However, City rescued a point late on through an unlikely source as Martin Demichelis rose to head home a corner with just seven minutes left to play.
Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at an absorbing 90 minutes in North London.
On target: 6
On target: 8
Was the result fair?
This is a tough one to answer as both sides have reasons for believing that they should have won the game. Arsenal started really brightly and should have been ahead at the break on the balance of play, but City grew into the half after their goal and began to find their feet.
Both sides spent time in the ascendancy in the second half, with Arsenal scoring the equaliser at an important time as City looked to be gaining a measure of control over the match. Both teams hit the woodwork - Arsenal once, City twice - and had other chances to put the match to bed as well.
In terms of clear openings, you'd have to say that the visitors created the most, so if anyone deserved to win this match then it was probably City. However, defeat would have been harsh on Arsenal so, although both teams could have won the game, a draw is the fairest result on the whole.
Arsene Wenger will have been delighted with the way his side started the match. They were all over the champions for the opening 25 minutes, dominating the midfield battle and looking dangerous in the final third. Danny Welbeck missed a glorious chance to mark his debut with a goal after just 12 minutes, and it was that lack of ruthlessness that was the only downside to their performance in that period.
The opening goal changed the match, and Arsenal struggled to rediscover their rhythm for the rest of the first half. They started the second period well, however, and managed to equalise just as City were looking to take the sting out of proceedings. That gave them the momentum to go on and get another as they once again began controlling the middle of the park.
However, defensively they always looked capable of conceding, particularly with the attacking talent at City's disposal. The marking at the corner which provided Demichelis's goal was poor, and in truth the hosts were hanging on a little in the closing stages. City hit the post twice late on, so a draw is certainly not the worst result for the Gunners.
However, they are now without a win since the opening day of the season and, while they are also unbeaten in the current campaign, Wenger will know that three consecutive draws is not a good thing for their title ambitions - even including one against the champions. There are positives to build on from this match, but there are also negatives to look at.
Man City's performance
A big improvement on their display against Stoke last time out, where they struggled to find a way through the defence and get shots on target. This time around they managed to fire eight efforts on target, and they will perhaps feel that they should have won the game with the chances they created.
Edin Dzeko and David Silva both missed clear openings, while they also hit the post twice late on. However, having needed an 83rd-minute equaliser to avoid defeat, Manuel Pellegrini will not be too upset at having come away from the Emirates with a point to show for their efforts.
They were overrun in the opening 25 minutes and should have been behind, but they showed good resistance and character to bounce back and score against the run of play. They were on top for the final 15 minutes of the first half and slowly worked their way back into the match.
They still haven't reached their best this season, which could be a bit of a worry for Pellegrini, but this was an important response to the defeat to Stoke. Of course, three points would have been better, but considering their recent poor record at the Emirates, a draw is a decent enough return for the champions.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Jack Wilshere: The midfield battle was a very interesting one this afternoon, with Arsenal dominating it early on and then City experiencing a period on top. Wilshere was at the heart of it all and, having been given some rough treatment by the likes of Fernandinho and Frank Lampard, responded to have a telling impact in the second half.
The England international levelled the scores with a brilliantly-taken goal as he beat his man before chipping the ball over Joe Hart just past the hour mark. He then provided the assist for Sanchez a little over 10 minutes later, looping a header to the Chilean, who produced a sublime finish.
Silva is no stranger to threading a perfect ball through for a striker, but this time he sent it to the opposition frontman. His pass back towards his own defence picked out Welbeck, who found himself with only the keeper to beat inside the box.
The Arsenal debutant was unable to make the most of it as his confident dink came back off the post, but it was a gift that City could have done without giving away at a point in the game when Arsenal were already gaining momentum.
It was a tricky game for Mark Clattenburg to officiate today, with a number of niggly challenges and incidents to keep an eye on. He managed to keep a lid on it, at the expense of seven yellow cards, but did miss a penalty claim against Wilshere when the midfielder appeared to handle it in his own area.
Arsenal: The Champions League group stages get underway this week, with Arsenal kicking their campaign off away to German giants Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Man City: City, meanwhile, also face a trip to Germany in Europe, taking on the daunting task of Bayern Munich away on Wednesday.