Manchester City 2 West Ham United 0

FA Premier League
Sunday 11 May 2014, 15.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Kolarov, Garcia, Toure (Negredo 86), Silva (Milner 76), Nasri, Dzeko (Fernandinho 69), Aguero
Unused: Pantilimon, Lescott, Clichy, Jovetic
Goals: Nasri (39), Kompany (49)
Booked: Demichelis, Aguero

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the Match: Yaya Toure

Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy

Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy

Manchester City are champions of England and have secured their first ever league and cup double. Indeed, victory over West Ham on the final match of the 2013-14 season ensured the Blues took only their second double – the first coming in 1970, when Joe Mercer’s City won the League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup. Manuel Pellegrini’s City added a top-flight championship to the League Cup.

The home side went into their final match of the campaign knowing that a draw would be enough for them to take the crown – barring any sort of goalscoring miracle at Anfield. Compared to the title win of 2012, the mood inside the stadium was much more relaxed – though there was still the feeling things could go wrong if the Blues weren’t professional.

There was little danger of the team letting this one escape, however, as Pellegrini’s City were always in control of the match and eased to victory. The Manchester weather had been unwelcoming at the start, raining buckets onto an already soaked pitch – though, if anything, it aided the hosts’ slick passing moves.

One of the best moves of the campaign almost finished with a beauty of a goal. Zabaleta, Garcia and Nasri combined to work an opening for the cross from the right, and, as the ball fell to the back post, Silva arrived in time to volley at goal. He caught it sweetly, but got under it slightly too much and it was blasted just over the crossbar.

The home side wanted a penalty two minutes later as Zabaleta appeared to be felled by Diame inside the box, but the referee waved play on. He trod on the defender’s leg and tripped him up – the West Ham man was lucky.

Aguero had his first shot of the game, but he slipped in unleashing the long range effort and it went straight at the goalkeeper. That’s as news came through the Newcastle had taken the lead at Anfield and that the unlikely wasn’t happening in Liverpool. As the fans were settling down to the positive news from Merseyside, Kolarov blasted from long range, too – Adrian tipped his 40-yard effort over the bar.

Zabaleta in a tackle with Taylor.

Zabaleta in a tackle with Taylor.

As it looked like the Blues might end up being level with their visitors at half time, Nasri came up with a cracking strike to break the deadlock. He picked up the ball on the edge of the West Ham box and, after knocking it out of his feet, belted if for the bottom corner. Adrian got his fingers to it, but couldn’t redirect it enough – tipping it onto the post and into the net.

And it could have been two on two occasions going into the break. First, Aguero deflected Nasri’s free kick across the face of goal and the diving Kompany couldn’t reach to touch over the line, before, second, Silva’s deflected effort crashed into the crossbar. The Spaniard wriggled free inside the box and shot for the far post, but it deflected up off a defender in front of him, hit the underside of the bar and bounced to safety.

Early in the second, the home side doubled their advantage: a corner to the near post was half headed away by the visiting defence and half knocked down by Dzeko. Waiting was the captain and Kompany turned to belt the ball past Adrian and into the back of the net.

City were sensing the kill was on the cards. Nasri stung the goalkeeper’s gloves with another long range effort, Aguero tried to angle a header into the top corner but just got slightly too much elevation on the effort, while the Argentine should have scored with just over 20 minutes to play. A low cross from Zabaleta picked out the striker, but he couldn’t adjust his feet quickly enough to turn it into the empty net.

The result never looked in doubt in truth and, with just over 10 minutes to play, the Blues almost had their third. Toure chipped a cute ball over the static Hammers’ back line for Nasri or Zabaleta to run on to. The Frenchman took control and smashed his shot for goal, but Adrian got his foot in the way to keep it out.

In the end, the Blues weren’t able to get their third goal and they finished the season with a solid, professional and comfortable 2-0 win. It was more than enough for the club to lift their second ever Premier League title.

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Barcelona 2 Manchester City 1 (4-1 agg)

UEFA Champions League, Round of 16
Wednesday 12 March 2014, 19.45 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Milner, Silva (Negredo 72), Nasri (Navas 75), Aguero (Dzeko 45)
Unused: Pantilimon, Clichy, Boyata, Garcia
Goals: Kompany (89)
Booked: Fernandinho, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Kompany
Sent Off: Zabaleta

Referee: Stephane Lannoy
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany

Kolarov and Lescott deny Neymar.

Kolarov and Lescott deny Neymar.

City have been knocked out of the Champions League following defeat to Barcelona. The Blues felt aggrieved by refereeing decisions on the night, but ultimately the damage had been done in the first leg.

Lescott was lucky to avoid a yellow card for a pull-back on Messi, before he was lucky not to concede a penalty for a foul on the same man. Hart was off his line quickly to deny Messi, who almost did brilliantly – having kept the ball in – but Kompany recovered to clear.

With 16 minutes gone, City wasted their first good chance. Kolarov played a powerful, low ball into the middle where Milner was unmarked, but the midfielder wasn’t expecting the cross to land at his feet and he shanked his effort wide of the post.

A moment later, though, the visitors should have been behind: The offside flag went up against Alba when he was actually onside – Neymar slotted his square ball in, but it didn’t count. City were riding their luck.

With ten minutes of the half to play, Silva should have done better with time and space on the corner of the box. A great break from Toure played Milner in down the left and he pulled it back across for the Ivorian. He slipped in Silva on the right and, cutting inside, the Spaniard shot for the top corner – but skied the effort.

The home side almost took advantage of a slip from Kolarov. The full back lost his footing when one-on-one with Neymar and the Brazilian shot for Hart’s near post, but the goalkeeper pushed it behind. A clever corner almost caught City out – but Hart again stood up well to block and Lescott and Toure completed the clearance.

Toure competes with Pique.

Toure competes with Pique.

Excellent play from the visitors almost opened the scoring again – Toure chipped a neat ball in to Silva with Zabaleta making a decoy run on the right. The Spaniard flicked it back to Nasri, who volleyed at goal, but it was straight at Valdes. Either side and he’d have scored. The Frenchman was unlucky. At the other end, Fernandinho was required to head off the line, after Neymar rounded Hart.

City began the second half as they did the first – but this time with more impetus. A cheeky run inside from Milner opened up space and Kolarov found the midfielder, who turned to shoot. It was blocked to Silva, who picked out Dzeko and the Bosnian’s effort – low and hard – forced Valdes into a comfortable stop to his left.

Five minutes into the half, Lescott was lucky again facing off against Messi. The defender gave the ball away and chased back, where he did his best to slow the Argentine down. Messi, though, wriggled free and shot low to Hart’s right – who threw himself at it, but couldn’t reach. It bounced back into play from the post.

Immediately, City went down the other end on the attack. Kolarov found space to cross from a Silva pass and he picked out Dzeko at the back post. The Bosnian did all he could to direct it back across goal and it was dropping into the top corner until a brilliant save from Valdes pushed it behind. Zabeleta was then on the end of a deflected cross, but he couldn’t turn it in on his left foot.

With 66 minutes played, though, City were ruing their missed chances. A through-ball deflected off Lescott and straight into the path of Messi, one-on-one with Hart. The goalkeeper did his best to cover the goal, but he could do nothing about the Argentine’s deft chip into the far corner of the net.

It went from bad to worse for City with just over ten minutes to play. Dzeko was denied a clear penalty when he was chopped down by Pique when he was about to pull the trigger and, for his protests, Zabaleta was shown a second yellow card. It was an awful decision, compounded by a red card for the full back.

With a minute of the game left, the visitors equalised. A corner was played into the middle by Navas, where Dzeko headed at goal. Kompany, just onside in the six-yard box, turned it into the net.

However, with seconds of the game remaining, Iniesta got his head up after rounding Hart when played through and found Alves. The defender smashed the ball past Milner on the line and the result was confirmed.

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 5

FA Premier League
Wednesday 29 January 2014, 19.45 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Clichy, Toure (Nastasic 64), Fernandinho, Navas, Silva (Kolarov 80), Aguero (Jovetic 45), Dzeko
Unused: Pantilimon, Lescott, Rodwell, Negredo
Goals: Aguero (15), Toure (pen 51), Dzeko (54), Jovetic (78), Kompany (89)
Booked: Toure, Demichelis, Aguero, Zabaleta

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the Match: David Silva

Aguero hits the post.

Aguero hits the post.

City were out of the traps quickly, taking the game to their opponents. Just five minutes had been played when the Blues fashioned the first good chance to open the scoring, but Aguero’s shot bounced off the post and out to safety, as he fired across Lloris. Dzeko blazed over after a neat one-two with Aguero, as he shot from the corner of the box.

But with 15 minutes on the clock, the visitors opened the scoring. Aguero has been in terrific goalscoring form this season and there was no change at the Lane. Silva slipped a brilliant through-ball for the Argentine, who beat the offside trap to place it past Lloris.

It took a brilliant save from the Tottenham goalkeeper to keep the score at 1-0. Clichy crossed for Aguero to head and it looked like his effort was destined for the net, but Lloris clawed it out before it crossed the line. The Argentine quickly had another header cleared off the line, before his volley from the rebound was a foot over the bar. City could have had a penalty for a handball by Dawson, too.

Tottenham thought they had equalised with ten minutes of the half to play, but the offside flag was up against Adebayor in the build up. A free kick was crossed into the middle where the Togolese striker jumped to head it, but missed – leaving the centre-back to nod home. He was onside, but his striker was interfering with play in front of him.

On the stroke of half time, the Blues lost Aguero to another injury. The striker pulled up holding his hamstring and his game was over. Demichelis was booked for a seemingly fair challenge on Adebayor, before the centre-back headed harmlessly over at the near post.

Toure battles for possession.

Toure battles for possession.

Early in the second half, the visitors imposed themselves further on the game. Toure had the chance to add the Blues’ second of the night from the penalty spot when Rose was adjudged to have brought down Dzeko. It looked a harsh decision as the full back looked to have timed his tackle well to win the ball, but the linesman waved his flag and Rose was dismissed. Toure sent Lloris the wrong way.

Three minutes later, City added their third. Silva picked up the ball inside the box from a great pull-back by Zabaleta, and, after carrying it across the face of goal, his shot hit the post and bounced out. The deflected rebound fell to Dzeko, who knocked it past Lloris.

Just before the hour mark, the ten men pulled a goal back. A corner was badly defended by the Blues, as Zabaleta missed the ball completely and it fell kindly for Capoue on the edge of the six-yard box. He was never going to miss, blasting his shot past the stranded Hart.

Dzeko could have had two goals in the space of three minutes as two glorious chances to add City’s fourth were spurned by the Bosnian. First, Clichy picked him out with a great cross from deep and the striker’s first touch was perfect for him to hit, but his effort was well wide. Second, Zabaleta picked out the forward after a fine passing move, but Dzeko got his finish all wrong, chipping it wide weakly.

With just over ten minutes to play, the fourth goal came and it was an opening Premier League goal for Jovetic. Silva slid the ball to the Montenegrin on the left flank, where he cut inside and tried to bend a shot around Lloris. It took a nick on the way through, but it didn’t help the home side and it found the bottom corner.

In the closing stages, it was almost five for the Blues, as a brilliant ball slipped Navas in on the right. His low cross was just behind Jovetic and he couldn’t wrap his foot around it to shoot, but it fell to Kolarov. The Serbian belted it, but Lloris was able to block it behind.

Though, in the final minute, the captain added another. A corner fell nicely to Dzeko, who was able to tee himself up to volley at goal. It was blocked ahead of Lloris and fell kindly for Kompany, who was faced with an open goal. He simply stabbed it over the line, despite Lloris’s best efforts to recover.

With Arsenal dropping points the night before, City go to the top of the league.

Manchester City 2 Liverpool 1

FA Premier League
Thursday 26 December 2013, 17.30 KO

City: Hart, Kolarov, Kompany (c), Lescott, Zabaleta, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva (Garcia 87), Nasri (Milner 72), Navas, Negredo (Dzeko 77)
Unused: Pantilimon, Clichy, Nastasic, Boyata
Goals: Kompany (31), Negredo (45+1)
Booked: Zabaleta

Referee: Lee Mason
Man of the Match: Fernandinho

Silva skips away from a challenge.

Silva skips away from a challenge.

Given City’s previous home games this season, many were expecting a high scoring game as Liverpool rocked up at the Etihad. However, both Pellegrini and Rodgers opted for more cautious set-ups and it was a strong performance from the home side to take the points.

The Blues settled the quickest – Navas flicked a header onto the bar, before Kompany got in front of Skrtel at a corner, but could only nod it wide.

The visitors responded: Suarez flicked a corner wide of Hart’s post, and Kolarov was needed to put in a last-gasp tackle in the box as Sterling raced through – that chance came as Zabaleta’s short pass was picked up in the middle.

The flag wrongly went up against Sterling – who rounded Hart and netted, though the City keeper had stopped, before the away side did open the scoring. Some good work set Sterling through and he rounded Hart, leaving Coutinho to slot into the unguarded goal.

The lead lasted five minutes. A left wing corner was curled into the box and Kompany rose highest to connect. The effort skipped past Mignolet and his defender on the line and the Blues were level.

City should have added their second almost instantly – Nasri and Silva combined to release Navas following a Liverpool corner, but the winger blazed over.

Hart produced a fantastic save from Coutinho with five minutes of the half to play: The Liverpool man found space in the box to shoot, but the England keeper stood up and spread himself to block.

With the fans readying themselves for half time, the Blues took the lead with virtually the last kick of the period. A decisive breakaway saw Navas feed Negredo early and his shot – with the outside of his left foot – should have been saved by Mignolet. But he flapped at it and it bounced over the line.

As the hosts started the first half the better, it was the visitors who began the second with more purpose. Suarez stung the hands of Hart, after Henderson had fired over. City were inviting the pressure and dropping deep; Liverpool were obliging.

The home side’s best chances came from set pieces or breakaways. Kompany headed at Mignolet from a corner, before Negredo spotted the Belgian keeper off his line and tried a chip – but it didn’t quite have enough height.

Soon, City were again on the back foot. Hart saved well from Henderson’s back-heel flick, before Suarez crossed low and everybody in the box missed it, as the visitors sought their equaliser. The leveller should have come through Sterling, as he got away from Kolarov to connect to a Suarez cross and – with the goal virtually unguarded – he skied it.

Suarez curled a free kick over with five minutes to play, before he riled the City fans by going down theatrically in the box under pressure from Lescott. It was enough for the hosts to hack the ball clear and ease the pressure to see out their second win of the festive period.

Fulham 2 Manchester City 4

FA Premier League
Saturday 21 December 2013, 15.00 KO

City: Hart, Clichy, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Kolarov, Nasri (Milner 75), Fernandinho, Toure, Silva (Garcia 84), Dzeko (Navas 58), Negredo
Unused: Pantilimon, Boyata, Rodwell, Guidetti
Goals: Toure (23), Kompany (43), Navas (78), Milner (83)
Booked: Demichelis

Referee: Kevin Friend
Man of the Match: David Silva

Fernandinho holds off Sidwell.

Fernandinho holds off Sidwell.

It was the home side that were off to the better start, as they forced a goalmouth scramble from a corner. Minutes later, Hart pulled off a great save to deny Taarabt, after Clichy had slipped in the build-up. The return ball in was well cleared by Kompany. It sparked City into life and, on the break, Dzeko fed Silva, whose effort crashed back off the crossbar.

The game had been struggling to get any momentum behind it. Hart held onto an effort from Taarabt from range, before Toure smashed a free kick into the net from the edge of the box. All eyes were on Kolarov, but the Ivorian smashed it off the underside of the bar, leaving the goalkeeper standing.

On the half hour, the visitors should have gone two goals up but for a poor decision from Dzeko. Negredo broke with power and pace and found the Bosnian inside the box, but he tried to place his effort instead of sliding Fernandinho in beside him, but Hughes blocked it. From that breakaway, Taarabt had the opportunity to shoot and it needed Hart to push it behind.

Five minutes later, again the Blues should have doubled their lead. Dzeko fed Kolarov on the left and found space in the box for the return pass. There, the striker’s side-footed shot was too close to Stekelenburg and he parried it to safety. A minute later, the Bosnian could only head straight at the keeper as he broke the offside trap.

Another goalmouth scramble followed a great block by Kompany from Taarabt. The resulting corner allowed Fulham to smash the ball into the box and it needed a toe-end from Toure to get it clear, as three different white shirts tried to find room for the shot.

On the stroke of half time, the Blues did double their lead. A free kick from the right flank found Demichelis totally unmarked and the Argentine headed across goal for the far post. Stekelenburg parried and Kompany was on hand to stab the rebound into the roof of the net.

Hart makes an important block.

Hart makes an important block.

A minute into the second half and it could – perhaps should – have been three for the visitors. Some good possession play released Kolarov down the left and he slid the ball back into the middle for Silva. The Spaniard had to stretch to connect and Stekelenburg was just able to grasp the shot.

Despite the good start to the half by City, it was the hosts who pulled a goal back. Silva wasn’t able to skip away from the challenge on the edge of the box and Fulham broke with pace. Taarabt beat Clichy on the right and he drove into the City area to square for Richardson, who had the simple task of touching it into the net.

With 56 minutes played, Fulham should have equalised. A cross from the right beat the whole of the City back line and Sidwell dived in to head it – but it was wide. Had he left it for Taarabt behind, he would surely have scored. There were four Fulham players offside, however the linesman didn’t flag.

On the hour mark, the Blues should have killed the game. Silva superbly picked out Negredo running into the box, but the Spaniard’s effort was blocked. It fell to Navas – just on for Dzeko – but the winger’s shot was well wide from eight yards out. It should have found the net.

It was chance that City would come to regret as a freak goal pulled Fulham level. A miss-hit cross from Riise was skewed into the air by Kompany and it lobbed over his own goalkeeper onto the underside of the bar. Despite the best efforts of Hart and Clichy, it bounced into the net for the equaliser.

The parity didn’t last long though. Despite having fallen off the pace in the second half, City got their noses in front once again – as Navas was set through down the right flank. He powered past the Fulham defence and, from a tight angle, smashed the shot through Stekelenburg’s legs.

Just as Fulham were preparing for a final onslaught, City added their fourth. Silva found Negredo wide on the right and, with the outside of his right foot, he pulled off one of the passes of the season to pick out the run of Milner into the box. The substitute finished with ease, first time.

It killed the game off and secured City’s third Premier League away win of the season.

Manchester City 4 Newcastle United 0

FA Premier League
Saturday 30 March 2013, 15.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c) (Garcia 73), Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Y Toure, Nasri (Aguero 71), Silva (Sinclair 83), Dzeko, Tevez
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, K Toure, Milner
Goals: Tevez (40), Silva (45+1), Kompany (56), Y Toure (68)
Booked:

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the Match: Samir Nasri

Newcastle1It was a rather slow start to the game, but it was the hosts in control of possession. Despite this, it was Newcastle who had the first opportunity to open the scoring, but Joe Hart was off his line quickly to clear the ball away from Cisse, as the forward looked to latch onto a route one pass. It was Cisse with the next opportunity, too – dropping off Clichy to volley at the back, but he struck the post.

It seemed to wake the home side up. Somehow, the ball didn’t hit the back of the Newcastle net when it was squared from the right and Dzeko’s shot was saved by Elliot. It bounced out to Barry, who had an open goal in front of him, and the England midfielder skied his effort, when it seemed a lot easier to score.

Free kicks from Silva and Tevez went close, both leaving Elliot rooted to the spot, but both missing the target. Clichy then took a volley on and it needed two hands from the Newcastle goalkeeper to get it away from danger, before Silva was flagged offside as he planted the ball into the net. City were getting closer.

Five minutes before half time, the hosts got their breakthrough. Clichy slid a brilliant low ball into the box and neither defenders nor goalkeeper could cut it out, leaving Tevez to knock it into the empty net, sliding in at the back post.

On the stroke of half time, City added their second and made it a tough second half for the visitors. Nasri did brilliantly to wriggle through two challenges in the box and he poked the ball on to Silva on the left side of the area. He wellied the effort through the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands and into the bottom corner.

Early in the second half, you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was the visitors who were leading by two goals – first Cabaye fired a volley close to Hart’s goal, but just missed as the City keeper was rooted to the spot. There followed more pressure from the away side that the blues coped with in the best way possible: Kompany expertly flicked Barry’s effort on goal past the goalkeeper and into the net.

Elliot was in the right place at the right time to tip over from Dzeko as the Bosnian let rip from just inside the box, before Yaya Toure added City’s fourth of the afternoon. He powered a shot from close range towards the back post and it took a nick on the way through, deceiving Elliot, who could only get a hand on it as it dropped into the net.

There was a brief scare from the visitors, but Hart was able to hold on to Gosling’s side-footed effort from inside the area. It was a comfortable victory for City and, with Chelsea losing, they had edged away from the London club.

Arsenal 0 Manchester City 2

FA Premier League
Sunday 13 January 2013, 16.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Nastasic, Clichy, Barry, Milner, Garcia, Silva (Kolarov 90), Dzeko (Balotelli 89), Tevez (Lescott 77)
Unused: Pantilimon, Rekik, Sinclair, Suarez
Goals: Milner (21), Dzeko (32)
Booked: Milner, Clichy, Garcia, Barry
Sent Off: Kompany

Referee: Mike Dean
Man of the Match: James Milner

Arsenal1The early pressure was from the visitors: City kept possession well in the Arsenal half and earned the game’s first corner. It bounced through the home side’s box and could have come for Kompany or Dzeko to shoot, but neither could get hold of the ball. A short backpass from Nastasic was almost punished by Walcott, before Dzeko was nearly played in by Milner, but the pass was too long. Vermaelen was then out quickly to block Silva’s effort over the bar.

With eight minutes played, City were awarded a penalty to much confusion on the pitch. Koscielny had his arms wrapped around Dzeko and pulled him down. He was sent off and Dzeko took the spot kick, but missed: Szczesny saved it onto the post and it rolled along the goalline for him to pick up on the rebound. The penalty decision was spot on, but the penalty itself was awful.

From a cross on the right flank, Kompany was able to flick a header towards the back post. Szczesny left it and it almost bounced for Tevez to knock it over the line, but the Argentine couldn’t stretch enough to connect. A poor punch from Hart left Walcott with the chance to shoot from the edge of the box, but it was skewed well wide.

On 20 minutes, Silva played a neat ball through to Tevez on the edge of the box. The Argentine found Dzeko breaking into the area and the Bosnian’s first time shot was sliced well wide. But then, moments later, Garcia was felled on the edge of the box and a short free kick was tapped to Tevez. He found Milner and the midfielder turned and shot, hitting the back of the net via the post.

Five minutes on, Silva intercepted a short pass on the edge of the box and broke for the by-line. He played a one-two with Milner before finding Tevez in the middle. His snapshot volley, though, was straight at Szczesny, who was able to gather the effort at the second attempt. Silva himself then had a second deflected effort, before Garcia headed wide from a free header. He should have scored.

Just after the half hour, Dzeko made up for his penalty miss: Zabaleta did brilliantly to win the ball in a 50-50 with Podolski and lay the ball on to Milner. He played a fantastic ball across the box for Tevez to shoot. Szczesny saved, but parried to the feet of Dzeko, who found the net with a open goal. City were looking very, very dangerous.

Arsenal had an isolated attack moments later. A neat move on the right allowed Podolski the chance to break into the box and fire a first time shot at Hart’s goal, but it was straight at the goalkeeper and he held it well. Diaby managed to turn Zabaleta on the right wing, after the blues had defended a free kick well, but the Arsenal man’s effort was well over.

Arsenal2With two minutes to go to half time, Wilshere saved Arsenal’s blushes as he got up well to clear off the line. Milner’s corner wasn’t met properly by the midfielder, but his header off his shoulder was dropping into the top corner, until the Arsenal man nodded it away. City were well in control at the break.

Three minutes into the second half and the blues had another great chance to add their third. Milner was onside from Silva’s lay-off and crossed to the back post. Dzeko, after winning back possession in the middle, burst into the box and climbed above Vermaelen, but couldn’t keep his header down. Arsenal tried to respond immediately: A deflected cross from the right fell to Gibbs on the edge of the box, but his effort was superbly blocked by Nastasic.

Just after the hour mark, Tevez and Dzeko linked up well to create another chance. The Argentine picked up a loose ball in the middle of the Arsenal half and fed it through for the Bosnian’s run. He tried to return it, but it was just too far ahead of his strike partner. Silva was almost in seconds later, before Dzeko’s effort was blocked and Barry’s was deflected to Szczesny.

A breakaway from the visitors on 69 minutes should have had the blues their third. Dzeko was first to it on the left flank and he played Tevez clean through on goal. Face to face with Szczesny, he tried to go around the goalkeeper, but it was a good save that kept the striker from finding the net. He had the chance to pull the trigger earlier, but chose not to.

Two minutes later, the hosts should have pulled one back. Giroud found acres of space inside the City six yard box from a free kick on the right flank and he was picked out by the cross. Fortunately for the visitors, though, the header was high and wide, with Hart left rooted to the spot.

With fifteen minutes to play the referee made an awful decision: Kompany was shown a straight red card for a perfect tackle – he won the ball. Suddenly, it was ten against ten. The free kick into the box, though, was well cleared by City, who were fuming about the decision.

As the clock ticked to stoppage time, Walcott was played through on goal and managed to get his shot away, straight past Hart. City, though, had Lescott on the line to clear, leaving the ball to rebound back off the Arsenal forward and behind for a goal kick. Arsenal were piling on the pressure for the final moments.

City, though, were able to ride the pressure and see out their first win away at Arsenal since 1975.