The evening proved gloomy for Man City supporters and triumphant for Man United fans as Arsenal drew Man City 2-2 at City’s home, Etihad Stadium. This game was very important for both the red and blue halves of Manchester as a win for City would ensure their hopes of a top 4 finish and a loss would mean that United, who are just one point behind their City rivals in the table with one less game played, could usurper City’s position in the top 4 and next year’s Champions League. City took the lead twice, only to be pegged back both times by a determined Arsenal side.
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) May 8, 2016
The final score meant tragedy for Man City and a blow for Arsenal who had a change to level with hometown rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs, in the table. After the final whistle, only Man United fans had something to celebrate about.
Pelligrini’s side, who were criticized for their slow game against Real Madrid in last week’s Champions league game, started the game impressively. Their efforts soon paid off as Sergio Aguero found the back of net in the eighth minute of the game. Ferdinando knocked the ball towards Aguero, and the Argentine demonstrated his finishing prowess by sending a fierce shot into the bottom-right corner.
Within two minutes of the first goal, following a mix-up between City’s Joe Hart and ex-gunner Gael Clichy, Arsenal were awarded a corner. Arsenal capitalized on the opportunity as Oliver Giroud headed a goal past Joe Hart following a corner delivery form Mohamed Elneny. This was Giroud’s first League goal since January.
Arsenal, who were forced to start without their talisman Mesut Ozil due to injuries, were faced with another blow as Danny Welbleck limped off in the 21st minute of the game due to a knee injury. He was replaced with Jack Wilshere, in his second substitute appearance since last week, following a 10-month injury lay off.
There were no more goals to come before the break, but in the second half, Kevin De Bruyne restored the home side’s lead following a brilliant individual effort to score past Arsenal Goalie Petr Cech. As a result, Arsenal brought a certain sense of urgency in their game and it paid off as they scored the next goal in a beautiful sequence that saw Alexis Sanchez send Hart the wrong way to send home a brilliant cross from Giroud. There were no more goals to come in the game, and the final whistle saw the game settled at a score of 2-2. This was Pelligrini’s last home game as Man City manager. Definitely not the dream farewell.
Following the game, Arsenal sit 3rd on the table with 68 points. Their 3rd position seems almost guaranteed, as they are set to face the already relegated Aston Villa next week at Home. City have 65 and are 4th with an away game with in form Swansea next week. Manchester United, who are 5th in the table, have 63 points and two more games to play, a mid-week away game with West Ham and a home game next weekend with Bournemouth. If they win both games, they will be guaranteed a top-4 finish. City will subsequently go down to the 5th position and will be without Champions League football next season.
Leicester City may have already been crowned champions, but the premier league action isn’t over just yet as a nail-biting week awaits for the two halves of Manchester.
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