2 Jan 2022

Manchester City make it 11 straight in EPL

8:48 am on 2 January 2022

A stoppage-time goal from midfielder Rodri gave Premier League leaders Manchester City a 2-1 win at Arsenal as the home side finished a thrilling encounter with 10 men following the sending-off of defender Gabriel.

Manchester City players Rodri and Nathan Ake.


Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta missed the game due to a positive Covid-19 test, but his side cast aside any lingering memories of their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of City in August as they pressed high up the pitch from the first whistle.

Their early pressure looked to have paid dividends when playmaker Martin Odegaard was upended in the box by goalkeeper Ederson, but neither the referee nor VAR deemed the challenge worth of a penalty.

The Gunners eventually took a deserved lead in the 31st minute when Bukayo Saka finished a sweeping move by rifling home Kieran Tierney's pass, and they closed out the first half without allowing City a single shot on target.

Seeking their 11th Premier League win in a row, City were not prepared to give up and they flipped the script in the second half to claw their way back into the game.

The visitors levelled from the spot through Riyad Mahrez early in the second half when Granit Xhaka was adjudged to have fouled Bernardo Silva in the box after a VAR review.

Gabriel Martinelli missed a glorious chance to put Arsenal back in the lead moments later before Gabriel was sent off for his second yellow card, picked up for a foul on Gabriel Jesus.

Arsenal held their shape but they failed to deal with a high ball into the box in stoppage time and it fell to Rodri, who drilled it home to grab all three points with only their second effort on target in the game.

The win extends City's lead over Chelsea, who take on third-placed Liverpool on Monday (NZ time), to 11 points, while Arsenal are fourth on 35 points.

Meanwhile West Ham United began the new year in the same manner as they saw out the last, with an impressive away victory as they beat Crystal Palace 3-2.

Manuel Lanzini scored twice at Selhurst Park, before a late rally from the home side with two late goals, as fifth-placed West Ham moved within a point of fourth-placed Arsenal.

West Ham were on 34 points, one more than Tottenham Hotspur and three ahead of Manchester United, although both those teams have two games in hand.

Earlier, Tottenham's top-four ambitions received a boost as defender Davinson Sanchez proved an unlikely match-winner deep into stoppage time to hand his side a 1-0 win at struggling Watford.

The visitors had looked like being frustrated for the second match in succession but Sanchez broke the deadlock in the sixth minute of time added on.

The game was halted for several minutes late on while a fan was given medical attention and in the resulting added time Sanchez denied Watford a first league clean sheet of the season.

- Reuters