Sergio Aguero made Arsenal pay for that miss by putting City ahead before half-time but goals from Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez saw the Gunners in sight of a memorable victory.

Their hopes were dashed when poor marking at a corner allowed Argentine defender Demichelis to beat Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny to earn a point seven minutes from time.

In a frantic finish, Aleksandar Kolarov hit the post for Manchester City and Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny cleared against his own post as the Premier League champions threatened to snatch the three points, which would have been very cruel on Arsene Wenger's side.

Wenger will be frustrated at Arsenal's failure to close out the win but he will have been delighted by the spirit and quality shown by his side.

Frank Lampard, who is on a six-month loan from New York City, made his Manchester City debut and played the first 45 minutes before being replaced by Samir Nasri at half-time.

Jack Wilshere was a driving force in midfield while Welbeck, despite missing his best opportunity, was energetic and mobile enough in attack to suggest he will offer Arsenal a focal point and something different as the season progresses.

Match facts
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League home matchesArsenal have now conceded a headed goal in all four of their Premier League matches this season
Sergio Aguero has scored nine goals in his last 11 league away gamesCity avoided back-to-back league defeats for the first time since October 2010

As for City and manager Manuel Pellegrini, there will be concern that the control they had after taking the lead was allowed to slip away in the face of Arsenal's excellence, although they ended the game as likely winners.

And in a season where every point is precious, Pellegrini will be unhappy at two more lost following the surprise home defeat to Stoke City.

Welbeck was utilised in his favoured central role with Mesut Ozil deployed to his left and Sanchez on the right - a fluidity Arsenal exploited in an impressive opening spell.

It was during this period of dominance that Welbeck had his chance after 11 minutes when David Silva's backpass only offered up a perfect through ball. The striker took his time and measured a chipped finish over Joe Hart, only to strike the post.

While some would regard this as an example of Welbeck's lack of ruthlessness in front of goal, Aguero demonstrated how it was done as City took a lead that was hardly deserved.

Jesus Navas chased a seemingly lost cause as Mathieu Flamini appealed for a throw-in, retrieving the ball with a surging run that ended with a cross that was expertly swept past Szczesny at the near post by Aguero.

On this occasion no-one could question Arsenal's spirit and they got the reward their endeavour, and indeed quality, deserved just after the hour.

City were convinced Aguero had been impeded when he lost possession but referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on and after some fierce Arsenal pressing Wilshere raced into the area to clip a perfect finish over Hart from the angle.

The momentum was now with Arsenal and they turned the game around to take the lead with 16 minutes left when Wilshere's header found Sanchez, who demonstrated perfect technique to sidefoot a volley high past Hart.

Just as Arsenal fans sensed victory, City were level with seven minutes left, manager Wenger turning away in anguish as desperate marking at a corner saw Demichelis best Szczesny with a header the keeper touched but could not keep out.

Then came that late flurry in which City almost won and Arsenal lost defender Mathieu Debuchy, taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury, but a draw was a fair result.

Manchester City reaction can be found here.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere:

"When we went 2-1 up, we felt we could have won it. When they came back into the game, they could have won it too. We will look at it and take the positives from the game.

"I want to score a few more goals this season and hopefully that is one of many.

"We showed great character to come back, we showed that against Everton and we don't seem to give up."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Jack Wilshere:

"He is coming back, physically, to his level where he can be. Unfortunately it takes time to find that little fraction of a second where you feel you can make a difference in the modern game and get away from people and win the ball.

"It looks like today was the first time he found it on a consistent level through the 90 minutes."

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero started on his own up front for Manchester City
Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck scored 29 goals in 142 Manchester United appearances before joining Arsenal
Frank Lampard
Lampard was taken off at half-time on his Manchester City debut

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Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Szczesny
  • 2DebuchySubstituted forChambersat 81'minutes
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18MonrealBooked at 62mins
  • 20FlaminiBooked at 58minsSubstituted forArtetaat 90+5'minutes
  • 17SánchezBooked at 75mins
  • 16Ramsey
  • 10Wilshere
  • 11Özil
  • 23WelbeckSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Gibbs
  • 8Arteta
  • 9Podolski
  • 13Ospina
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 19Cazorla
  • 21Chambers

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 5ZabaletaBooked at 24mins
  • 4Kompany
  • 26Demichelis
  • 22Clichy
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 50minsSubstituted forKolarovat 77'minutes
  • 18LampardBooked at 22minsSubstituted forNasriat 45'minutes
  • 15Navas
  • 21Silva
  • 7Milner
  • 16AgüeroBooked at 64minsSubstituted forDzekoat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sagna
  • 8Nasri
  • 10Dzeko
  • 11Kolarov
  • 12Sinclair
  • 13Caballero
  • 20Mangala
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
60,003

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home15
Away15
Shots on Target
Home6
Away8
Corners
Home0
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Manchester City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Manchester City 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva with a cross following a set piece situation.

  4. Post update

    David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

  6. Post update

    Jesús Navas (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Mikel Arteta replaces Mathieu Flamini.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Edin Dzeko tries a through ball, but Samir Nasri is caught offside.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Silva.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Mesut Özil tries a through ball, but Laurent Koscielny is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Foul by James Milner (Manchester City).

  13. Post update

    Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Edin Dzeko (Manchester City).

  15. Post update

    Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

  18. Post update

    Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the left side of the box.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Danny Welbeck.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.