By William Wood | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City held on for a point away at Arsenal as the much-anticipated clash ended 0-0 at the Emirates, with Micah playing the full 90 minutes.
Five changes were made to City’s side by Roberto Mancini, with Micah coming in at right-back, and the fresh legs had to be on red alert as Jack Wilshere and co cut through the defence only for the ball to evade Robin Van Persie by inches.
The visitors responded immediately and in a carbon copy chance, James Milner scythed the ball just wide, and Wilshere’s powerful drive a minute later was kept out by Joe Hart.
The Arsenal fans thought they had a goal to cheer as fine footwork by Van Persie opened things up only for his shot to rebound off the post, whilst a scramble seconds after saw Wilshere again force Hart into a solid stop.
More nice interchange by the Gunners saw Van Persie released Wilshere who in turn picked out Theo Walcott, but the England international’s shot missed its target by a few yards.
The hosts went even closer with the best chance of the game shortly after, Samir Nasri doing well to get the ball in to the box and to the feet of Cesc Fabregas who struck the woodwork, and when the ball rebounded to Walcott – offside as it turned out – he too hit the post.
City were solid if unspectacular, defending well without offering as much going forward, and their efforts continued into the second half as Pablo Zabaleta tracked Walcott’s run and slid in superbly to deny the forward.
With his opponents sitting deep, Van Persie took to striking from range, firing in an inch-perfect drive from 30-yards which Hart saved brilliantly at full stretch.
The rhythm of the game was beginning to peter out due to City’s ongoing efforts in defence and the Gunner’ inability to find a way through, nd tensions boiled over with 10 minutes remaining as Bacary Sagna and Zabaleta clashed on the touchline.
What looked like an innocuous coming together turned into a head-to-head confrontation, and with both players adjudged to have acted out of line, the referee showed the pair a red card apiece to make it 10-vs-10.
The final chance of the game came Van Persie’s way via a free-kick from 30-yards and despite his best effort in whipping the ball in on goal, Hart was more than equal to it and punched the ball clear. As it was, both sides had to settle for a point which ensured their positions as second and third respectively, whilst Manchester United will be satisfied with the evening’s events.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, van Persie. Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Denilson, Squillaci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Toure, Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Toure Yaya, Milner, Tevez, Jo. Subs: Given, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Boateng, Lescott, Vieira