Manchester City’s late show at Arsenal opens with an 11-point lead

Rodri scored the winner in the 93rd minute as Manchester City took another big step towards retaining the Premier League title with a 2-1 win over 10-man Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s men are now 11 points clear at the top for an 11-game winning run, but were made to work hard by the Gunners deep into stoppage time. When the two sides last met in August after beating City 5-0, Arsenal had their worst start to the league season in 67 years. But Mikel Arteta’s men rallied to finish fourth on the table and showed why they qualified at half-time via Bukayo Saka’s seventh goal of the season.

Riyad Mahrez leveled from the penalty spot before Gabriel Magalhaas foolishly sent himself to book two quickfires just before the hour mark.

And 10 men failed to stop for a point when Rodri poked home from close after blocking Aymeric Laporte’s shot.

Plastic bottles rained down on the Spanish international as he celebrated with Arsenal supporters expressing his dismay at the caretaker after waiving his own penalty appeal in the first half.

However, it was Gabriel’s indiscipline that saw him extend a four-point cushion on the chasing pack for a spot in next season’s Champions League.

Arteta was forced to watch games from home after testing positive for the coronavirus for the second time earlier this week.

However, this did not deter the Gunners’ good form as the champions and runaway leaders ragged in the first half, with assistant Albert Stuivenberg directing.

The first major decision going against the home team came in 12 minutes when Martin Odegaard went down trying to score a goal for city goalkeeper Ederson.

The Brazilian was given the benefit of the doubt by the referee and VAR, but Ederson appeared to have passed the Norwegian’s leg to get the ball.

Martinelli’s missed chances

Gabriel Martinelli’s form has played a big part in Arsenal’s resurgence in recent weeks, but it was a day of missed opportunities for the Brazilian.

Martinelli fired powerfully into Ederson’s body and saw two more attempts fly just over the target before the break.

But Arsenal got the half-time lead they deserved when Saka smashed a pass from Kieran Tierney into the bottom corner.

It was just the second Premier League goal City conceded in the first half all season and Guardiola’s men came back in a dramatic second period.

Arsenal were furious when Stuart Atwell was sent off seven minutes after Granit Zaka’s break to review a pull on Bernardo Silva when he was not on for Odegaard’s penalty appeal.

Mahrez briefly made his final City appearance by chance, having participated in the African Cup of Nations with Algeria.

The game then turned over the course of an incredible 60 seconds.

At first, Arsenal somehow did not take the lead again when Nathan Acke saved Laporte’s wayward header from crossing his line before Martinelli hit the post with an open goal on the rebound.

From the resulting goal kick, Gabriel turned to Jesus Ederson’s pass and was shot down by Gabriel, who had already been booked for scraping the penalty spot as Mahrez prepared to take his spot-kick.

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The city took hold without creating many big chances and grabbed the winner in uncanny fashion.

Laporte made the most of the expected ball in the box and Ricochet fell for Rodri to dodge the hapless Aaron Ramsdale.

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