Arsenal came from a goal down twice in the game against Manchester City to clinch important away point which pretty much ensure their top 4 status with one game left to play. City on the other hand has handed initiative to United who can take the fourth place by winning their remaining two games. Not the way Pelligrini was hoping to end his 3 year tenure as City manager.
Third and fourth placed teams in premier League went head to head at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon and it turned out to be a superb game of football. Manchester City took the early lead against Arsenal through their top scorer Sergio Aguero but Olivier Giroud scored minutes later to make it 1-1. It was the first goal for Giroud in several months as he broke his goalless streak. After the break game followed similar pattern with City taking the lead through De Bruyne and Arsenal equalizing against through Alexis Sanchez to make it 2-2 on the day.
Match Highlights: (English, 10 minutes)
Absolute scintillating start to premier league game between City and Arsenal saw Sergio Aguero and Olivier Giroud scoring for their respective teams in their bid to keep their champions league qualifications in their own hands by finishing in top 4.
Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal Highlights
[Premier League, Sunday, 08 May 2016 ]
08′ 1 – 0 Sergio Aguero scored his 26th league of the season in 8th mintue against Arsenal to put City in front.
10′ 1 – 1 Olivier Giroud made sure City’s early lead was short lived as he equalized minutes later.
52′ 2 – 1 Kevin de Bruyne
68′ 2 – 2 Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal are currently third with 67 points while City are fourth with 64 points a if City drop points against Arsenal they will hand the initiative to both Manchester United and West Ham who are 4 and 5 points behind City with a game in hand.
Manchester City vs Arsenal
Date: Sunday, 08 May 2016 – Kickoff: 16:00 uk time
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
TV Channels: SkySports 1 HD (UK), NBCSN (US)
Both City and Arsenal can secure champions league football next season if United and West Ham fail to win their games on Saturday. Finishing third in the league also matters as third place team go straight into the champions league group stage while fourth place will have contest playoffs in late august and both teams will be looking to avoid such fate and that kind of give this game added incentive for the winner.
Arsenal’s win or draw will ensure them a third place finish while City win against Arsenal will leave both side needing just a point to confirm their qualification. As far as the team news is concerned, Arsenal will be without Oxlade-Chamberlain and Per Mertesacker while Manchester City will be without the likes of Kompany, David Silva, Zabaleta and Kolarov.
This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Sunday, 08 May. Confirmed lineups will be made available 1 hour ahead of the kickoff.
Match Predictions: Last time these two meet was back in december at Emirates Stadium and it was a superb 2-1 win for Arsenal with two first half goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud ensured three points. Man City got knocked out of the champions league in the hands of Real Madrid in midweek and struggling with injuries has a massive task of getting something of this game. A defeat will put a bid dent of City season and with Pep Guardiola coming in as manager next season he won’t be happy with Europa League place and Manuel Pelligrini won’t care where City finishes now. I am going with another 2-1 win for Arsenal in this one.