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2016/2017 English Premier League
  • Leroy Sané (47')
  • Raheem Sterling (71')
  • Theo Walcott (5')

Manchester City fight back to see off Arsenal and go second

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Guardiola desires this spirit from Man City (1:21)

Pep Guardiola praises Manchester City for giving their all to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Arsenal. (1:21)

Manchester City recovered from an early Arsenal goal to produce a dominant second-half display and record a 2-1 win that moves them up to second place in the Premier League table.

Pep Guardiola's side began tentatively at the Etihad Stadium and found themselves behind after only five minutes.

The home defence was carved apart as Hector Bellerin played a ball through to Alexis Sanchez on the edge of the area and Arsenal's man in form found Theo Walcott, who held off a defender and shot low beyond Claudio Bravo from inside the area.

City -- enjoying plenty of early possession but doing little with it -- almost hit back within three minutes when Kevin De Bruyne whipped in a dangerous cross and Raheem Sterling, playing through the middle in the early stages, headed wide.

Arsenal threatened again as Ozil played Sanchez into a crossing position, but his final ball in was just too high for Walcott.

As the game approached the half-hour mark, City were struggling to create clear-cut danger and had yet to muster an attempt on target in front of a subdued crowd.

David Silva was booked for a cynical trip on Francis Coquelin as the Gunners looked to set up another breakaway before Sanchez and Alex Iwobi linked only for Hector Bellerin to blaze over the bar from outside the box.

City flickered into life in the closing stages of the first half, with a low cross by Leroy Sane creating havoc inside the Arsenal area before the ball was put behind and Petr Cech dealt with the corner.

Guardiola made a change at the break, bringing on Bacary Sagna for Pablo Zabaleta -- and within two minutes his side were back on level terms.

David Silva lofted a pass over the top for Sane, who looked as though he could just have just been offside but ran through to place a deft finish beyond Cech.

The goal rocked Arsenal, who were unable to find the same sort of rhythm to their passing as they had in the first half, and as Sterling shifted back out to the right they had to block two crosses in quick succession.

As the match reached the 60 minute mark, Arsenal gave the ball away in midfield and De Bruyne played a pass through to Sane, whose low effort was blocked by Cech for a corner that came to nothing.

David Silva dragged a poorly-struck shot wide of the near post when he had colleagues better placed before Arsene Wenger made a change for Arsenal, taking off Iwobi and bringing on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But the momentum remained with City and, after 69 minutes, Cech made a sharp save when he dived to tip away a deflected De Bruyne effort that was destined for the bottom corner.

And after 71 minutes the home side got the reward their improvement merited as De Bruyne lofted a superb pass to Sterling on the right and he cut into the area before firing a low finish beyond Cech.

Arsenal reacted by bringing on Olivier Giroud on for Francis Coquelin and City replaced Sane, the scorer of the opening goal, with Jesus Navas before the Gunners brought off substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain, bringing on Mohamed Elneny.

But the Gunners had not registered a shot on target since the goal -- their only effort on target of the game -- and failed to muster any late threat as City and Guardiola notched a crucial home win.

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 +52 93
2 Tottenham Hotspur 38 +60 86
3 Manchester City 38 +41 78
4 Liverpool 38 +36 76
5 Arsenal 38 +33 75
6 Manchester United 38 +25 69
7 Everton 38 +18 61
8 Southampton 38 -7 46
9 AFC Bournemouth 38 -12 46
10 West Bromwich Albion 38 -8 45
11 West Ham United 38 -17 45
12 Leicester City 38 -15 44
13 Stoke City 38 -15 44
14 Crystal Palace 38 -13 41
15 Swansea City 38 -25 41
16 Burnley 38 -16 40
17 Watford 38 -28 40
18 Hull City 38 -43 34
19 Middlesbrough 38 -26 28
20 Sunderland 38 -40 24

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