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Sunday December 18, 2011Manchester City 1 - 0 Arsenal

By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games

Manchester City got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Arsenal to reclaim their position at the top of the Premier League.

A fascinating encounter at the Etihad Stadium saw David Silva’s solitary goal secure the three points for Roberto Mancini’s men, with Micah playing the full game.

The tempo of the game started and finished at 100mph, Sergio Aguero missing a golden opportunity early doors as his fine touch was followed up by a misplaced shot that flew over the crossbar.

At the other end Gervinho went close after his low drive skewed its way under Joe Hart before going behind for a corner, whilst Mario Balotelli almost edged City in front with a shot from five yards that was well saved by Wjciech Szczesny.

You feared taking your eyes off the pitch for a second as both sides went at it, and City had a penalty shout turned away when Silva went down in the box having jinked his way past two defenders.

The Spaniard wasn’t, though, to be denied from two yards out minutes later. Balotelli cut inside and fired in a powerful drive that was saved by Szczesny, but the ball bounced up to Aguero who flicked on to Silva, and the midfielder hit the ball on the half-volley into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

Arsenal went on the immediate hunt for an equaliser, Theo Walcott drawing a fine save out of Joe Hart with a 30-yard effort, and another Aguero shot – this time from 10-yards – just missed its target.

As the game became increasingly stretched open space became even more abundant, and it should have been 2-0 to City as Samir Nasri raced through and only needed to pick out one of three team-mates with a simple cut back, only to over-hit his pass and miss them all.

At the other end Robin Van Persie – an increasing presence – forced Hart into another fine stop from close range, whilst Arsenal had a strong penalty claim turned down when the ball struck Micah’s arm.

The right-back then made his presence felt at the other end as he burst into the box superbly only for his final ball to miss the two City players that had broken into the box, and a Thomas Vermaelen shot from 30-yards out following a free-kick for the Gunners was tipped over by Hart.

With full-time approaching Vermaelen again went close as his 25-yard effort curled just wide of Hart’s right-hand post, and the whistle was blown to hand City the three points.

Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Toure, Zabaleta, Barry, Toure Yaya, Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Milner, Dzeko, Johnson, Savic, De Jong.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Arshavin, Frimpong, Chamakh, Benayoun, Miquel.