Arsenal 1-2 Man City: Rodri’s injury-time strike extends winning run despite strong Gunners display

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 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Rodri’s stoppage-time strike dealt Arsenal a cruel blow as Man City secured a late 2-1 win at the Emirates.

The Gunners’ exciting young talent shone in attack as they took the lead through Bukayo Saka in the first-half, causing City plenty of problems both in and out of possession.

Riyad Mahrez’s penalty levelled things up after the break and minutes later Gabriel was shown a yellow-card as things fell apart for Arsenal.

It looks like the hosts would hold on for a point, but a 93rd-minute winner from Rodri extended City’s run to 11 straight wins in the Premier League as they moved 11 points clear at the top.

Mikel Arteta was watching on from home after a positive Covid test during the week, and he would have been delighted with what he saw in the opening 45 minutes.

City had some dangerous early moments, particularly when Ruben Dias flicked a header just wide, but the Gunners then started to take control of the match. They were perhaps unfortunate not to get a penalty, when Ederson seemingly brought down Martin Odegaard, but VAR did not overturn the referee’s decision to wave the appeals away.

Thomas Partey, who was brilliant in midfield all match, set Gabriel Martinelli away and the Brazilian’s effort was saved at the near post.

But Arsenal got their lead on the half hour mark. It was well worked out to the left wing, where Kieran Tierney had space to bring it forward. He played it into the box, where Saka was on hand to sweep it past Ederson and give the Gunners a deserved lead.

Martinelli continued to be a constant threat and he went close twice more, first from a curling shot from range and then when he fired just wide after a wonderful run from deep, as Arsenal went into the break ahead.

The match turned around in an astonishing few second-half minutes. Bernardo Silva went down in the box under a challenge from Granit Xhaka, with the referee not giving the penalty.

But VAR told him to look at the monitor, and he overturned the decision. Gabriel was booked for the Gunners as he scuffed up the penalty spot, and it had no impact on Mahrez who fired home the spot-kick.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Almost straight from the restart Arsenal nearly took the lead, but Nathan Ake slid in to hook it off the line. The rebound fell to Martinelli, who somehow fired wide with the goal gaping from a few yards.

And seconds later, Arsenal were down to ten. Gabriel brought down Gabriel Jesus on the halfway line and he was shown a second yellow card, leaving the Gunners to play 30 minutes a man short.

Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny were introduced, as Arsenal tried to hold on for a point in what was an increasingly fractious atmosphere with the home fans furious at a number of decisions made by the officials.

Joao Cancelo and Aymeric Laporte both fired over from range, with the Gunners doing a good job of restricting any space for the City players.

But the home fans were left heartbroken in injury time, as a blocked shot in the box fell to Rodri and he poked past Ramsdale to get 2022 off to a breathless start in the Premier League.

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