Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City - as it happened
Relive Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Arsenal's 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City in the Premier League.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 16:29 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 16:34 UK
Arsenal came from behind to earn a point at home to title rivals Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday night.
David Silva put the visitors ahead in the first half when he was on hand to convert from close range after Edin Dzeko's shot had hit the post.
However, the Gunners earned a share of the spoils on 53 minutes thanks to Mathieu Flamini's effort.
Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded.
4.30pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this evening's Premier League clash as Arsenal welcome Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium. What a game this promises to be. We should have the team news through shortly.
4.33pmThere are currently five other matches being played in the Premier League, all of which have seen goals hit the back of the net. You'll be the first to know those results once they're through. Meanwhile, today's early kickoff saw Manchester United come from behind to beat Aston Villa 4-1 at Old Trafford. You can read Sports Mole's match report for that one right here.
4.39pmArsenal manager Arsene Wenger makes one change to his side following Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Swansea City as Lukas Podolski returns in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who drops to the bench. Thomas Vermaelen continues in the centre of defence while Laurent Koscielny remains injured.
4.43pmMan City boss Manuel Pellegrini has gone with the same starting XI that beat Manchester United 3-0 in midweek, and who can blame him? The Blues were imperious at Old Trafford, sending out a huge warning to their title rivals with such a comfortable victory.
4.45pmMAN CITY SUBS: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Lescott, Milner, Garcia, Negredo, Jovetic
4.51pmMan City are the favourites coming into this evening's game thanks to a run of four consecutive victories. In contrast, Arsenal have failed to win their last two games. They dropped points on Tuesday with that draw at home to Swansea which came a few days after they were trounced 6-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. There have been plenty of questions since then about their ability to perform in the big matches. Can they put in an impressive display tonight?
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5pmAs you can see it's been another goal-tastic day of action in the Premier League, but would you look at that result at Selhurst Park?! Crystal Palace's 1-0 win over Chelsea means that Man City can now move to the top of the table if they beat Arsenal. They would move level on points with Chelsea if they were to do that, though their superior goal difference would put them in first place.
5.06pmArsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaking with reporters in midweek: "After every game I don't win, I'm disappointed but I'm just determined to win the next game. It will be down to the quality of our collective defending on Saturday. We have to keep going despite our negative results.
"We play at the Emirates where we show big strengths and we want to show that again. We haven't started the big games on the front foot and we want to change that."
5.09pmMan City boss Manuel Pellegrini speaking with BBC Sport: "It was very important for the fans, club and players to win the derby.
"Now we must continue and look to win the next match. Arsenal have very good players and we will need to play a very good game if we are to win."
5.12pmHEAD TO HEAD: Arsenal have a much better record when it comes to past meetings between these teams, winning 88 games compared to Man City's 48. There have also been 40 draws. However, it's the Blues who have dominated in recent years, coming out on top in four of the last six encounters.
5.14pmAnd who can forget December's 6-3 victory for Man City at the Etihad Stadium. Arsenal fans must want to, but those kind of defeats linger long in the memory, and the Gunners have had a few this season.
5.17pmPREDICTION TIME: Considering the differing fortunes of these two teams at the moment, we here at Sports Mole can see Man City coming away with a 2-0 win this evening. An Arsenal victory would blow the title race wide open again, but that is likely to be one step too far for Arsene Wenger's side.
5.25pmFive minutes to go until kickoff at the Emirates Stadium and the two teams are lined up in the tunnel ready to step out onto the pitch. As you might imagine there are plenty of intense looks on the players' faces.
1 minKICKOFF! The players are out, the pre-match niceties have been done and it will be Arsenal to kick us off. Hold onto you hats!
4 minIt's been a bit of a nervy start for Arsenal while Man City have been relentless in these opening few minutes. The visitors carve out a decent opening for themselves as Zabaleta bombs into the box but his cross is cut out. Navas has a sight of goal moments later, though he can only curl his effort wide of the far post.
7 minIt's still Man City who are dictating this game, although Arsenal are beginning to show a few signs of life. However, they'll need to watch Zabaleta down the right side. The Argentine has been very impressive so far, offering his side a good attacking outlet that the Gunners aren't dealing with.
10 minNot quite sure what Navas was trying there. The winger did well to work himself some space on the right, but his shot on target was a poor one that flew high and wide of the goal. Still, it's all encouraging for Man City as they go in search of the opening goal. Meanwhile, Arsenal are struggling to get to grips with their opponents.
11 minPENALTY APPEAL! Arsenal want a penalty as Rosicky goes down under a challenge from Zabaleta. However, Mike Dean waves away the appeals. It was probably the right decision from the official as well. The Arsenal midfielder looked like he went down a bit too easily there.
14 minMan City are playing as if they were the home side at the moment. They're pretty much camped in Arsenal's half, limiting the Gunners to a few counter-attacks. That said, City haven't made their early dominance count.
17 minIt's been coming. Man City lead thanks to David Silva, but that was all about Navas. The Spaniard led a swift counter-attack before threading a wonderful pass through to Dzeko. The striker then saw his effort come back off the post, allowing Silva to tap in from close range.
20 minArsenal need to be careful here because Man City are looking very confident. They're pushing forward time and time again, forcing the hosts to retreat more and more. The penalty appeal aside, the Gunners haven't really threatened Hart in the opposition goal.
24 minGood play from Arsenal there as they win the ball just outside the box before Sagna whips in a dangerous cross from the right. It's a decent delivery, though Hart manages to collect.
27 minNasri, who has been booed since kickoff, does nothing to endear himself to the Arsenal fans as he clatters into Rosicky. Mike Dean decides to keep his cards in his pocket this time. Despite the hosts showing a bit more attacking intent it's Man City who continue to pose more of a threat.
30 minCHANCE! Gibbs is a lucky boy there as he gives the ball away right on the edge of his own box, allowing Nasri a sight of goal. The Frenchman takes aim from about 25 yards, but his shot is well saved by Szczesny. Meanwhile, Toure goes into the book for pulling down Rosicky as Arsenal were looking to break.
33 minYELLOW CARD! Man City captain Vincent Kompany now goes into the book after fouling Arteta. It's still the visitors who are in control of this contest as we approach the final 10 minutes of the half.
36 minThere have been one or two rumblings of discontent from the home fans so far, but their team is beginning to attack Man City. Podolski has had some joy down the right wing in the last few minutes, though the visitors have defended well to keep out a couple of crosses.
40 minFive minutes left of this half and it's all gone a bit scrappy. Both sides are struggling to keep hold of the ball, resulting in plenty of tackles flying around in the midfield area. This could benefit the hosts with their quick counter-attacking style.
42 minYELLOW CARD! Tomas Rosicky is cautioned by Mike Dean for a late challenge on former teammate Clichy. Demichelis took exception to the incident, confronting the Czech.
45 minYELLOW CARD! A blatant booking for David Silva there after a high challenge on fellow Spaniard Arteta. No arguments about that one. There will be two minutes of added time at the end of the half.
6.20pmMike Dean blows the half-time whistle, bringing an end to a decent 45 minutes from a Man City perspective. They lead 1-0 thanks to David Silva's goal, though they could have had a couple of more such was their dominance. Arsenal aren't out of it just yet but they will need to improve dramatically after the break.
6.23pmWhile Man City have been relentless in their attacking play, Arsenal have struggled to get going. There have been positive moments for the Gunners though they have been few and far between.
6.26pmAs it stands, Man City will be going to the top of the table following Chelsea's surprise 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. In terms of Arsenal's season, their Champions League hopes will be under threat if they come away from this match with nothing.
46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The players are back out and it will be Man City to kick off this second half. No changes for either team at the break.
49 minArsenal have started the second half encouragingly, working hard to gain the ball off Man City. However, the Gunners are looking a bit more toothless in the final third compared to their opponents.
52 minIncredible scenes at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal find an equaliser through Mathieu Flamini! Some patient build-up play saw Podolski receive the ball out on the left wing. The German then whipped a dangerous cross into the heart of the Man City box, allowing Flamini to guide a first-time finish past Hart from 10 yards.
55 minThat Flamini goal has certainly lifted the atmosphere inside the ground. The home fans are suddenly filled with confidence, and who can blame them? Arsenal have been impressive at the start of the this second half and they have their reward.
58 minArsenal have all the momentum now as they go in search of a second goal. Man City are finding it hard to get out of their own half. The Blues were dominant during the opening 45 minutes but it's a completely different story now.
60 minCHANCE! What a huge opportunity for Podolski to put Arsenal in front! The German was slipped in by Cazorla, but his goal-bound effort was deflected wide by Hart. You would have backed the forward to find the net there, such is his quality from those kind of positions.
63 minSUBSTITUTION: Man City make their first change of the match as James Milner enters the action in place of Jesus Navas.
66 minMan City are starting to increase the pressure on Arsenal as we head into the final 20 minutes of this match. The Blues are committing more men forward and are showing no fear in shooting from distance. Milner has already made an impact, linking well with Zabaleta down the right flank to cause the Gunners one or two problems.
70 minIt's end-to-end stuff at the moment, with both sides bombing forward whenever they can. Credit must also go to the Arsenal defence because they're blocking everything that Man City are throwing at them.
73 minMan City are controlling most of the possession right now but they need to show some caution due to Arsenal's devastating counter-attacking play. You just get the feeling that there's another goal in this match. Chelsea and Liverpool fans will be hoping that it goes the way of Arsenal.
75 minCHANCE! Great defending from Arsenal to keep the scores level! Toure did well to round Szczesny before trying to pick out a teammate in the middle. The ball was then bouncing around chaotically but the hosts managed to see off the danger.
78 minSUBSTITUTION: Arsenal's first change of the game sees Lukas Podolski withdrawn for Alex Oxl;ade-Chamberlain. Just before that Giroud flashed a long-range effort wide of goal. This contest is finely balanced.
80 minSUBSTITUTION: Samir Nasri is unceremoniously booed off by the Arsenal fans as he leaves the pitch to be replaced by Javi Garcia.
83 minArsenal have the wind in their sails as we approach the final five minutes of this match. They're managing to pin Man City back but that killer touch just isn't there. Oxlade-Chamberlain has been involved one or two times already, giving the visitors something to think about.
84 minSUBSTITUTION: Another Man City change sees Alvaro Negredo replace Edin Dzeko. Meanwhile, Yaya Sanogo comes on for Arsenal in place of Olivier Giroud.
87 minUnless we're going to have late, late drama it looks like these teams will be sharing the spoils this evening. Both sides would probably have taken that outcome at the start of the game considering their current predicaments. This result would keep Arsenal in the mix while Man City are still on course to top the table with their games in hand.
88 minYELLOW CARD! Javi Garcia goes into the book for Man City after chopping down Rosicky. The clock is ticking.
7.25pmThe full-time whistle goes, bringing an end to a pulsating contest that has ended 1-1. David Silva put Man City ahead in the first half before Mathieu Flamini equalised after the break. That result leaves Man City two points off the top of the table with two games in hand while fourth-placed Arsenal move to within five points of leaders Chelsea.
7.27pmThat's all from our live text coverage of this evening's game but don't forget that you can keep up to date with all of the post-match reaction right here on Sports Mole. Thank you for your company and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!