English Premier League

Liverpool Win In Manchester City’s Goalless Draw With Arsenal

Premier League holders Manchester City welcomed title aspirants Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium for their mouthwatering Matchday 29 clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night (March 31). With Liverpool claiming provisional pole position after sealing a comeback win over Brighton & Hove Albion, the hosts needed a win to leapfrog Arsenal into second place in the league standings. The Gunners, meanwhile, could have claimed the top spot with a statement win over Pep Guardiola’s mighty city.

Both teams were well aware of what was on the line, which hindered their ability to take risks. Following a tense and tactical 90 minutes, Manchester City and Arsenal settled for a goalless draw, allowing Liverpool to go two points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Manchester City Dominant But Wasteful Against Well-Organized Arsenal

Guardiola’s Manchester City are one of the best teams in the world, and at home, they are almost unstoppable. They had scored at the Etihad Stadium in their last 57 consecutive games in all competitions and deservedly fancied themselves to add to the tally on Sunday. However, thanks to Arsenal’s dogged defending and their uncharacteristically poor finishing, City could not find a way through.

City came close to scoring twice over the course of the 90 minutes. In the 16th minute, an inswinging Manchester City corner reached Nathan Ake, who was only a couple of yards away from David Raya’s goal. Much to the dismay of home fans, the defender could not get a serious touch on the delivery, making for an easy save for Raya. Then, in the 47th minute, Mateo Kovacic carved up a bit of room and aimed at goal with a curling right-footer from outside the box. The Croat caught it sweetly, but the shot did not bend in time to beat Raya, drifting just wide of the right-hand post.

Arsenal, meanwhile, had even fewer notable opportunities. Ex-Manchester City man Gabriel Jesus got a couple of chances to test the goalkeeper in the first half, but he failed to put them to good use.

On Sunday, Manchester City enjoyed 72% possession against Arsenal. They had 12 shots, but only one was on target; they missed two big chances, saw four shots blocked, and ended the game with an xG of 1.02. Arsenal, on the other hand, had six shots — 2 on target — did not create any big chances, and committed a whopping 20 fouls. Their xG was 0.66 at the end of the game.

A Night To Forget For Erling Haaland & Bukayo Saka

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka are two of the most highly rated players in the Premier League. In Sunday’s mega encounter, they were expected to set the tone for their teammates, proving their eagerness to win. Unfortunately, neither player managed to live up to expectations.

Haaland, who scored 52 goals in his debut season at City, only had 23 touches against Arsenal — the least by any outfield player to complete the game. He also completed only seven passes and failed to test the goalkeeper even once. On Sunday, he fired wide twice and saw a couple of shots blocked.

Saka was no better. He only completed 11 passes and failed to dispatch even a single shot. The Englishman lost possession four times and lost nine of 15 ground duels. Understanding his talisman was having an off day, Mikel Arteta took him off in the 78th minute.

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