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Played
December 18, 2011 11:10 AM EST
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ P. Dowd‎
Attendance:‬ 47303‎
 
53′ David Silva
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

Goalscorer David Silva and Mario Balotelli impressed once again for the hosts as they move back to the top of the table while Alex Song struggled at the Etihad Stadium

By Jonathan Birchall at Etihad Stadium

  • Joe Hart
    105
    46
    3.50

    Joe Hart

    The England keeper was typically vocal throughout and did well when called upon. Got down well for Gervinho's first-half snap shot but was given a relatively comfortable afternoon. Pulled off a fine injury-time save to deny Vermaelen and secure the points.

  • Micah Richards
    49
    49
    3.50

    Micah Richards

    Returned to the City line-up after missing his side's visit to Stamford Bridge with a calf injury and didn't show any signs of rustiness and played in Balotelli with an excellent cross after powering down the right.

  • Vincent Kompany
    52
    52
    3.50

    Vincent Kompany

    Looked sharp from the off, beating Walcott for pace on the seventh minute with the England winger threatening down the left. Simply didn't put a foot wrong at the Etihad.

  • Pablo Zabaleta
    56
    49
    3.50

    Pablo Zabaleta

    The 26-year-old switched flanks after starting at right-back in City's loss to Chelsea and started superbly, delivering an inch perfect ball to Aguero, only for the striker to blaze over from a matter of yards. Hit the post with an unstoppable effort and always looked dangerous.

  • Kolo Toure
    45
    56
    3.00

    Kolo Toure

    Came up against his former club and kept it neat and tidy alongside the more dynamic Kompany. Did lunge in with one clumsy tackle in the area but just about won the ball. Did his chances of a regular first-team spot no harm at all.

  • Gareth Barry
    33
    62
    3.50

    Gareth Barry

    Dictated the game in the early exchanges, starting a couple of City counter-attacks after breaking up the visitors' play. Faultless distribution by the 30-year-old, though he was backed for a poor tackle from behind on Arteta.

  • Samir Nasri
    57
    74
    3.50

    Samir Nasri

    Faced a torrent of abuse from his former fans throughout the afternoon but appeared unaffected, causing Mertesacker and Djourou all sorts of problems with some confident forays down the left wing. Could have doubled his side's lead shortly after the opener but elected to pass the ball rather than shoot and wasted the chance. Subbed off late on.

  • David Silva
    99
    49
    3.50

    David Silva

    Was described as a star by compatriot and counterpart Mikel Arteta in the build-up to the clash and fulfilled the description yet again. Maintained possession, probed the Arsenal back-line and was in the right place at the right time to convert City's opener from no distance. A class act, yet again.

  • Yaya Touré
    40
    59
    3.00

    Yaya Touré

    Wasted a fine opportunity on the half hour mark by electing to chip a ball through to his striker's when he had plenty of options out wide. Otherwise it was a typically powerful showing from the Ivorian, with some direct running through the middle. Replaced by De Jong with five minutes remaining.

  • Sergio Agüero
    59
    84
    3.00

    Sergio Agüero

    The former Atletico Madrid man was wasteful early on, smashing a half volley over from close range before hesitating in front of Szczesny. Saw a rasping left-footed effort fly wide on the hour mark. A fine performance but just not quite Aguero's day in front of goal.

  • Mario Balotelli
    126
    175
    4.00

    Mario Balotelli Top of the Match

    Was in the mood from the opening minute and set up Aguero with a superb through ball on the 10th. Was denied from a couple of yards out by the alert Szczesny after controlling the ball and getting a shot away in one movement. Got the shot away that led to City's goal and possibly deserved one himself.

Substitutions

  • James Milner
    31
    45
    3.00

    James Milner

    Replaced Balotelli with just over a quarter of an hour remaining and kept City ticking along with some neat passing.

  • Nigel De Jong
    31
    47
    0.00

    Nigel De Jong

    Came on with five minutes to go and helped City tighten up in midfield.

  • Edin Dzeko
    111
    39
    0.00

    Edin Dzeko

    Made a cameo appearance late on but didn't have enough time to shine for the hosts.

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    223
    16
    3.50

    Wojciech Szczesny

    The young Pole exuded confidence early on, pulling off a cheeky flick after four minutes with Balotelli closing him down and frustrated the Italian again 20 minutes later after getting down sharply to block his point-blank effort. Could do little about City's opener.

  • Per Mertesacker
    65
    48
    2.50

    Per Mertesacker

    Didn't really convince on the right side of the defence as the hosts broke down the left flank at will when Djourou moved upfield. Couldn't keep up with the home side's pace and went to ground far too often.

  • Thomas Vermaelen
    121
    23
    3.00

    Thomas Vermaelen

    The Belgium international was solid but rarely ventured forward with any great vigour as the Gunners looked short on options down the left wing. Did well against Richards but looked more comfortable after moving in-field following Miquel's introduction and pulled a fine save out of Hart late on and hit another fine effort wide.

  • Laurent Koscielny
    91
    26
    3.00

    Laurent Koscielny

    Was hesitant in an early tackle on Aguero early in the game but grew into the game and worked hard to quell the threat of Balotelli and Aguero. Got caught too high up-field for Silva's goal but was otherwise very solid.

  • Johan Djourou
    41
    53
    3.00

    Johan Djourou

    Left Mertesacker isolated with some breaks forward but worked hard in tracking back. Looked to be moving a little cautiously shortly after the break and was swiftly replaced by Miquel.

  • Mikel Arteta
    80
    27
    3.00

    Mikel Arteta

    Sat fairly deep in the opening 20 minutes and looked to be the catalyst for Arsenal's movement going forward. Showed some classy touches but lacked the dynamism required to push his side forward.

  • Aaron Ramsey
    59
    43
    3.00

    Aaron Ramsey

    Kept hold of the ball and spread the play to the flanks when required in the first half but struggled to gain a foothold in the second. A methodical midfield display from the young Welshman.

  • Alex Song
    73
    107
    2.50

    Alex Song

    Possibly should have been booked early on after bringing down a galloping Richards and was caught in possession on the 22nd minute in a move that nearly led to a City goal. Let Balotelli past far too easily for City's opener on a disappointing day for the hitherto in-form midfielder.

  • Robin van Persie
    100
    46
    3.00

    Robin van Persie

    David Silva may have insisted that his side weren’t obsessed with the Dutchman but he was near enough marked out of the game for the opening 45 minutes. Struggled for goalmouth action and was called for offside when he did eventually put the ball in the net early in the second half. Worked hard but struggled for service.

  • Theo Walcott
    54
    74
    2.50

    Theo Walcott

    Looked to get on the ball early on but was left frustrated by the powerful Kompany. Appeared low on confidence for much of the game and gave the ball away on numerous occasions. Subbed off with 20 minutes remaining after a disappointing display.

  • Gervinho
    102
    27
    3.00

    Gervinho

    Made some dangerous early runs and got a good shot away shortly after the quarter hour mark. Constantly looked to turn defence into attack with some breaks down the left but was often let down by his end product. A tireless effort.

Substitutions

  • Miquel
    70
    39
    3.00

    Miquel

    Replaced Djourou shortly after half-time and slotted in at left-back. Never looked fazed as the home side ploughed forward and positioned himself intelligently.

  • Andrey Arshavin
    32
    113
    3.00

    Andrey Arshavin

    Came on for Walcott in the second half but did little to inspire his side off the bench.

  • Marouane Chamakh
    47
    57
    0.00

    Marouane Chamakh

    Brought on with nine minutes remaining as the visitors chased an equaliser but added little threat.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0