FIXTURE HISTORY: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Arsenal come to town on Sunday for what is another ‘must win’ game for City in order to keep within striking distance of the leading pack.

Unfortunately, the Blues’ Premier League track record against the Gunners makes grim reading to say the least. Just six wins in 38 meetings with the north London outfit and a miserable 23 defeats leaves a lot to be desired.

In fact, it took 19 attempts to register our first Premier League victory over Arsene Wenger’s side – a 1-0 home victory on 26 August 2006, courtesy of Joey Barton’s penalty four minutes before half-time.

Since then, things have been slightly more even between the two clubs with City claiming five wins and Arsenal eight in 19 outings. The Gunners just shade the goals scored statistic too, with 28 for and 26 against.

City haven’t beaten Wenger’s men since the 6-3 hammering on 14 December 2013 in the last title winning campaign. It was a statement of intent from Manuel Pellegrini’s men, who were third at the time and brought the league leaders back to earth with a resounding bump.

Goals from Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, David Silva, Yaya Toure and a brace from Fernandinho helped City to their biggest win over Arsenal since 2 November 1912 when Ernest Mangnall’s side recorded a 4-0 victory over Woolwich Arsenal at the Manor Ground in Plumstead. The Gunners finished bottom of Division One that season with just three wins while City finished sixth, ten points behind champions Sunderland (their fifth title).

However, perhaps the most memorable meeting between the two sides in recent years was on 12 September 2009 – famous for Emmanuel Adebayor’s rather spirited celebration. With Mark Hughes’ team 2-1 up heading into the final ten minutes, the Togolese striker nodded home Shaun Wright-Phillips’ pin-point cross before sprinting the length of the pitch to well and truly rub the travelling supporters’ noses in it.

The 4-2 victory saw City climb to third in the table while Arsenal dropped to eighth, but the Gunners finished eight points and two places clear of the Blues at the end of May.

City have come a long way since the drubbings of the early 00s. Back-to-back defeats at Maine Road on 11 April 2001 and 22 February 2003 – either side of a season outside the top flight – saw the Blues ship nine goals and score just once against Wenger’s side.

Those were the days when Arsenal would blow City out of the water in the opening stages, with the Gunners 4-0 up at the interval on both occasions.

Sunday’s clash is too close to call: both sides are unpredictable and suffer from inconsistency. But, one thing is for certain, it’s bound to be a thriller from start to finish…if recent history tells us anything.

Written by Chris Wildgoose

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PLAYER RATINGS: Manchester City 2-0 Watford

PLAYER IN FOCUS: Claudio Bravo

HALCYON DIGEST: Watford, September 1982 – Bobby McDonald goes in goal

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