Koscielny saves point for Gunners after Lescott opener
Goals from the centre-backs settled the game at the Etihad
Stadium as both teams registered their third draw of the season in their
fifth match of the campaign so far
The Gunners were the better side in the first
half but found themselves 1-0 down at the interval after Joleon Lescott
headed the hosts into the lead.
City became the dominant force
after the break but conceded an 85th minute equaliser after Laurent
Koscielny rifled home from just inside the box.
extends City and Arsenal's unbeaten start to the season, with both clubs
having now drawn three games out of their opening five top flight
Roberto Mancini recalled Sergio Aguero to the City
starting line-up at the expense of Carlos Tevez while Koscielny made his
first start of the season for the visitors with captain Thomas
Vermaelen ruled out by illness.
Though Aguero tested Vito Mannone
from distance early on, it was Arsenal who enjoyed the better start to
the game with Gervinho let down by a heavy touch when fed through on
goal by Aaron Ramsey.
Good work by Carl Jenkinson on the right
byline saw the full-back outmuscle Lescott and cut the ball back for
Lukas Podolski but the German could only sky wildly over the bar.
Gervinho lashed into the side-netting as Arsenal looked to capitalise on
their early dominance but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock, with
Lescott powering home a header after some questionable goalkeeping by Mannone from David Silva's inswinging corner.
the first half drew to a close Mannone went close to making amends by
tipping Edin Dzeko's fierce drive over the bar as City came close to
doubling their lead.
Mancini replaced home debutant Scott
Sinclair with Jack Rodwell at the start of the second half as City went
on to negate Arsenal's early momentum.
Aguero was given an
abundance of time at the far post before firing over when a ball back
into the danger area may have been a more prudent option, while the
Argentine was also denied a penalty after a collision with Koscielny in
Arsenal began to look ragged in possession in their rare
forays forward and Wenger sent on Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott,
while Mancini replaced Dzeko with Tevez with 20 minutes to go.
powerful Yaya Toure drive right through the heart of the Gunners'
midfield ended up with Aguero forcing Mannone into a near-post save
before counterpart Joe Hart parried a Santi Cazorla shot from just
outside the box over the crossbar.
The diminutive Spaniard swung in the subsequent corner and the ball broke to Koscielny, with the Frenchman taking a touch before rifling an equaliser into the top corner.
Kompany went close to restoring the hosts' lead with five minutes
remaining, improvising excellently to chest down and fire in a bicycle
kick which Mannone saved, before Aguero could only guide Koscielny's
subsequent poor clearance agonisingly wide of the post.
almost snatched a late winner for the Gunners but after sidestepping
well the Ivorian could only fire rashly over the bar as the spoils were
shared at the Etihad.