Man City, Arsenal combine for dramatic draw


In the opening breaths of this young Premier League season, we have a contender for game of the year.

Three second half goals. Late drama. Controversy. All led to a 2-2 draw between the Gunners and the reigning champions in Manchester City.

A late Martin Demichelis header off a corner salvaged a draw for City, who were on their back foot for a better part of the first half. In extra time, Edin Dzeko’s effort was deflected by Wojciech Szczesny, but directly to a wide-open Samir Nasri, who found the back of the wide-open net only to be ruled correctly offsides.

The stats suggest a fairly even contest – 55/45 possession in favor of City, 15 shots a piece – but for the first half, Arsenal were the ones in control. New arrival Danny Welbeck nearly gave the Gunners a perfect start as he intercepted a back pass and beautifully chipped the ball over keeper Joe Hart. However, the ball bounced off the side post and back into Hart’s hands, leaving the Emirates Stadium in shock.

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Past the midway point of the first half, a deadly counter-attack set off by a generous deflection saw Jesus Navas bursting down the right-hand side. A perfectly weight ball across the face of goal led to a Sergio Aguero goal, putting City ahead despite their lack of chances.

The score held into halftime and through the first 15 minutes of second half, with City gaining a better hold on the game. However, Arsenal were the beneficiary of some luck, with a mad scramble for the ball resulting in Aaron Ramsey laying off a ball to Jack Wilshere, whose beautiful first touch set up and even more superb goal, knotting the game at 1-1.

With the game having opened up and neither side content with a draw, City seemed the more dangerous side until a Wilshere header from nearly 25 yards out to keep the attack alive found Alexis Sanchez, who smashed a beautiful volley into the back of the net and shot the Gunners into the lead.

With still 15 minutes to play, City were certain to create a few more scoring chances, and that they did. An Aleksander Kolarov corner found an unmarked Demichelis, whose powerful header hit the far post and stayed in, bring the game back level.

But with seven more minutes of regular time and an additional six minutes of added time in this contest, anything was possible, and the unlikeliest nearly happened. First, a Kolarov rocket nearly sent City ahead, but bounced off the post and back into play. Then, in extra time, Dzeko’s bundled shot deflected off the Bosnian, past Szczesny, but off the post.

One of the many villains of Arsenal, Nasri had the last chance of the game, as his shot hit the back of the net, but before celebrations could ensue, offsides was given and confirmed via replays.

Nevertheless, American fans who woke up for the early 7:45 Eastern kick-off were treated to quite the contest and a worthy draw.