Arsenal fight back for a draw vs. Man City but Mesut Ozil's struggles continue

Arsenal stopped the rot after a run of terrible results but ultimately did their top-four hopes little good with a 2-2 home draw against Manchester City.

City were in front after only five minutes when a superb long through-ball from Kevin De Bruyne caught the Arsenal defence out and Leroy Sane held off Hector Bellerin to round David Ospina and slot home. When De Bruyne then struck the post, it appeared Arsenal would be in for a torrid afternoon.

Theo Walcott briefly had Arsenal level on 40 minutes when he battled to get on the end of a hopeful header into the box from Shkodran Mustafi and beat the offside trap to prod home, but Arsenal's defence was pulled apart for a second time just two minutes later, as Sergio Aguero fired home from a tight angle.

Mustafi added an unlikely goal to an unlikely assist when he got free from a corner to head home in the second half, giving Arsenal a point. But with Liverpool winning on Saturday, they really needed more.


Given recent form it wasn't hard to envisage Arsenal being taught a lesson, so this was a very creditable draw. Conceding so early in the game, and then again so soon after equalising, could have been demoralising, but on both occasions there was a good response.


Starting slowly has been a recurring theme this season, and so it was disappointing to be behind after only five minutes. Beyond that, Arsenal never really looked convincing at any stage.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Conceding an early goal again begged questions of his preparatory work and Arsene Wenger continues to struggle to find the right midfield combination. His substitutions had minimal impact.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David Ospina, 7 -- Even if both City goals in the first half were classy finishes, Ospina didn't look particularly convincing on either occasion. Did make a smart save to parry a shot from David Silva away at the near post and in the second half did excellently to deny Fernandinho and Silva.

DF Hector Bellerin, 5 -- Made the critical mistake for City's early opener as he allowed Sane too much room inside of him and then failed to rein him back in. Lacked his usual dynamism going forward as Arsenal focused their attacks down the left.

DF Shkodran Mustafi, 8 -- It was his rather rash charge forward and header to De Bruyne which opened up the space for Sane for the opener but Mustafi redeemed himself with an assist for Walcott and then a goal of his own.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 6 -- Had a steady enough game until he was substituted at half-time, although looked a bit caught out for the second goal.

DF Nacho Monreal, 6 -- Survived a big shout for handball in injury time. Saw lots of the ball after taking a nasty kick from Jesus Navas early on.

MF Granit Xhaka, 5 -- Had the most completed passes of any player at half-time, 26, but never looked like controlling the game. Picked up his obligatory booking for a tackle on Nicolas Otamendi and almost went for a loose tackle on Yaya Toure.

MF Francis Coquelin, 5 -- Made the most successful tackles of any Arsenal player, with five, but was a bit loose in possession. Continues to underwhelm.

MF Mesut Ozil, 5 -- Got involved in play and had Arsenal's first shot when he rolled John Stones and fired meekly at Willy Caballero on 21 minutes. Made the crucial error for City's second, though, when he lost the ball in a silly area. Couldn't make the most of a defensive error on 80 minutes as he lacked the conviction to score.

FW Theo Walcott, 6 -- Was hugely wasteful in possession in the first half but gave Arsenal a rare cutting edge on 40 minutes when he fought for Mustafi's header in the box and poked the ball past Willy Caballero. In truth, did little else apart from the goal.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 6 -- Had the odd flash which suggested he was ready to impart some genius, with one lovely effort bending just wide on 30 minutes, but it never really happened, despite his constant running in attack.

FW Danny Welbeck, 5 -- Was given a chance as the lone striker but didn't muster as much as a shot. It was probably more important to get the start and play 77 minutes.


Gabriel Paulista, 6 -- You feared the worst when Koscielny went off, but Gabriel acquitted himself well, making some important interceptions.

Olivier Giroud, 5 -- Was too slow in the build-up. Didn't add enough after coming on.

Alex Iwobi, NR -- Flashed a good effort just off target late on.