Arsenal played spoilsport to Manchester City’s hopes after overcoming their North London rivals by a Mikel Arteta wonder strike in the 87th minute. It was the Gunners who dictated play on both sides of the half time whistle,and should have taken the lead on at least three occasions, but the woodwork proved to be City’s saviour two times to deny Walcott and Van Persie.
The first 15 minutes saw immense pressure on City’s defense, with Benayoun and Walcott on both wings feeding ball after ball into City’s goal area. Rosicky came close, but his shot went wide of goal. Mario Balotelli, the player whose name is synonymous with controversy, should have been sent off in the 11th minute for a foul on Alex Song, but the referee played on. Finally the volatile Italian forward was booked in the 38th for a foul on Bacary Sagna. On the other hand, Yaya Toure who was playing with an injury was substituted in the 17th,by David Pizzaro. The second half saw an Arsenal substitution, full back Kieran Gibbs being replaced by Andre Santos. The 78th minute also saw Kolarov coming in for former Gunner Samir Nasri, who was booed every time he touched the ball, while Aaron Ramsey came in for Yossi Benayoun.
Manchester City who could not afford even a draw, in order to keep up with Manchester United, brought on their final change of the day, with CarlosTevez replacing fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero, to find the winning goal, in the 84th minute. The very next minute saw Oxlade Chamberlain replacing Theo Walcott, who had an ordinary day in the office.
The winning goal did came, but from the right boot of Mikel Arteta, the Spanish midfielder shooting from 25 yards out to beat Joe Hart, to deservedly win the game for Arsenal. The sending off of Mario Balotelli summed up the game for Manchester City, who now trail league leaders Manchester United, winners against QPR, by a massive 8 point.