2013 – Arsenal
Over the years, Arsenal had been a thorn in City’s side, but the tide had slowly begun to change, and the transformation was realised on this day in 2013.
The Gunners were top of the league, five points clear of Liverpool in second place and six clear of City who sat in fourth, and many thought the encounter would either be a close game, or an Arsenal win. What transpired was anything but.
City had recently beaten Spurs 6-0 and had a taste for thrashing north London sides, and the faithful, who had already seen their side hit 41 goals in 15 matches, were in for another goal treat that started in the 14th minute.
Samir Nasri’s corner was flicked on at the near post and Sergio Aguero adjusted to crash the ball into the back of the Arsenal goal. Alvaro Negredo could and should have doubled the lead but instead found the side netting, and City were made to pay for that miss.
Yaya Toure was uncharacteristically caught in possession and Arsenal charged forward. The cross from Mesut Ozil rolled across the penalty area and Theo Walcott swept it home to level the scores, leaving City keeper Claudio Bravo to just stand and watch.
But City were back in front nine minutes later. Toure’s ball out to the right found Pablo Zabaleta, and his ball to the edge of the six yard box was met by Negredo, who made no mistake this time and sent City in 2-1 up at the break.
Aguero went off holding his calf in the first few minutes of the second half, but it didn’t stop City in their pursuit of more goals, and the third duly arrived on 50 minutes. The Gunners attempted to play the ball out of defence, but a mis-placed pass was picked up by Fernandinho, who took a couple of touches before curling the ball around the keeper to make it 3-1.
Back came Arsenal thirteen minutes later to put the faithful on the edges of their seats again, and it was Walcott with his second of the match. The Arsenal man found space just inside the penalty area and, played onside by Demichelis, the former Southampton man lofted the ball over Bravo to make it 3-2.
The faithful could relax three minutes later though, as a ball in from the right was met by David Silva, who poked home number four. That should have been points safe, but the blues were now hungry for more goals.
With two minutes remaining, Arsenal lost possession in their own half and Fernandinho charged forward, before laying the ball to Nasri on the left. The former Arsenal man played it back to the Brazilian, who showed some skill in the Arsenal box before hitting home number five.
Per Mertsacker pulled another goal bac for the visitors in the fourth minute of injury time, meeting a cross from the right with a diving header that beat the despairing dive of Bravo, which was met by few cheers from the visiting supporters. The faithful were settling for 5-3 when City were awarded a penalty, and again Arsenal were the architects of their own downfall.
Another mis-placed pass in their own half, which was again picked up by Fernandinho. His ball played in substitute James Milner, who was subsequently brought down by the keeper. Toure stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to blow the league leaders away in style.
Final Score: Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal