MAN CITY 1, ARSENAL 1
Manchester City have yet to play like champions, even though they remain unbeaten in the Barclay’s Premier League.
They produced another unconvincing display as they were held at home by Arsenal who might have emerged victors with more clinical finishing.
It was disappointing for City who have won two and drawn three of their five league matches so far to lie seventh place in the table.
Joleon Lescott’s first-half goal looked as though it would be the matchwinner, but Arsenal’s perseverance was rewarded when Laurent Koscielny equalised eight minutes from time.
It was a bitter pill for City manager Roberto Mancini to swallow as he said: “I am frustrated about the result because we had the chance to win, but we conceded another goal.
“This year we have one problem. We don’t close the game and score more goals.
“We had three or four chances in the second half, but didn’t score.”
Mancini added he is also concerned about City’s defending pointing to the fact they have conceded three goals from set pieces in the last four games.
The City manager explained that he brought on Jack Rodwell for Scott Sinclair at the break as they had been outnumbered in the centre of midfield.
City made five changes to the side which narrowly lost at Real Madrid in their midweek Champions League match.
Though Sergio Aguero has an early chance for City, it was Arsenal who dictated much of the first-season flow. All they lacked was a finish to their impressive approach play.
City struck the all-important goal shortly before half time, though it will go down as an error from goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
He failed to reach David Silva’s corner leaving Lescott free to head high into the roof of the net from six yards.
It remained a match in which clear-cut chances were at a premium as Arsenal defended resolutely while City lacked a killer touch in front of their opponents’ goal.
Arsenal brought on Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott for the last 18 minutes to help in their pursuit of an equaliser.
And the changes helped lift the Gunners who finally conjured an equaliser in the 82nd minute.
City thought they had escaped from jail when keeper Joe Hart pulled off an incredible save to deny Santi Cazorla.
But from the resulting corner, captain Vincent Kompany’s poor headed clearance fell to central-defender Koscielny who blasted a shot from 12 yards high into the roof of the net.
City almost immediately regained the lead when Kompany’s spectacular overhead kick was brilliantly beaten out by Mannone.
The ball was only cleared as far as Aguero who amazingly shot wide from six yards when it looked as though he was certain to score.
It was a miss which, in many ways, mirrored the start to City’s season.