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There goes the final whistle! Arsenal defeat Manchester City 1-0. Manchester United remain eight points clear of City. Six games remaining of the season. United in pole position for the title after their 2-0 win over QPR earlier in the day.
Ramsey with just the keeper to beat on the break. Glorious chance for the second, but the forward fluffs his lines. Well over the bar with Hart to beat. Zabaleta booked for a late challenge on Santos.
Mancini urging Balotelli to get off the park. The City fans look on in a state of disbelief. We are into four minutes of time added on.
Balotelli is sent off the park! A silly late tackle by the striker on Sagna. City finish the match with 10 men.
Song chases Milner down the park. Clock ticking down.
Hart crunches his foot against a post. A few of the City fans begin to head for the exit doors. Arsenal have been the better side today. No doubt about that.
GOAL! Arteta thumps the ball low beyond Hart from 25 yards out. A stunning strike low to Hart's left. Arsenal have the lead late in the day.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is wheeled on for the home side with Walcott departing the action.
Rosicky overhts the pass looking for Sagna. City have a goalkick as Arsenal prepare to make another change.
Corner comes to nothing. Disappointing from City as Arsenal look to break at some speed.
Tevez preparing to come on for the visiting side. He replaces Aguero. City have a corner here...
Santos cuts a frustrated figure as he overhits a pass. Hart with the goalkick.
Kolarov drags a free-kick straight into the arms of Szczesny. All too easy for the Arsenal goalkeeper.
Balotelli suddenly comes to life as he holds off Ramsey, who fouls the former Inter Milan striker. City have a free-kick outside of the home area.
Ramsey has been thrown on for Benayoun as Arsenal also shuffle their pack.
Nasri departs to be replaced by Kolarov for the visitors.
Sagna starting to go beyond Balotelli like he is not there. Looks like there is only going to be one winner of this match..and it is not City.
Astonishing stuff! Vermaelen slips after trying to force home a rebound four yards out with the ball coming back off a post from Walcott's shot. Hart was grounded, but Benayoun then failed to slip the ball home after Vermaelen. How did that stay out?
Walcott on the dash for Arsenal, but City regroup. Here go Arsenal again..
Balotelli seemed to be fouling Arteta, but the referee says no. Arsenal back on the front foot.
Benayoun tries to meet the cross from Van Persie, but a great intervention by Zabaleta. City looking a bit weary all of a sudden.
Sagna's cross deflects wide for a corner. Arsenal starting to build up a head of steam again.
Walcott's cross clawed out by Hart, but Benayoun slips as he tries to force home the rebound from the edge of the box.
Van Persie finishes with some ease, but he is ruled offside from Song's pass. Poor play by Van Persie.
Arsenal have failed to score in eight of their previous 47 matches in all competitions this season. Two have been against Man City.
Pizarro throws over a neat free-kick to the back post. Headed across goal by Kompany, but Balotelli can't steer the loose ball home.
The rain coming down in London. Koscielny rightly booked for a late chop on Barry. Koscielny will sit out the next two games against Wolves and Wigan.
Benayoun slips the ball into the path of Rosicky. City with plenty of bodies behind the ball. Balotelli comes back to help out his defence..and this time win the loose ball.
Walcott managed to give Clichy the slip, but he couldn't control the ball over the top. A goalkick to the visitors.
Man City can become the fourth club in the Premier League era to win at Arsenal and Manchester United in the same season, joining Wimbledon (1992/93), West Ham United (2006/07) and Chelsea (2009/10). But they need a goal.
Lescott forced to look smart to smuggle the ball back to Hart with Van Persie on his toes again.
Van Persie hits a post with a header! Song picks out the Dutch player, but the ball comes back off the post from five yards. So close to the opening goal.
Benayoun comes in off a wing. Goes for goal, but lacked the required power as his shot is gathered by Hart.
Andre Santos is booked for a late challenge on Balotelli. Fine defending by Song from the free-kick to head out of the box.
Corner comes over with Aguero lifting a shot miles over and wide of the target. Awful by his high standards.
Zabaleta keeps the ball in the home box, but Benayoun dashes back to make a superb tackle. Brilliant interception.
Arteta's free-kick is headed clear by Kompany, who has had a brilliant match so far.
Andre Santos replaces Gibbs for the home side.
Arteta and Song in a bit of a mix-up in the middle of the park before Rosicky is taken out of the action late by Milner, who is booked.
Mancini doesn't look too happy with the goings on. A draw here would leave United seven points clear and with breathing space before the closing six games of the season.
Aguero and Zabaleta go for Nasri's cross. Aguero header is tipped over by Szczesny. What a chance that was for City.
Clichy feeds the pass to Aguero, but Koscielny shows real awareness to win the ball. Fine piece of defending.
Mario Balotelli has now received seven yellow cards this Premier League season, the most for a forward in the division together with Norwich City striker Grant Holt.
Nasri goes in with a heavy challenge on Arteta. Referee happy enough with that tackle.
A slight surprise continuing to see Balotelli out on the pitch. Thought he might have been sent packing by now by the ref or his manager. No David Silva on the bench for City. He has a knee injury.
Song takes a tumble from Van Persie's pass, but the referee waves play on. Gibbs sees a cross blocked by Zabaleta.
We are off and running in the second half.
There goes the whistle for the break with Balotelli on the deck clutching his face. Balotelli involved in all sorts of stuff in the first period. None of it very impressive.
Offside flag goes up against Aguero before Balotelli is guilty of handling the ball. Balotelli might well be taken off at the break.
We are into three minutes of time added to the first half..presumably for Yaya Toure's earlier injury.
Sagna has thrown over some lovely balls today. This time Benayoun went for the header, but Lescott and Kompany again combine to keep Arsenal out.
Clichy with a hopeful cross from out wide on the City left. Easy pickings for Szczesny in the home goal as he comes to collect.
Walcott penalised for a handball after Balotelli knocked the ball off his hands. City on the ball in their own half.
Signs that City are slowly making a recovery in this match. Couldn't really get any worse after being forced back for the opening 25 minutes.
Man City are unbeaten in their last four Premier League visits to North London, winning 5-1 at Tottenham in their last one, since a 3-0 defeat at Tottenham in December 2009.
Balotelli forces Sagna to make the tackle. City have a corner, but Arsenal clear after Zabaleta tried to get space for a shot.
Balotelli going in with his studs showing. Can't be doing that in the modern game. Those type of tackles went out in the 1980s.
Nasri picks out Aguero with a lovely pass. Meanwhile, Balotelli is finally booked for another late tackle on Sagna.
Walcott stops the ball going for a goalkick as he knocks it out of play. City with the ball deep in their own half.
Arsenal perhaps guilty of overplaying the ball. Szczesny races from his line to wallop the ball clear as Balotelli bounded clear. Vital interception by the home goalkeeper.
Decent delivery by Arteta, but Hart is out quickly to claw the ball clear. More praiseworthy keeping by Hart.
Barry takes out Gibbs with a late challenge. Looked a good tackle, but the home side have a free-kick out wide.
Balotelli showing his studs again in a challenge with Sagna. Very silly tackle again by the big striker. This time he doesn't make contact.
A bit of jostling in the area. Sagna seemed to be pulling the shirt of Lescott. Risky play in the area by Sagna.
City seem to have weathered the early storm. Barry swings in a corner, but Lescott can only nod wide of goal.
Song gives the ball away in his own half, but Pizarro can't benefit as the home side collect.
Since Arsène Wenger joined Arsenal in September 1996, the Gunners have never finished lower than fourth in the Premier League. They are currently two points in front of Chelsea with the current game in hand.
City trying to keep the ball as Song closes down Barry. The visiting side really need to clear their senses.
Balotelli with a chance in the middle. Fails to connect in the box, and ends up kicking a post in disgust. Wouldn't be surprised if Balotelli is taken off soon.
Koscielny takes no chances as he nods over with Balotelli behind him. Better rampaging play by Zabaleta down his right flank.
Man City and Man United are the only clubs that have not conceded a goal in the first 15 minutes of a Premier League match this season.
Has been a bit of a nightmare 23 minutes or so for City. At least they are level, even if they have been thoroughly outplayed. Don't look like champions here.
Zabaleta comes across to makes sure Gibbs can't get the cross in. Another decent delivery, but this time Koscielny nods over the bar.
The only good thing to come from that tackle is that Song's leg is still intact. He is still on the park, Balotelli shouldn't be.
Balotelli goes through Song with a horrific tackle. Knee-high, but the referee has missed it! A straight red. Balotelli should be off the park. Another blunder by a referee today.
Aguero trying to get in behind on the Aguero pass, but the pass is overhit as Szczesny ambles out to collect. All is not well in that City side.
City are getting a real going over here. A minor miracle that this score remains 0-0. Song guilty of of fouling Aguero, and at least the visitors have some respite.
The visiting side make the change. Off goes Yaya Toure, and on comes David Pizzaro.
Van Persie's header is cleared off the City line by Vermaelen from Arteta's corner. City so close to falling behind. A moment of luck with the defender unknowingly halting his team-mate from scoring as the ball hit his back.
Yaya Toure is on the deck after returning moments ago. He is hobbling off for a second time. Looks like his day is all over.
Van Persie goes to ground under pressure from Kompany. Appeals for a penalty, but Atkinson says no. Another probing pass by Rosicky.
Walcott with the latest cross. Kompany whacks it out of the park. Arsenal with over 80 per cent of possession. Astonishing stats in this contest.
The visiting side can't get on the ball at the moment. Arsenal content to keep the ball. And spread it from side to side. City being stretched.
Rosicky with a lovely ball to the back post. Excellent delivery from the little Czech player. City scramble it clear.
Yaya Toure hobbling off the park after taking a sore one from Song. Hart has the free-kick deep in the City half as Mancini shakes his head from the side of the park.
Rosicky drives a volley at goal. Ball hits off Kompany before flying wide. Arteta then with a corner. Kompany and Lescott seem to be heading everything out at the moment.
Sagna with another probing cross from his right flank, but this time Lescott is on hand to clear with a header.
City under serious pressure here as Sagna dinks the cross in. Kompany nods it back out. Arsenal setting up camp in the visiting half.
Kompany plays the ball down the line for Aguero, who can't keep it in play. A frantic start to this match, it must be said.
Balotelli is caught offside moments after Hart came from his goal to punch the ball clear. Brave goalkeeping by the England keeper.
Yaya Toure far from happy with that decision by referee Martin Atkinson, who is obviously trying to stamp his authority on matters early on with the yellow card.
Arteta with the delivery looking for Van Persie, but Kompany rises to nod over his own bar. City deal with Arteta's corner to nod it clear of the danger area.
A booking in the opening minutes as Yaya Toure hauls down Rosicky. Free-kick to the home side 40 or so from goal.
Arsenal get the action off and running. Arsenal in red, City in blue. This should be a cracker.
Teams in the tunnel. We are almost ready to go in this one. Can City follow title rivals United in with a win today? Let us find out.
MATCH ODDS: Arsenal (6/4), Manchester City (21/10), Draw (13/5)
Manchester City have not won in their last 26 league visits to Arsenal, since a 3-2 victory in old Division One on October 4, 1975. This is City’s longest ever top flight run without an away victory at another club – bettering their 25-match winless streak at Sheffield Wednesday from 1900 to 1953.
The last three meetings between these clubs at the Emirates have produced only one goal. Manchester City have failed to score in their last four Premier League visits to Arsenal, and have not scored more than once in their last 15 away league match against them – since a 2-2 draw at Highbury in old Division One in April 1991.
Arsene Wenger hopes third place, and with it automatic qualification for the Champions League, would allow him a stronger hand in the summer transfer market, and said: "Where we finish and how we finish will determine what we do in the break."
Roberto Mancini remains defiant ahead of the clash at the Emirates Stadium - where his side kick off eight points behind after leaders Manchester United completed an expected home win over QPR - with the Italian proclaiming "anything can happen" over the final seven games.
Sergio Aguero is fit to lead the City attack after a foot injury. Defender Joleon Lescott also plays after a hip problem while midfielder Samir Nasri returns against his former club after missing last week's draw with Sunderland after a family problem and slight injury. Striker Carlos Tevez is among the substitutes.
Arsenal have no fresh injury problems. Midfielders Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin (both hamstring) are set to return to full training next week while centre-back Per Mertesacker (ankle) and midfielder Jack Wilshere (ankle) remain sidelined. Arsene Wenger has given the nod to in-form Tomas Rosicky over Aaron Ramsey while Yossi Benayoun is preferred to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho.
TEAMS - Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Song, Walcott, Rosicky, Benayoun, van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Djourou, Jenkinson, Chamakh. /// Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure Yaya, Barry, Milner, Aguero, Nasri, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Pizarro, Dzeko, Kolarov, Tevez, De Jong
Manchester City visit fourth-placed Arsenal in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium.
|18/12/2011||Manchester City||1 - 0||Arsenal|
|29/11/2011||Manchester City||1 - 0||Arsenal|
|05/01/2011||Arsenal||0 - 0||Manchester City|
|24/10/2010||Arsenal||3 - 0||Manchester City|
|24/04/2010||Arsenal||0 - 0||Manchester City|
|Queens Park Rangers||2 - 1||Arsenal|
|Arsenal||3 - 0||Aston Villa|
|Arsenal||1 - 0||Everton|
|Arsenal||2 - 1||Newcastle United|
|Arsenal||3 - 0||AC Milan|
|Manchester City||3 - 3||Sunderland|
|Stoke City||1 - 1||Manchester City|
|Manchester City||2 - 1||Chelsea|
|Manchester City||3 - 2||Sporting Lisbon|
|Swansea City||1 - 0||Manchester City|
|10.||West Bromwich Albion||47||38||-7|
|17.||Queens Park Rangers||37||38||-23|