14th December 2013
In December 2013, new City boss Manuel Pellegrini had created on of the Premier League’s most lethal strike force. By the time Arsenal arrived at the Etihad Stadium, City had scored 66 goals in all competitions, including 42 in the Premier League with 30 coming at home from eight Premier League matches.
City had already beaten Newcastle 4-0, United 4-1 before putting seven past Norwich and six past Spurs without reply. But league leaders Arsenal would surely provide a sterner test for Pellegrini’s free scoring blues.
As it turned out, no was the answer. After 14 minutes, Sergio Aguero acrobatically hammered City in front. Samir Nasri’s corner on the City right was flicked on by Martin Demichelis and Aguero was on hand to smash a volley into the back of the net to give City the lead. Alvaro Negredo should have made it 2-0 for the blues but hit the side netting and he was made to rue that chance on 30 minutes.
Mezut Ozil made his way into the City penalty area, before playing the ball into acres of space, where Theo Walcott raced in to sidefoot the ball past a static Costel Pantilimon to draw Arsenal level.
Within eight minutes though, City were back in front with a sweeping move the Negredo finished. Yaya Toure played Pablo Zabaleta on the right and his cross fell perfectly at the feet of Negredo, who coolly flicked the ball home from six yards to send City in 2-1 up at the break.
It tool City five second half minutes to put some daylight between them and the Gunners, and it came courtesy of an error in the Arsenal defence. The visitors tried to play the ball out of defence, but Fernandinho picked up on a mis-placed pass, raced forward and curled his shot around the keeper to make it 3-1.
The blues were fortunate not to concede a penalty when the ball struck Zabaleta’s hand, but Walcott did give the Gunners hope on 63 minutes. The City defence afforded the Arsenal man some time and space in the area and Walcott controled the ball with his first touch before firing over Pantilimon with his second.
City poured forward in an attempt to make the game safe and the blues looked like they’d secured the points just three minutes later. Jesus Navas’ cross on the right found David Silva, who poked to ball home from the edge of the six yard box to make it 4-2 to the blues.
It looked like that ended the scoring as the match drew towards full-time, but a crazy ending said otherwise. Fernandinho produced a bit of trickery in the box before beating the keeper to make it 5-2 before Per Mertesacker puled another goal back for the visitors with a diving header 4 minutes into injury time.
Two minutes later, City restored their three goal lead when Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny brought down James Milner in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Toure stepped up and sent Szczesny the wrong way to roll home the penalty and complete another emphatic win over the other North London side.
Final Score: Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal