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Page last updated at 21:41 GMT, Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Arsenal   0 - 0   Man City

Arsenal's Samir Nasri is crowded out by Man City players
Nasri fails to break Man City down as they keep a third successive clean sheet

By Jonathan Stevenson

Arsenal failed to break down a stubborn Manchester City side at the Emirates as both sides missed the chance to put pressure on leaders Manchester United.

The Gunners, third in the Premier League, were the better team throughout but Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott all struck the post.

Walcott felt he should have had a penalty and Van Persie forced a stunning save from keeper Joe Hart.

Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta were sent off after a late confrontation.

It was a disappointing way for the game to finish, with Sagna guilty of leaning his head in towards Zabaleta's after a challenge by the touchline, though what the Argentine did to warrant a dismissal is anyone's guess.

Wenger proud of Arsenal display

Arsenal will be the more frustrated of the teams as the result keeps City second, two points behind United having played two games more, while the Gunners are four points behind having played once more than the leaders.

A goalless draw seemed an unlikely outcome when the game started at a stunning pace as Arsenal, keen to establish themselves as United's principal challengers this season, stormed out of the blocks in thrilling fashion.

They tore into a stunned City and there was only a minute on the clock when Samir Nasri slipped Jack Wilshere into the area, the 19-year-old's left-foot pass to the far post agonisingly evading a lunging Van Persie.

City responded immediately with a lightning-quick counter-attack as the template for the game was set; James Milner collected a Yaya Toure pass on the right-hand side of the box, but the midfielder wastefully lashed his shot wide of the far post.

With Carlos Tevez chasing down every lost cause like his life depended on it, City always had an out ball but Arsenal had such a monopoly on possession that they barely had to give thought even to the Argentine.

606: DEBATE
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As the Gunners attacked in unrelenting waves of red the opportunities started to fall their way, as the outstanding Wilshere fired at Hart and then Van Persie jinked into space only to see his arrow-like 18-yard left-foot rocket shot cannon back off the base of Hart's right-hand post.

Wilshere had another shot saved low down by Hart as City struggled to keep up with Arsenal's flowing forward play, the home team always appeared to be one step ahead as City boss Roberto Mancini showed his annoyance by remonstrating with his players on the touchline.

Walcott dragged another presentable chance wide before Arsenal - who by this stage must have thought they were cursed - hit the woodwork twice in succession as Cesc Fabregas rifled against the inside of Hart's right-hand post from the edge of the box before Walcott hammered the rebound high up against the other upright.

City were never more than one clever break away from going ahead against the run of play and Tevez volleyed wide from 20 yards out after one such move that threatened to catch the visitors out, but that merely provided the visiting defenders with a momentary respite from their exertions.

Important not to lose - Mancini

Walcott thought he should have had a penalty when his cross appeared to strike the arm of Vincent Kompany and, either side of the break, Van Persie forced Hart to save one shot and fired another wide as City's goal continued to lead a charmed life.

England number one Hart produced a magnificent moment to deny Van Persie once more just after the hour mark, leaping across his goal to fingertip the Dutchman's crashing 25-yard, top corner-bound drive away.

City sent on Adam Johnson for the ineffective Jo and the Englishman at least gave notice that he wanted to run at the Arsenal defence, but his team-mates had been run into the ground by then and no-one could get up in support of the winger.

As injury time approached, Zabaleta slid in on Sagna and the Frenchman reacted furiously, leaning his head into the left-back in similar fashion to Younes Kaboul when the Spurs man was sent off against Newcastle last week.

It was surprising to see referee Mike Jones flash his red card in the direction of Zabaleta as well as Sagna, but perhaps it was a fittingly frustrating end to a game which never quite adequately came to life.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 0-0 Man City FT
(HT 0-0)

      Arsenal

      Substitutes

      Man City

      Substitutes

      Ref: JonesAtt: 60,085
      ARSENAL
      MAN CITY

      Possession

      • Arsenal 61%
      • Man City 39%

      Attempts on target

      • Arsenal 8
      • Man City 0

      Attempts off target

      • Arsenal 5
      • Man City 5

      Corners

      • Arsenal 7
      • Man City 2

      Fouls

      • Arsenal 6
      • Man City 13
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+4:58 The referee blows for the end of the match.
      • 90:00+3:36 Foul by Vincent Kompany on Francesc Fabregas, free kick awarded. Robin van Persie fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Joe Hart.
      • 90:00+2:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Johnson on Johan Djourou. Direct free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
      • Correction - 89:53 Substitution Jerome Boateng comes on in place of Carlos Tevez.
      • 89:53 Substitution Jerome Boateng comes on in place of Vincent Kompany.
      • 89:35 Sent off Bacary Sagna sent from the field by the ref for violent conduct.
      • 89:02 Sent off Pablo Zabaleta is sent off by the referee.
      • 87:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy by Micah Richards. Gael Clichy takes the direct free kick.
      • 87:04 The official flags James Milner offside. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
      • 86:19 Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Andrey Arshavin results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
      • 85:14 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
      • 83:20 Unfair challenge on Francesc Fabregas by Vincent Kompany results in a free kick. Robin van Persie takes the free kick.
      • 80:53 Substitution Nicklas Bendtner joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jack Wilshere.
      • 75:09 Adam Johnson is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
      • 74:24 Laurent Koscielny gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez. Micah Richards takes the free kick.
      • 73:42 The referee blows for offside against James Milner. Free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
      • 70:30 Samir Nasri takes a shot. Blocked by Kolo Toure.
      • 67:59 Substitution Andrey Arshavin is brought on as a substitute for Theo Walcott.
      • 67:03 Close range headed effort by Gnegneri Toure Yaya misses to the right of the goal.
      • 66:43 Inswinging corner taken by Adam Johnson from the right by-line, clearance made by Bacary Sagna.
      • 66:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Laurent Koscielny. Direct free kick taken by Carlos Tevez.
      • 63:52 Substitution Adam Johnson comes on in place of Joao Alves Jo.
      • 60:44 Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line played to the near post, Carlos Tevez makes a clearance.
      • 60:28 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
      • 58:24 Unfair challenge on Alex Song by James Milner results in a free kick. Lukasz Fabianski takes the direct free kick.
      • 54:09 Shot from close range by Robin van Persie misses to the right of the target.
      • 53:58 Corner taken short by Robin van Persie.
      • 53:21 Francesc Fabregas takes a short corner.
      • 48:59 Robin van Persie produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.
      • 48:00 The official flags Samir Nasri offside. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
      • 47:35 Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line played to the near post, save by Joe Hart.
      • 45:01 The second half has started.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+2:04 The first half comes to an end.
      • 44:18 Carlos Tevez has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.
      • 41:44 Short corner taken by Robin van Persie.
      • 41:32 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Blocked by Nigel De Jong.
      • 39:31 Foul by Gnegneri Toure Yaya on Alex Song, free kick awarded. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
      • 38:52 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
      • 38:32 Short corner worked by Robin van Persie.
      • 38:20 Short corner worked by Robin van Persie.
      • 36:27 Foul by Micah Richards on Gael Clichy, free kick awarded. Gael Clichy takes the free kick.
      • 35:50 Foul by Carlos Tevez on Bacary Sagna, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Johan Djourou.
      • 33:05 Carlos Tevez produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
      • 29:53 Theo Walcott is ruled offside. Joe Hart takes the indirect free kick.
      • 28:54 Foul by Nigel De Jong on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Johan Djourou.
      • 28:54 Booking The referee shows Nigel De Jong a yellow card.
      • 27:41 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
      • 27:22 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot from a just insdie the box and hits the post.
      • 26:27 Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry, clearance made by Johan Djourou.
      • 25:25 James Milner fouled by Samir Nasri, the ref awards a free kick. Centre by Gareth Barry, Shot by Carlos Tevez. Clearance made by Alex Song.
      • 23:10 Effort from the edge of the box by Theo Walcott goes wide of the left-hand post.
      • 22:35 Gareth Barry challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Robin van Persie restarts play with the free kick.
      • 20:17 Unfair challenge on Bacary Sagna by Nigel De Jong results in a free kick. Bacary Sagna restarts play with the free kick.
      • 20:17 Booking The referee shows Gareth Barry a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
      • 16:49 Francesc Fabregas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Free kick taken by Micah Richards.
      • 16:25 The referee blows for offside against Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Johan Djourou.
      • 14:46 Joao Alves Jo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Robin van Persie. Free kick crossed left-footed by Robin van Persie.
      • 9:34 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
      • 9:05 Theo Walcott takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.
      • 8:07 Robin van Persie has an effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that bounces off the post.
      • 5:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Francesc Fabregas on Kolo Toure. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
      • 3:10 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
      • 2:13 Foul by Joao Alves Jo on Bacary Sagna, free kick awarded. Bacary Sagna restarts play with the free kick.
      • 1:36 James Milner has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
      • 0:00 The match gets underway.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Barclays Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 5 Jan 2011 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Man Utd 20 24 44
      2 Man City 22 17 42
      3 Arsenal 21 20 40
      4 Tottenham 21 6 36
      5 Chelsea 21 17 35
      6 Sunderland 22 3 33
      7 Bolton 22 5 30
      8 Newcastle 21 3 28
      9 Blackburn 22 -6 28
      10 Stoke 21 0 27
      11 Everton 21 -2 25
      12 Liverpool 20 -3 25
      13 Blackpool 19 -5 25
      14 Fulham 21 -2 22
      15 Birmingham 20 -5 22
      16 West Brom 21 -13 22
      17 Wolves 21 -13 21
      18 Aston Villa 21 -15 21
      19 Wigan 21 -15 21
      20 West Ham 22 -16 20

      see also
      Premier League as it happened
      05 Jan 11 |  Football
      Wednesday's football photos
      05 Jan 11 |  Football
      Wenger proud of Arsenal display
      05 Jan 11 |  Arsenal
      Important not to lose - Mancini
      05 Jan 11 |  Man City



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