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Thursday, July 29, 2021

As Premier League returns, a look back at five Arsenal vs Manchester City clashes

Premier League 2020: What makes it particularly intriguing this time around is the battle on the managerial front, between City’s Pep Guardiola and his disciple, Mikel Arteta.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 16, 2020 4:24:12 pm
Arsenal vs Manchester City, Arsenal vs Manchester City best clashes, Premier League 2020 schedule, Arsenal vs Manchester City battles, best Arsenal vs Manchester City matches Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action with Manchester City’s Kyle Walker (Source: Reuters)

The 2019/20 Premier League season is all set to resume behind closed doors from June 17, provided all necessary safety requirements are met within the stadiums. The provisional schedule released by the league lists Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Arsenal vs Manchester City among the first games to take place.

Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City, originally scheduled for 12 March was postponed due to City’s involvement in the Carabao Cup. Although Arsenal has traditionally had strong rivalries with clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Manchester United, City’s rise to the top in the last decade has led to significant interest in this fixture. What makes it particularly intriguing this time around is the battle on the managerial front, between City’s Pep Guardiola and his disciple, Mikel Arteta, who is now managing Arsenal.

Manchester City (6-3) Arsenal, Premier League, December 2013

Pellegrini’s City thrashed then league-leaders Arsenal in an emphatic display of skill and precision at the Etihad during the 2013-14 season. The nine-goal thriller witnessed goals form six different City players, while Theo Walcott’s brace and Per Mertesacker’s late goal brought down the margin of defeat for Arsenal. The match is particularly special because other than being one of Arsenal’s worst defeats against City, it acted as a statement against all other teams that City meant business. This clash is also seen as a catalyst for City’s eventual successful run to the 2013-14 championship.

Arsenal (2-1) Manchester City, FA Cup Semi-Final, April 2017

Wenger’s Arsenal entered the 2017 FA Cup semi-final against Guardiola’s City as clear underdogs, with very few pundits backing them to win. In a great show of resilience and defensive solidity, Arsenal were able to hold City to 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes. As the match entered extra time, the game opened up, till Alexis Sanchez pounced at an opportunity and scored for the Gunners in the 101st minute. This match ensured that for the first time in his career, Guardiola ended a season without any silverware. Arsenal would go on to win the 2017 FA Cup.

Manchester City (1-0) Arsenal, Premier League, August 2006

City defeated Arsenal in the early part of 2006-07 season, thanks to Joey Barton’s solitary goal, a result that shocked everyone in North London. Before Sheikh Mansour’s 2008 takeover of Manchester City, the club was not the powerhouse as it is today. Arsenal, on the other hand, has just won the 2003-04 Premier League without a single defeat and were one of the top clubs in the country. This loss was also the first time Manchester City defeated Arsenal since the Premier League’s inception (after more than 15 years), and in a way was a precursor of things that would follow over the next decade.

Manchester City (3-0) Arsenal, League Cup Final, February 2018

Guardiola’s City faced Wenger’s Arsenal in the EFL Cup (currently known as Carabao Cup) final in February 2018. Contrary to what is expected in a final, the match was a one-sided affair and witnessed a lacklustre performance from a seemingly disinterested Arsenal. The match is also remembered because of its consequences on the fate of the respective managers. For Guardiola, it was his first trophy for Manchester City and set him up for massive success in the months that followed, while for Arsène Wenger, it turned out to be the final nail in the coffin as he left his beloved club at the end of the 2017-18 season, after 22 years in charge.

Arsenal (2-1) Manchester City, Premier League, December 2015

The 2015-16 season was Arsenal’s best performance in several years as they eventually finished second in the league table, behind surprise winners Leicester City FC. On their quest to the top, victory against Manchester City in late December was particularly sweet for the Gunners as their performance in the match showed a ruthlessness which had been missing from Arsenal around that period. This victory at the Emirates is also particularly remembered by Arsenal fans as it is their last Premier League win over Manchester City as of this date.

The Arsenal-Manchester City rivalry is relatively fresh when compared to traditional rivalries of both clubs. With Manchester City trailing Liverpool FC by 25 points, and Arsenal languishing down in 9th place in the table, both teams are having a far from ideal season. In such a situation, the match on 17 June would surely account for an interesting watch.

This article was written by Shubhang Gopal, an intern with indianexpress.com

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