Table toppers Manchester City take on Arsenal in match week 16 of the Premier League when the teams clash on Sunday, December 18, 2011.
Man City suffered their first loss of the league season when they went down 2-1 away at Chelsea, in match week 15. Lampard became an instant hero for the home side when he came off the bench to score the match winner seven minutes before time. The sides were locked at 1-1 after Balotelli’s early lead for City was neutralised shortly before the interval on the back of Raul Meireles’ strike. City began explosively with waves of attack in the first half hour to exploit Chelsea’s porous defence. It culminated in Balotelli’s goal, when Aguero cut in from the right to relay the ball past Terry to Aguero who in turn passed it to Balotelli to do the rest. At the end of the day, City would have rued their many missed scoring opportunities in the first half when the home side’s defence was all at sea, trying to cope with the marauding City attack.
In match week 15, Arsenal registered a 1-0 victory over Everton, in a match hosted by Gunners at the Emirates. Robin Van Persie – who else – scored the only goal of the game to give Arsenal something to celebrate their 125th anniversary by. Van Persie’s spectacular volley on 71 minutes brought relief to home fans who were frustrated by the home side’s many missed chances.
Head to head, in the last 10 years, Man City and Arsenal have met in 20 league games, with Arsenal winning on 14 occasions and City on 3, with the remaining games ending in stalemates. The last time these teams met was in January 2011; that match played at the Emirates ended in a goalless stalemate.
Man City have won 8, and drawn and lost 1 each of their last 10 league matches, while Arsenal have identically won 8 and drawn and lost 1 each of their last 10 games.
Currently at the top of the table, City have hosted 7 home games, this season, winning all 7; the Gunners who are 5th placed on the league table have had 3 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses, in their 7 away games.
With Chelsea causing City’s title bid a mild jolt in match week 15, the Manchester squad will have a point or more to prove against the Gunners whose ramshackle defence could be put to its stiffest test yet.
Man City’s starting eleven against Chelsea: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, James Milner, Gnegneri Toure Yaya, Gareth Barry, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli.
Arsenal’s starting eleven against Everton: Wojciech Szczesny, Johan Djourou, Per Metresacker, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Yao Gervinho, Robin Van Persie.