Match Report: Man City 3-0 Arsenal
Arsenal went into this game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa. Arsenal needed a win but with several first team players out due to injuries and suspensions it was always going to be hard.
City almost took the lead in the 27th minute after a flowing move, which was started by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
He sent Darius Vassell clear and Benjani Mwauwari got a touch to his cross at the back post, only to deflect his effort wide.
Robin van Persie then needed brief treatment six minutes later after being left winded following a challenge from Vincent Kompany.
Arsenal almost took the lead from the free-kick with Joe Hart – who had made a quick recovery from an ankle injury – beating away Samir Nasri’s shot.
The ball broke to Nicklas Bendtner and he cleverly hooked it back to Alex Song. He was clear on goal but sent his effort wide from close range.
Ireland then went on a surging run but there was no one on hand to help him out and Almunia mopped up with ease.
There was a tense, nervous edge to this game, which meant little entertainment for the supporters as half-time approached.
Benjani got on the end of a cross from Wright-Phillips in stoppage time but he sent his header wide.
Immediately afterwards Stephen Ireland took advantage of a mix-up between Gael Clichy and Mikael Silvestre to put the home side ahead.
He clipped the ball over Almunia to give City the boost they required going into the second half.
Goal: Steven Ireland (45) – Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal
Four minutes later Van Persie saw his free-kick ruffle the side netting after Micah Richards had been penalised for a challenge on the Dutchman.
City, however, responded and extended their lead with a magnificent goal from Robinho in the 57th minute after some superb work from Wright-Phillips.
The England midfielder won the ball off Van Persie in the middle of the park before releasing a perfect through ball for Robinho.
The Brazilian showed a cool head as Almunia advanced to lob the ball over the goalkeeper for his ninth goal of the season.
Goal: Robinho (57) – Manchester City 2-0 Arsenal
This was now a test of character for Arsenal and Bedntner should have pulled a goal back four minutes later.
He latched on to a ball from substiutute Aaron Ramsey but his shot was parried by Hart.
Robinho then sent a close-range header wide of the post before finding the next again only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
Arsenal kept pushing forward and Denilson tried his luck in the 76th minute.
Robinho almost made it 3-0 three minutes later when he latched on to a ball from substitute Elano.
He took it around Almunia only for Djourou to clear his effort off the line.
Van Persie then found the net after clipping the ball out of Hart’s hand but it was disallowed.
Sturridge completed the rout in stoppage time from the penalty spot after being upended by Johan Djourou to add to Arsenal’s misery.
Goal: Daniel Sturridge – Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal