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Played
December 14, 2013 12:45 PM GMT
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Atkinson‎
Attendance:‬ 47229‎
 
Theo Walcott 31′
39′ Negredo
Theo Walcott 63′
50′ Fernandinho
Per Mertesacker 90+4′
66′ David Silva
 
88′ Fernandinho
 
90+6′ (PG) Yaya Touré
 
Top of the Match
Fernandinho
Fernandinho
Manchester City FC
Fernandinho
Fernandinho
Manchester City FC
Flop of the Match
Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere
Arsenal
Monreal
Monreal
Arsenal

Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal: Pellegrini's side fire title warning in nine-goal thriller

An astonishing lunchtime game saw Theo Walcott score twice on his return to the starting XI but the hosts came out on top, while Sergio Aguero and Laurent Koscielny were injured

By Nicholas McGee

David Silva Pablo Zabaleta Yaya Toure Manchester City Arsenal Premier League
getty images
Manchester City boosted their hopes of regaining the Premier League title and dealt Arsenal's ambiitons a major blow with a 6-3 win on Saturday.

The 2011-12 champions went into the game six points adrift of Arsene Wenger's league leaders but moved within striking distance of the Londoners by claiming the spoils in an enthralling encounter.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for City, volleying home from a corner, only for the returning Theo Walcott to level midway through the first half.

Alvaro Negredo turned home Pablo Zabaleta's cross to put the hosts back in front and City looked to have made the game safe when Fernandinho scored his first goal for the club early in the second half.

FERNANDINHO STARS
PLAYER RATINGS: The Brazilian midfielder excelled with a double, writes Peter Staunton at the Etihad Stadium
England winger Walcott curled home a delightful second as Arsenal rallied, yet David Silva converted Jesus Navas's cross to make it 4-2 and Fernandinho struck again in the 88th minute.

An injury-time header from Per Mertesacker provided little consolation for the visitors, particularly as there was still time for Yaya Toure to add City's sixth from the penalty spot.

Walcott made his first start since September for Arsenal, while City manager Pellegrini once again preferred Costel Pantilimon to Joe Hart in goal.

The hosts started the stronger and were rewarded after 13 minutes when Aguero met Martin Demichelis's near-post flick-on from a corner with an acrobatic volley that flew past Wojciech Szczesny.

City's advantage was almost doubled seven minutes later when Negredo shot wide from Vincent Kompany's through-ball.

Despite offering little in response, Arsenal equalised after 31 minutes when Walcott finished a flowing move with a shot from the edge of the area that left Pantilimon flat-footed.

Negredo wasted a gilt-edged chance soon after but the Spain striker atoned for that miss when scoring from point-blank range in the 39th minute following good work from Toure and Zabaleta. To make matters worse for Arsenal, Laurent Koscielny sustained an injury as the Spaniard found the net and the defender was forced off, to be replaced by Thomas Vermaelen.

Aguero was also withdrawn through injury after the break but City grabbed a third when Fernandinho capitalised on sloppy Arsenal defending with a curled finish.

Wenger's men produced a determined response, Olivier Giroud heading wide before a penalty appeal for handball against Zabaleta went unanswered.

Walcott's exquisite second provided genuine hope for Arsenal but City were not to be denied and soon restored their two-goal advantage through Silva.

Wilshere forced Pantilimon into a fine save with a shot from distance but the midfielder was at fault for City's fifth as he conceded possession to allow Fernandinho to score his second.

That goal came with two minutes remaining, yet there was still time for Mertesacker to pull one back and Toure to finish from 12 yards after James Milner had been brought down by Szczesny.


Manchester City FC

30
Costel Pantilimon
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
Vincent Kompany
Defender
80′
3.50
5
Pablo Zabaleta
Defender
39′
4.00
22
Gael Clichy
Defender
3.00
26
3.00
8
Samir Nasri
Midfielder
88′ 90′
3.50
25
Fernandinho
Midfielder
50′ 88′
4.50
42
Yaya Touré
Midfielder
96′
3.50
21
David Silva
Midfielder
49′ 66′ 71′
4.00
9
Negredo
Striker
39′
4.00
16
3.50

Arsenal

2.00
1
2.50
3
3.00
4
2.50
6
1.50
17
Monreal
Defender
1.50
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
2.50
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
31′
2.00
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
63′
2.00
20
2.00
12
4.00
14

Substitutes

1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
 - 
6
 - 
13
 - 
7
James Milner
Midfielder
71′
3.00
14
Javi García
Midfielder
90′
 - 
15
4.00
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
21
2.00
5
 - 
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
 - 
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
 - 
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
2.00
23
2.50
44

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
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
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0