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Man City vs Arsenal final score, result, stats, analysis as stalemate hands Liverpool Premier League advantage

ETIHAD STADIUM, MANCHESTER — Manchester City and Arsenal played out an uninspired and suffocatingly tense goalless draw to hand the advantage to Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

The Gunners began Sunday at the top of the table but it was second-versus-third at kickoff in Manchester after Liverpool came from behind to beat Brighton & Hove Albion in the day’s earlier match.

With Jurgen Klopp’s team on 67 points and Arsenal and City kicking off with 64 and 63 respectively, the stakes could not have been much higher. Unlike in the latest freewheeling Liverpool-versus-City encounter, that weighed heavily on the entertainment value. The prospective UEFA Champions League semifinal between these two does little to quicken the pulse right now.

Man City vs Arsenal final score

  Fulltime Goalscorers
Man City 0  
Arsenal 0  

Lineups:

Man City (4-2-3-1, right to left): 18. Stefan Ortega (GK) — 25. Manuel Akanji, 3. Ruben Dias, 24. 6. Nathan Ake (82. Rico Lewis), 24. Josko Gvardiol — 16. Rodri, 8. Mateo Kovacic (10. Jack Grealish) — 20. Bernardo Silva, 17. Kevin De Bruyne, 47. Phil Foden (11. Jeremy Doku) — 9. Erling Haaland.

Arsenal (4-3-3, right to left): 22. David Raya (GK) — 4. Ben White, 2. William Saliba, 6. Gabriel, 15. Jakub Kiwior (18. Takehiro Tomiyasu) — 41. Declan Rice, 20. Jorginho (5. Thomas Partey), 8. Martin Odegaard —  7. Bukayo Saka (11. Gabriel Martinelli), 29. Kai Havertz, 9. Gabriel Jesus (19. Leandro Trossard).

MORE: Phil Foden vs Bukayo Saka debate: Head to head stats for Man City and Arsenal stars

Arsenal were blown away 4-1 in this fixture last term in a result that all but confirmed City’s third successive Premier League title. Arteta’s side seemed determined not to suffer a similar fate and, to that end, they were successful as Pep Guardiola’s men hogged 72% of possession during the opening period and managed a solitary shot on target.

City were without captain Kyle Walker and John Stones was only fit enough for a place on the bench. Their defensive problems were compounded when Nathan Ake limped off before the half-hour.

That added to the long list of reasons for everyone involved to be pensive. City made most of the running as they continue to dominate the ball, although Erling Haaland was forced to feed off scraps as Kevin De Bruyne’s radar was unusually awry.

Arsenal arguably had the best chance but substitute Leandro Trossard even contrived to make that opportunity not look particularly good, shooting tamely at City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega with two passing options inside.

It was that sort of unsatisfactory afternoon. Unless, of course, you’re of a Liverpool persuasion. 

MORE: Erling Haaland goals against the Premier League ‘big six’

Man City vs Arsenal stats 

Man City Stat Arsenal
12 Shots 6
1 Shots on target 2
0.95 Expected goals 0.68
73% Possession 27%
690 Passes 269
7 Corners 4
9 Fouls 20
0 Yellow cards 2

Man City vs Arsenal analysis

‘Anti-football’ does the job for Arsenal’s streetfighters

Back when Arsenal were last contesting the Premier League title every season, Arsene Wenger famously irked Alex Ferguson when he accused Manchester United of anti-football for thrusting Phil Neville into a tackle-first, ask-questions-second role in midfield. The Arsenal sides of Wenger and Arteta are associated with more high-end interpretations of the beautiful game, but the current Gunners boss undoubtedly came to east Manchester with a plan.

Arsenal were ransacked in their 4-1 defeat here last April that sent their title aspirations up in smoke. That was not going to happen again, under any circumstances. No matter that Arsenal had 28% of the ball in the first half and saw that drop to 25% midway through the second. The back four were going to make blocks and clearances, Declan Rice was going to disrupt passes rather than make too many of them (by fulltime City had made 420 more passes than their opponents). Haaland would not be given a sniff.

If Arsenal win this title, their swashbuckling home win over Liverpool will be the banner triumph. However, the importance of Arteta gumming up a City machine he knows so well for 180 minutes, denying them a goal or even many serviceable chances, will be a key part of the conversation. Alternatively, Wenger’s heir went full George Graham at the worst time as City started without two of their first-choice defenders and lost their best defender this season in Ake. To crib a famous line from Arsenal title lore: it remains up for grabs.

Battered and bruised City slug it out to stay in the fight

As we’re all about to be reminded when the six-part Netflix series launches, things fell into place spectacularly for Manchester City as they romped to a treble last season. Guardiola’s men remain firmly in the hunt across the three big competitions this time around, but any successes this season will look different.

From key players entering the final stretch in prime form and fitness to Guardiola’s signature tactic of turning John Stones into a hybrid midfielder and getting a pleasingly soft FA Cup semifinal draw against Sheffield United, City had the rub of the green. This is not to belittle their achievements in the slightest; simply an acknowledgement that all great sides need the cards to fall their way en route to their greatest deeds.

This season, Haaland and De Bruyne have missed a combined seven months through injury, with the latter returning from another lay-off today. Jack Grealish came off the bench following another setback in an injury-plagued season, while Ake will join Walker in the treatment room alongside Stones, whose presence on the bench was purely decorative. 

Stones being in and out has meant last season’s configuration has only been seen fleetingly. Today, Guardiola pushed his full-backs high again to flood the middle of the pitch with his creative threats. Not for the first time, the results were mixed. In 2022/23, they landed two shuddering punches on Arsenal’s chin with wins in both games between the teams. This season, they have drawn twice with Liverpool and taken this point from the Gunners. They have four points against top-five teams this season set against 16 from last time around.

It’s worth noting that City haven’t lost a game of any description since a 1-0 defeat in December to Aston Villa, who they host on Wednesday. They’re poised and ready to strike again, but maybe from more of a standing start than they’re used to.

MORE: English Premier League table 2023/24

Man City vs Arsenal live updates, highlights, and commentary

Fulltime: That’s a wrap as master and apprentice play out the very definition of a stalemate. Will this be a good point for either of them in the final reckoning? Will Arsenal regret not having more of a run at an injury hit City defence. Perhaps they wanted to, but City weren’t overly keen on ever giving them the ball to try. It’s not been a great day for conclusions, other than to conclude that this Easter Sunday has panned out just swimmingly for Jurgen Klopp,

90th minute+3: Haaland gets up to a De Bruyne cross, but Gabriel is close enough to be the nuisance he’s been all day.

90th minute+2: City are getting closer to maybe having a goal attempt from one of these corners. It’s been the sort of game where that’s actually worth mentioning.

90th minute+1: Haaland goes down in the box as Grealish crosses. Gabriel had hold of his shirt but the ball was nowhere near him. He makes a television signal for VAR. It’s not cricket, but he was born in Yorkshire. Doku wins a corner.

90th minute: There will be five added minutes for someone to ruin Liverpool’s weekend.

88th minute: He takes this one short to Gvardiol, then delivers. Play stops because it appears several people have head injuries. Haaland is still down.

87th minute: Rodri finds Silva with a chip over Arsenal’s deep defence. Did he think he was offside. The knock back lacks conviction and he wins a corner. De Bruyne will get another pop at it as Taylor wanted a word to stop some nonsense. 

86th minute: Arsenal breaking with Trossard. He has two men over! But he opts to go it alone and Ortega makes a fairly simple save.

84th minute: Doku hustles a corner out of a situation that didn’t have much going for it. Gvardiol rises to meet this one, glancing to the far post but Haaland can’t get there.

82nd minute: Good hold up play from Haaland, Grealish chips to the back post but Doku can’t do anything with the volley.

81st minute: Odegaard manages not to get booked again for a foul on Rodri. Listen, fair play.

80th minute: Rice’s delivery is headed clear by Akanji. He second attempt meets with Rodri.

79th minute: Martinelli right into it with a blocked shot and Arsenal have a corner.

78th minute: Saka hobbling off here and Martinelli coming on. He was the late matchwinner when Arsenal triumphed 1-0 in the Emirates Stadium edition of this fixture this season. Raya gets a booking for time-wasting and the Etihad crowd respond in the pantomime style.

77th minute: Odegaard looks to unpick City with a chipped pass. Dias gets in the way and De Bruyne can break. He switches play to Doku, who takes a poor touch and then balloons over.

76th minute: De Bruyne’s in-swinger has Raya scrambling but he pushes clear and Taylor has spotted a foul.

75th minute: De Bruyne picks up a loose ball on the left, Gabriel clears crucially out of the goalmouth. Grealish and Silva combine to win a corner.

72nd minute: Silva with one of the most yellow card fouls you’re ever likely to see isn’t booked. The man in possession of one, Jesus, makes way for Trossard.

69th minute: Doku injects some adrenaline into the occasion by dancing past a couple of challenges before botching his pass to Lewis. A passage of play that both demonstrates why he wasn’t trusted to start but why City now need the Belgium winger to bust things open.

67th minute: We have a booking. Jesus for dissent. Which is quite funny, all told.

66th minute: Kiwior and Jorginho the men to make way for Tomiyasu and Partey, so a couple of straight swaps.

64th minute: De Bruyne gets the weight all wrong on an attempted lay-off to Haaland. Good spell for City this, though as Saka boots Grealish to say hello. Free-kick on the left with Partey and Tomiyasu waiting to come on for Arsenal.

61st minute: De Bruyne’s delivery is cleared, his second attempt sails over Foden for a goalkick. That’s the end of Foden’s afternoon as he makes way for Doku and Grealish replaces Kovacic.

60th minute: More eye-of-a-needle stuff from City before Gabriel hurls himself in the way of a Rodri drive. Odegaard then fairly crassly fouls Foden in a decent enough position, just outside of shooting range.

57th minute: White glances a De Bruyne corner clear under little pressure. Given how few chances are coming from open play, City need to step things up from set pieces.

55th minute: De Bruyne spies some wide open turf but Rice gets an important foot in. Most of the noise coming from the Arsenal end at the moment. They’re starting to believe.

53rd minute: Jorginho flies into Lewis, then commits another foul. Taylor still keeping the cards away. Impressive commitment to the bit.

51st minute: Arsenal pressure City into a blind alley, this is what they’re playing for. Odegaard slots Saka into the right channel but no one can find the decisive touch.

50th minute: Saka is rolling about after a challenge form Kovacic. City aren’t putting the ball out. Arsenal win it back and it’s an Easter miracle, Bukayo Saka is back on his feet! All very silly.

48th minute: Gabriel fouls Haaland, Taylor plays advantage and then comes back after Silva’s punt for Foden has too much on it.

47th minute: Ohhh, it might take something like that. Kovacic takes aim from 25 yards, catches it sweetly and curls just wide.

46th minute: The teams are back, Guardiola is sitting on the bench seemingly in some disarray, rubbing his head pensively. A member of City’s medical staff check on him. Just a standard Sunday for the Catalan.

Halftime: Two minutes of stoppage time pass without incident, as has a suffocatingly tense half overall. Each team has a shot on target apiece for their endeavours. City have had 72% of the ball. Can they pick the lock or will Arsenal break through on the counter. It feels like a 1-0 either way right now.

44th minute: Rodri shuffles his feet to find some room, Foden has his shot blocked. For all City’s possession, Raya has been very under-worked.

43rd minute: Rice’s corner is quite rubbish. Rodri heads away and Arsenal can’t make anything of the second ball.

42nd minute: Akanji misjudges a header back to Ortega and Arsenal have a cheap corner. It already feels like the sort of fine-margins game where you don’t want to be doing that.

39th minute: From that, Akanji now has the ball on the right. He crosses towards Rodri, who gets more of Gabriel than the ball and it’s a goal kick.

38th minute: Rice untidily brings down Haaland. No card. The City striker reacts theatrically. De Bruyne’s delivery is overhit but Akanji keeps it in.

37th minute: Gvardiol hangs a cross towards Haaland. He has both Arsenal centre-backs for company, though, and can’t get to the ball.

34th minute: Arsenal have been excellent out of possession and Odegaard hustles Rodri and Dias into some strife. Good attacking position for the visitors. Jesus wants too many touches though, his shot is closed down and then City push out for offside.

31st minute: Arsenal get another look at this reshuffled City defence and seem to like what they see. Kiwior knocks it back to Jesus, who shuffles into some space on the edge of the box before rolling a shot wide left footed.

28th minute: It’s getting a bit spicy out there as Gabriel and Kiwior both fairly cynically foul De Bruyne and Silva. Anthony Taylor keeps his cards in his pocket.

26th minute: The tale of City hogging the ball and Arsenal having the odd fleeting chance on the break continues. On this one, Havertz fairly needlessly munches into Ortega. A problem for City though as Nathan Ake goes off injured. Guardiola was already without Kyle Walker and John Stones (who has made the bench as decoration) for this one, remember. Teenager Rico Lewis into the fray.

20th minute: Gvardiol lost a bouncing ball there but got back superbly to tackle Saka. City’s defenders are going to have to be alert to those situations. They’re committing a lot of men forward. In possession their shape is basically 2-2-6, so you have to assume there will be chances in transition for Arsenal.

17th minute: Saka swings one into a crowded goalmouth. A quite brilliant take under pressure from Ortega.

16th minute: Foden makes a shambles of a simple pass to Gvardiol to give Arsenal their first corner of the game. Now, they tend to be quite good at these…

15th minute: Gvardiol goes twisting up the left flank and wins a corner. Ake meets it at the near post but the header is straight at Raya. Either side of the Arsenal keeper and he was probably struggling.

14th minute: Continuing a theme of natural centre-backs bombing down the wings, White is of again. His latest cross is meat and drink to Ortega.

12th minute: The middle of the pitch is very crowded. Rodri tries to bundle through but Arsenal get feet in and Saka tries to break. Gvardiol is in quickly to stop that before De Bryune just fails to find Haaland with the sort of eye-of-a-needle pass that might be required.

10th minute: Both City full-backs high in the build-up, with Kovacic dropping in to form a back three. The ploy almost got them into horrible mess just then.

8th minute: Decent chance for Jesus! White gets down the City left and his cross finds the Brazilian at the back post. Jesus’ chest control is excellent but he snatches at the finish on the volley.

6th minute: Saliba buys a free-kick from Haaland and Arsenal quickly pop a pass into midfield to get playing. It comes to nought but irritates Guardiola mildly. The Londoners will need plenty more of that streetwise stuff.

5th minute: The corner is half cleared and Gvardiola finds himself on the right wing. He stands up a chipped cross that Arsenal deal with. It’s a strong, front-footed start from City.

4th minute: Silva wriggles away from Jesus, who almost gets on his old team mate’s back to concede a free-kick. He’s quite lucky not to be booked. City free-kick on on the right. De Bruyne swings it in and White heads behind, taking no chances.

2nd minute: A confidence-boosting early block from Gvardiol stops Saka’s intentions and City release Haaland. He goes down in the box under a Saliba challenge. The offside flag is up and the hulking Norwegian was just off. That would have been an interesting decision if he wasn’t.

1st minute: Arsenal get us underway. Ake at centre-back for City, with Gvardiol outside him. Jesus starting on the left wing for the visitors.

4 mins before kickoff: Here are the teams. High anticipation in a sold-out arena. Let’s do this.

15 mins before kickoff: As always with Guardiola, and especially against an opposition coach who knows him as well as Arteta, it will be fascinating to see how the City team sheet shakes out on grass. We’ve played it safe and predicted a standard 4-2-3-1 that served the champions well in this fixture last season as they punched holes over and through the Gunners’ press for Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland to cause havoc. Alternatively, Bernardo Silva could play centrally to bolster the engine room alongside Rodri and Mateo Kovacic, with De Bruyne and Phil Foden serving as quite narrow support to Haaland.

That would probably mean Josko Gvardiol tacking high and wide from left-back — something he’s done plenty of times this season but generally not with a player of Bukayo Saka’s quality attacking him in the other direction. City full-backs Gvardiol and Manuel Akanji just took part in their team’s shooting drill to conclude the warmup, something that only usually involved Guardiola’s attackers and midfielders. On the other hand, the defensive warm-up drills before that featured Gvardiol alongside Ruben Dias at centre-back and Nathan Ake at left-back. Fetch me a tinfoil hat!

50 mins before kickoff: It’s looking like City and Arsenal will have the expected task today, with Liverpool heading into the closing stages against Brighton 2-1 to the good thanks to a Mohamed Salah goal.

MORE: Liverpool vs. Brighton live

58 mins before kickoff: One change for Arsenal from the team that battled past Porto in the Champions League as Gabriel Jesus comes in to face his former club.

1 hour before kickoff: The teams are in. Ederson hasn’t made it for City, with Stefen Ortega continuing in goal. Mateo Kovacic joins Rodri in central midfield. Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will support Erling Haaland in attack. Stones is indeed on the bench alongside Jack Grealish.

1 hr 10 mins before kickoff: So, John Stones — who Guardiola said was not fit to play when he spoke to the media on Friday — has just got off the bus with his City team-mates? A late inclusion? Mind games? We’ll soon find out.

1 hr 30 mins before kickoff: Team news will be along shortly. Guardiola has decisions to make over the configuration of his defence with John Stones and Kyle Walker as confirmed absentees, while Arteta will hope Bukayo Saka is fit enough to give a patched-together home defence a thorough examination.

As you’d expect for a game of this magnitude, it’s already absolutely packed in the Etihad Stadium press room. Gareth Barry, Stuart Pearce, Graeme Le Saux and Andy Townsend among the great and the good muscling their way to the buffet and cake table.

2 hours before kickoff: Pep Guardiola lavished praise on his old No. 2 and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta in his programme notes for today’s game. “They are one of the best teams in the world,” he said. “Under Mikel Arteta, they have a very clear style, every single player knows what they have to do and they play exceptional football.

Also, following fan protests over City’s decision to increase their season ticket prices once again next season, this section was interesting.

We now how difficult it is to make this trip today over the Easter period but we appreciate your efforts. Having you here makes this game even more special. This is a huge game for us today and on occasions like this having our people behind us is so important. We want to feel your energy, your noise and your passion. Honestly, the difference you guys make is unbelievable.

There is a little more noise at Anfield now because Liverpool have equalised against Brighton.

2 hrs 20 mins before kickoff: Of course, there is another game with big title race implications going on today and Manchester City and Arsenal fans might be very interested by what’s just happened at Anfield.

Available in the US

Available in the UK

MORE: Liverpool vs. Brighton live

3 hours before kickoff: It’s 11 months since Arsenal were ripped to shreds on this ground and their title dream died. It’s understandable that the Etihad Stadium carries plenty of trepidation for the Gunners. They have not won here since the 2014/15 season and Pep Guardiola has overseen victories in seven out of seven home league games against the north London club during his tenure, with a 1-0 victory during last season’s FA Cup thrown in for good measure.

However, it speaks volumes for Mikel Arteta’s side that they have bounced back from last season’s title clash to fashion another bid for glory while appearing a more robust outfit. They come into this game with the more settled side and more of their key players in prime form. Will it be enough to overturn that weight of recent history and potentially herald the beginning of the end for City’s recent stranglehold on the Premier League title?

hours before kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of Manchester City vs. Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium. Liverpool are also in action today at home to Brighton and this is a gargantuan day in the title race.

Man City vs Arsenal kick off time

This Premier League clash takes place at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, UK and kicks off on Sunday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. local time.

Here’s how that time translates across some of the major territories:

*The UK switches to British Summer Time (BST) on March 31, all times below are inclusive of the change.

  Date Kickoff time
USA Sun, Mar. 31 11:30 a.m. ET
Canada Sun, Mar. 31 11:30 a.m. ET
UK Sun, Mar.31 4:30 p.m. BST
Australia Mon, Apr. 1 2:30 a.m. AEDT
India Sun, Mar. 31 9:00 p.m. IST

Man City vs Arsenal lineups, team news

City captain Kyle Walker and first choice goalkeeper Ederson miss out due to injury. Manuel Akanji returned early from international duty with Switzerland but is fit to play.

Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will provide the main support to Erling Haaland in attack, with Jack Grealish, Jeremy Doku and Julian Alvarez all among the substitutes

Man City (4-2-3-1, right to left): Ortega (GK) — Akanji, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol — Rodri, Kovacic — Silva, De Bruyne, Foden — Haaland.

Man City subs: Carson (GK), Stones, Grealish, Doku, Alvarez, Gomez, Nunes, Bobb, Lewis.

  • Injured: Walker
  • Suspended: None.

Like City, Arsenal had a few international injuries to contend with. Gabriel Magalhaes withdrew from the Brazil squad, however, he is fit and joins William Saliba in the backline.

Bukayo Saka left England’s squad but is fit to start in attack, where Gabriel Jesus returns to face his former club.

Arsenal (4-3-3, right to left): Raya (GK) — White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior — Rice, Jorginho, Odegaard —  Saka, Havertz, Jesus.

Arsenal subs: Ramsdale (GK), Partey, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Tomiyasu, Trossard, Vieira, Zinchenko.

  • Injured: Jurrien Timber
  • Suspended: None.

Man City vs Arsenal live stream, TV channel

Here’s how to watch this Premier League match across selected areas of the world’s major regions:

Region TV Streaming
USA NBC USA Network, Universo Fubo, Peacock, Universo NOW, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
Canada

Fubo Canada

UK Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League Sky GO, Now TV
Australia Optus Sport
India Star Sports Select 1,2 JioTV, Hotstar


USA: This game is available on the NBC USA Network with streaming options on Fubo with the latter currently offering a FREE trial. Spanish language options are on Universo and Telemundo. Peacock are also showing the match.

Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live-streaming exclusively via Fubo.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on-demand on Optus Sport.

UK: This game is available via live broadcast on Sky Sports with streaming options on Sky GO and Now TV.

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