Dec 14, 2013 at 12.45pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
Aguero (14'), Negredo (39'), Fernandinho (51', 88'), Silva (66'), Toure (90' pen.)
Silva (49'), Kompany (79')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Walcott (31', 63'), Mertesacker (90')
Szczesny (90')

Live Commentary: Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal - as it happened

Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Manchester City's 6-3 win at home to Arsenal in the Premier League.

Manchester City cut the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to six points on Saturday thanks to a thrilling 6-3 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Theo Walcott cancelled out Sergio Aguero's early opener before Alvaro Negredo struck to put the home side 2-1 ahead at the break.

Fernandinho then made it 3-1 to City, but Walcott found the net again on 63 minutes to reduce the deficit for the Gunners.

Further goals from David Silva and Fernandinho gave the hosts ample breathing space, while Per Mertesacker's late header counted for nothing as Yaya Toure sealed the win from the penalty spot.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how the action unfolded.

11.46amHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage as Manchester City host Arsenal in the Premier League. What a cracker this one promises to be. We should have some team news for you shortly.

11.48amMAN CITY: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva; Aguero, Negredo

11.50amManuel Pellegrini has made a total of eight changes to his Man City starting lineup following Tuesday's impressive 3-2 win at Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Costel Pantilimon returns in goal, while Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy are recalled in defence. Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Alvare Negredo are also back for the hosts.

11.52amThe only players who retain their places from midweek are Martin Demichelis, Fernandinho and David Silva.

11.54amMAN CITY SUBS: Hart, Lescott, Kolarov, Garcia, Navas, Milner, Dzeko

11.56amARSENAL: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud

11.59amIt's good news for Arsenal fans as Theo Walcott starts for the visitors at the Etihad Stadium. There are five changes in total for the Gunners as Bacary Sagna, Nacho Monreal, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are also given the nod by Arsene Wenger.

12pmARSENAL SUBS: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gnabry, Bendtner

12.02pmRight, let's get down to business. There are a few tasty fixtures in the Premier League this weekend, but this one is arguably the pick of the bunch. Both of these teams have been in strong form in recent weeks, and there's a fair bit riding on this game.

12.05pmMan City will move up to second place in the table if they come out on top today, while Arsenal can temporarily extend their lead at the top of the standings to eight points if they earn the win.


12.10pmThese two teams enjoyed mixed fortunes in the Champions League in midweek, though both are through to the last 16 of the competition. Man City recorded a 3-2 win against holders Bayern Munich in Germany, but some dodgy maths from Manuel Pellegrini saw the Blues finish second in Group D. Pellegrini admitted after the match that he did not realise that a fourth goal would have seen his side clinch top spot in the group. D'oh!

12.13pmMeanwhile, Arsenal just about scraped through in Group F as they lost 2-0 to Napoli in Italy. Had the Gunners conceded a third then they would have exited the tournament. However, they eventually secured second place in Group F behind last year's runners-up Borussia Dortmund.



12.17pmIn terms of the Premier League, Man City head into this match on the back of last weekend's 1-1 draw at Southampton. Sergio Aguero fired the visitors into the lead before Pablo Osvaldo's stunning strike earned the Saints a share of the spoils.

12.19pmArsenal also had to settle for a draw last weekend as they were held by Everton at the Emirates Stadium. Mesut Ozil scored with 11 minutes left to put the Gunners ahead, but those smiles were soon turned upside down thanks to Gerard Deulofeu's rasping effort past Wojciech Szczesny.


12.27pmHEAD TO HEAD: Arsenal have the far better record between these two teams when it comes to past meetings, picking up 88 wins to Man City's 47. Meanwhile, there have been 40 draws. The Gunners are also ahead in terms of results at Man City as their 35 wins marginally eclipse City's 32.

12.30pmIt's not been that even between the sides in recent years though. City have three wins to their name in the last six encounters, while Arsenal have just the one. The last time they met was at the Emirates Stadium back in January when the Blues earned a 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium.


12.37pmREFEREE WATCH: The official for today's match is Martin Atkinson. Simon Burt and Harry Lennard will be running the lines, while Robert Madley is the fourth official.

12.40pmPREDICTION TIME: So, how do you see this one going? There's no doubting that these two teams are in fine form, but it could well be Man City's day thanks to their stronger bench and impressive performances at home this season.

12.42pmHere come the players out of the tunnel and onto the pitch inside a packed Etihad Stadium!

1 minThe pre-match rituals have been done and it will be Arsenal to get us underway. Here we go!

3 minIt's been a bright start from Manc City, who are looking to stamp their authority on this game early. The hosts force an early corner thanks to good work from Toure, but the visitors do well to clear their lines.

4 minMan City notch up another couple of corner, with Toure heading over from the second one. Arsenal are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment as the hosts pass the ball around with conviction in midfield.

7 minThe Man City fans are liking what they're seeing at the start of this match. The home side have begun with plenty of pace and intensity, while the visitors continue to struggle getting forward. A half-chance fell the way of Aguero a couple of minutes ago as the ball somehow found its way to him inside the box, but the Argentine couldn't control it.

10 minOne player you feel is going to be important for Arsenal today is Flamini. The combative French midfielder has already broken up a couple of Man City attacks, and he is probably going to need to do a lot more of that this afternoon.

11 minCHANCE! From nowhere, Arsenal nearly open the scoring. A cross from the right found its way to Wilshere at the back post, but the midfielder could only guide his volley well wide. The ball was eventually picked up by Walcott, but his cross came to nothing.


13 minMan City lead and it's Sergio Aguero with the goal! A corner from the right was flicked on by Demichelis at the near post, and there was the Argentine waiting at the back stick to volley in from close range. First blood to the hosts!

16 minThe Etihad Stadium is absolutely rocking thanks to that early goal, and you have to say it's no more than Man City deserve. They've been all over Arsenal so far.

19 minArsene Wenger is sure to be disappointed with the performances from some of his key players this afternoon. Ramsey in particular is finding it difficult to get into the match from midfield, while Ozil has also been below par.

21 minCHANCE! Almost a second goal for Man City! Kompany did brilliantly to win the ball high up the pitch before threading a pass through to Negredo, but the striker could only slice his shot wide from a difficult angle with Monreal breathing down his neck.

23 min

24 minNasri receives the ball on the edge of the box before the crowd urges him to shoot, but the Frenchman drags a tame effort well wide of goal. The travelling Arsenal fans enjoyed that one.

26 minAnother attempt at goal for Man City as Toure loops a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area. The hosts are showing a tremendous amount of energy at the moment as they work hard across the pitch. Arsenal have shown one or two hints that they're getting back into this game, but the hosts continue to dominate.

30 minDanger there for Arsenal as Aguero picks out Negredo on the egde of the box before the Spaniard unleashes a powerful volley towards goal. However, his effort is blocked by Mertesacker.


31 minWhere did that come from?! Arsenal are level out of nowhere thanks to a deflected effort from Theo Walcott! Ozil did brilliantly on the left to bide some time before picking out his teammate on the edge of the box. Walcott then hit a fairly tame shot towards goal that brushed Demichelis's head to go past the helpless Pantilimon.

33 minCHANCE! Negredo should score but puts the ball wide! Silva poked a delightful ball through to the Spaniard, who could only shoot wide when bearing down on goal. He looks disappointed with himself because he knows that he should have done better there.

35 min

36 minThat goal has done wonders for Arsenal as they start to take this match to Man City. It looked fairly ominous for the Gunners after the hosts took the lead, but, credit to them, they didn't let their heads drop and are right back in this game now.


38 minArsenal weren't level for very long as Man City get themselves back in front through Alvaro Negredo! Zabaleta received the ball out on the right before delivering a wicked cross into the heart of the Arsenal penalty area. Negredo did just about enough to get ahead of Koscielny and nudge the ball past Szczesny.

40 minSUBSTITUTION: Futher bad news for Arsenal as Laurent Koscielny goes off on a stretcher to be replaced by Thomas Vermaelen. The French defender looked as if he hurt himself while challenging Negredo in the build-up to that Man City goal. Let's hope it's not too serious.

43 minThis match is positively pendulous as the momentum swings one way then the other as we approach half time. Man City are just looking to calm the pace down at the moment with the break looming.

45 minThe fourth official indicates that there will be four minutes added on at the end of this first half.

45+2 minThey don't really need to, but Arsenal are pushing hard for an equaliser as the clock ticks down towards half time.

45+3 minMan City now create an opportunity as Silva has a crack at goal from about 20 yards, but the Spaniard curls his effort well over the crossbar.


1.36pmMartin Atkinson blows the half-time whistle and Man City go in the happier of the two sides as they lead Arsenal 2-1 at the break. Sergio Aguero volleyed the hosts into an early lead before Theo Walcott got the visitors level when his deflected effort found its way past Costel Pantilimon. However, City restored their advantage soon after thanks to Alvaro Negredo.

1.40pmAll in all that was a very entertaining 45 minutes of football. It can be hard to argue against Man City being in front, but Arsenal certainly had their moments once they got themselves level.

1.43pmHowever, the Gunners are sure to be disappointed by the loss of Laurent Koscielny through injury. It's unclear what happened to the Frenchman, but leaving the field on a stretcher is never a good thing. They will be desperate for it not to be a serious one.


1.49pmLooking for a concise round-up of the action from the first half? Well, you can find one right here.

46 minThe players are back out, and there have been no changes for either side during the break. It'll be Man City to get us underway.

47 minA moment of worry for Man City at the start of the second half as Aguero pulls up with what looks like a calf problem. Could that be the Argentine's last involvement for the day?

49 minYELLOW CARD: The first booking of the afternoon goes the way of David Silva for chopping down Ramsey with Arsenal looking to break.


50 minMan City get their third goal of the afternoon and it's Fernandinho with his first strike in the Premier League for the Blues. Sagna gave the ball away in a terrible place from an Arsenal point of view, allowing the Brazilian to curl his shot around Szczesny from the edge of the area. Can the Gunners fight back from this?

53 minSUBSTITUTION: While all that was going on Man City made a change with Jesus Navas coming on for the injured Sergio Aguero.

56 minCHANCE! Close for Arsenal! Sagna whips a delicious cross into the near post towards Giroud, but the striker can only flick his diving header inches wide. An agonising miss for the Gunners, who are still showing signs of life.

58 minArsenal are going to have to start pushing forward a bit more if they want to get anything out of this game, but that's only going to leave big gaps for Man City to exploit - and that could be dangerous considering the slick pace of the Blues' attack.


62 minGame on! Arsenal have a goal back as Theo Walcott finds the net for the second time this afternoon. The winger drifted into the penalty area behind the Man City defence before rifling a wonderful strike past Pantilimon and into the top corner. That was a superb finish from the England international.


65 minMan City have their two-goal cushion back as David Silva fires in past Szczesny! Navas did well on the right before putting a low cross into the box, and there was Silva at the near post to hit a first-time finish into the roof of the net from close range.

68 minThere have been some superb goals today, but you have to say that the defending has left a lot to be desired at times. Arsenal in particular have not looked completely alert at the back.

68 minSAVE! Great stop from Pantilimon as the Man City goalkeeper tips Wilshere's fierce drive over the crossbar. However, Arsenal can't create anything from the resulting corner. The Gunners don't look like they're going to lie down any time soon.

71 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Changes for both sides here as David Silva is replaced by James Milner for Man City, while Mathieu Flamini comes off for Serge Gnabry for Arsenal. Just under 20 minutes remaining at the Etihad Stadium.

73 minCHANCE! So nearly a fifth for Man City as Navas rounds Szczesny, but the Spaniard can only hit the side-netting from a very difficult angle.

75 minSUBSTITUTION: A second change for Arsenal now as Olivier Giroud makes way for Nicklas Bendtner. Time is running out for the Gunners.

78 minArsenal look like they're just starting to tire a bit now, while Man City continue to show tremendous stamina heading into the final stages. If there is going to be another goal in this match you wouldn't bet against it going the way of the home side.

79 minYELLOW CARD: Vincent Kompany goes into the book rather harshly for Man City after a collision with fellow Belgian Vermaelen. Not much the Man City skipper could have done to get out of the way there.

83 minNasri has looked desperate to score against his former team today. The Frenchman dances inside the penalty area around the Arsenal defence before forcing a corner. Fernandinho then has a crack at goal which is saved by Szczesny. Not long to go now as Man City run down the clock.

86 minThere's no news as of yet regarding Koscielny's earlier injury, but the Frenchman is in the Arsenal dugout as the match heads towards the final whistle. He's looking fairly concerned at what he's seeing on the pitch, though it doesn't look like he's too troubled otherwise.


87 minAnd that, ladies and gentlemen, is that. Fernandinho wraps up a fine day for Man City as he scores the home side's fifth goal of the game. The Brazilian had acres of space inside the Arsenal penalty area before dinking the ball over Szczesny and into the net via the post.

89 minSUBSTITUTION: Man City's final changes of the afternoon sees Samir Nasri replaced by Javi Garcia.

90 minThere will be five minutes of added time.

90+2 min


90+3 minArsenal have a goal back, but it's too little to late. Sagna whips a great cross into the box and there's Per Mertesacker to head past Pantilimon.



90+4 minMan City win a late penalty as Szczesny is booked for tripping Milner, and Toure steps up to score the resulting kick with ease.


2.43pmMartin Atkinson blows the full-time whistle to bring an end to a crazy afternoon at the Etihad Stadium. Man City have the win thanks to a thrilling 6-3 victory over Arsenal. What an incredible, bizarre match that was.

2.45pmAnyway, that's all from me but don't forget that you can follow live text coverage of all today's other Premier League games right here on Sports Mole. So, have a look around and see what takes your fancy. Thanks for your company and enjoy the rest of your day. Goodbye!

Man City's Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal and his second of the match against Tottenham on November 24, 2013
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