An inspired substitution in Gabriel Martinelli managed to get the last-minute winner to give Arsenal a 1-0 victory over champions, Manchester City. The Gunners are now level on points with their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspurs at the top of the Premier League.
Prior to the match, Arsenal have never been able to get the better of City in the league since 2015 which amounts to 15 games and their longest winless streak against a single opponent in the league’s history.
READ MORE: Liverpool Fail to Get to Second After 2-2 Draw Against Brighton; Newcastle United Level With West Ham – News18
Ending such a barren run looked unlikely as City had the better of the chances in the first half, with Arsenal’s Declan Rice clearing off the line to keep the champions at bay.
Arsenal did not have a single shot on target in the opening period, but upped the tempo after the break, even though City still created the better openings despite their Premier League top scorer Erling Haaland being kept quiet all afternoon.
The game appeared to be edging towards a stalemate before Martinelli struck four minutes from time, a deflection off City defender Nathan Ake taking the ball past keeper Ederson.
The goal sparked wild celebrations at the Emirates, as Arsenal moved above City into second place on 20 points, two above the champions, and trailing Spurs only on goals scored.
Arsenal were dealt a huge blow ahead of kickoff as it was confirmed the injured Bukayo Saka would miss a Premier League game for the first time since May 2021, ending a run of 87 consecutive appearances, the longest ongoing run in the competition.
READ MORE: Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter Criticises Decision To Host 2030 World Cup in Six Countries – News18
Without the flying forward, Arsenal looked sluggish early on, with Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol denied by Rice’s intervention, while Julian Alvarez almost diverted Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya’s hesitant clearance into the net.
The crowd were doing their best to rouse a response from Arsenal, cheering every flying tackle with gusto and it seemed to help matters, with the hosts growing into the contest.
Promising openings fell flat, however, as Arsenal failed to have a shot on target in the opening half of a Premier League home game for the first time since March 2022.
Martinelli’s introduction livened things up, as he soon had the home side’s first effort on target in the match, a fierce strike straight at Ederson.
With the international break to follow, the life seemed to be sucked out of the game before Martinelli broke City’s hearts.
It was a timely strike, ensuring Arsenal are yet to lose a Premier League game this season, last going on a longer unbeaten run to start a campaign in 2007-08.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Reuters)