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Manchester City vs Arsenal. Premier League.

Etihad StadiumAttendance54,425.

Manchester City 2

  • S Agüero (8th minute)
  • K De Bruyne (51st minute)

Arsenal 2

  • O Giroud (10th minute)
  • A Sánchez (68th minute)

Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez leaves City top four hopes in doubt

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud (R) celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match
Image: Olivier Giroud (right) celebrates after scoring at the Etihad

Manchester City's top-four chances are in the balance after they twice gave up a lead to draw 2-2 with Arsenal.

Sergio Aguero put City ahead in the eighth minute but Olivier Giroud quickly levelled when he headed home from a corner.

Kevin de Bruyne made it 2-1 early in the second half with a fine individual effort, only for Alexis Sanchez to fire in an equaliser from the edge of the box.

Wilfried Bony almost restored City's lead when he volleyed against the bar but there was to be no late winner in Manuel Pellegrini's last game in charge at the Etihad.

Olivier Giroud equalises for Arsenal after Sergio Aguero's opener for Manchester City
Image: Giroud heads in the equaliser for Arsenal

While the draw means Arsenal need just a point on the final weekend to secure a top-four finish, City are in danger of being without Champions League football in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge.

Manchester United could move a point above their rivals into fourth if they win their game in hand at West Ham in midweek. United then host Bournemouth in their last fixture while City go to Swansea.

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho was disappointed not to beat Arsenal after twice taking the lead in the game

Having been criticised for their limp display against Real Madrid in midweek, City started with much more purpose and intensity at the Etihad.

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They were rewarded in the eighth minute as Fernandinho headed down for Aguero, who took a touch and then fired into the bottom corner.

But City then shot themselves in the foot. Gael Clichy's back header to Joe Hart was misdirected and just drifted past the post, giving Arsenal a corner, from which Giroud headed home from 10 yards out.

Manuel Pellegrini said goodbye to the Manchester City fans after his last home game as their manager

While City soon reasserted their control of the contest, they could not re-establish their lead before the break.

Aguero saw a well-hit shot deflected over before Danny Welbeck was forced off with an injury Arsene Wenger later admitted was worrying and replaced by Jack Wilshere.

Arsenal, with Mesut Ozil not involved due to a hip injury, offered little by way of attacking threat and at the half-time whistle had managed just one effort on goal.

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck lays injured during the Barclays Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Image: Arsenal's Danny Welbeck was forced off with an injury

City started strongly after the break and restored their lead in the 51st minute when De Bruyne carried the ball from just inside the Arsenal half to the edge of the box, where he fired a low shot past Petr Cech at his near post.

Kelechi Iheanacho spurned a decent chance for a third when he side-footed tamely wide with Aguero and Jesus Navas in good supporting positions.

The introduction of Theo Walcott gave Arsenal added impetus and they equalised in the 68th minute.

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After Walcott chipped wide after being played in on goal, Giroud teed up Sanchez on the edge of the area and the Chilean finished past Hart.

City looked for another response and went close as Cech tipped over a free-kick from De Bruyne and Aguero volleyed across goal.

The closest they came was in the 88th minute when Bony volleyed against the bar, but Arsenal held out to take a share of the spoils.

Player ratings

Manchester City: Hart (6), Sagna (6), Mangala (6), Otamendi (7), Clichy (6), Fernandinho (7), Fernando (6), Navas (6), De Bruyne (7), Iheanacho (5), Aguero (7).

Subs: Sterling (5), Toure (5), Bony (5).

Arsenal: Cech (5), Bellerin (6), Gabriel (6), Koscielny (6), Monreal (6), Elneny (6), Ramsey (6), Iwobi (5), Welbeck (5), Sanchez (7), Giroud (7).

Subs: Wilshere (6), Walcott (6), Coquelin (5).

Man of the match: Fernandinho

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