Preakness Stakes

Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal: Gunners wrestle point from champions

Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal: Gunners wrestle point from champions

MANCHESTER — The biggest game of the Premier League season was tense, tight, and a bit of a slog as Arsenal set up to stop Manchester City at the expense of attack and got a scoreless draw from the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The draw sinks the reigning champs a full three points behind Liverpool, who holds a +40 goal differential to Man City's +35. Arsenal is now two points back of Liverpool with +46 goal differential.

WATCH MANCHESTER CITY v ARSENAL FULL MATCH REPLAY

There are no remaining meetings between the sides this league season, though City and Arsenal can meet if both win their respective Champions League quarterfinals against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

City produced just 0.93 xG off 72% possession and 12 shot attempts, while Arsenal edged City in shots on target 2-1 but completed just 185 passes while committing 20 fouls to City's eight.

[ MORE: How to watch every single Premier League game in the USA ]

Referee Anthony Taylor only handed out a pair of yellow cards, one to Gabriel Jesus for rolling a ball away and another to David Raya for wasting time.

Gunners get what they played for

Assuming one of the other Premier League title rivals will drop points is a dangerous game to play, but Mikel Arteta must believe his Arsenal can chase down Liverpool. The Gunners opted for the pragmatic over a real sense of confident adventure on Sunday in Manchester, a well-organized approach to stopping Manchester City that very cautiously picked its spots to attack the champions. It worked in terms of an away point, something most teams will accept at the Etihad Stadium but it also removes certain control of destiny from their hands. Bring back last year's calculators, Gooners, because it's again about math. Liverpool now have to drop points at least once in order for a perfect Arsenal run-in to be enough to claim the title. Is that worth it? Nick Mendola

Haaland slumping at the worst time

Maybe the 23-year-old giant just never got back to 100 percent, but Erling Haaland just doesn't look himself, does he? The Norwegian is still working hard and invested in the physical nature of playing center forward, but he has not been anywhere near his clinical best in boasting four goals and an assist from the 10 Premier League games since his return a stress reaction in his foot (He did also score five goals against Luton in the FA Cup and one against Copenhagen in the Champions League, but this is Erling Haaland we're talking about here. His back post flub of a close-range cutback bid or poor shot attempt was the icing on the cake. Haaland's working hard, but he doesn't have it right now. Nick Mendola

What’s next?

Arsenal host Luton Town at 2:30pm ET Wednesday, then travel to Brighton for a 12:30pm Saturday match.

Man City get a tough visit from Aston Villa at 3:15pm ET Wednesday before visiting Crystal Palace at 7:30am ET Saturday.

How to watch Manchester City vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30am ET Sunday (March 31)
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Watch live on Peacock Premium & NBC.com

Manchester City vs Arsenal final score: 0-0

Goalscorers: None

Manchester City vs Arsenal live updates! – By Joe Prince-Wright at Etihad Stadium

City trying to find a way through what looks like a red brick wall

Fair play to Arsenal. This is a very impressive defensive display. They are doubling up well and not allowing City any space at all. City have 75 percent of the possession but have only really had one big chance from a corner in the first half.

Arteta responds with his subs

Arteta responds by bringing on Tomiyasu for Kiwior and Partey for Jorginho. That suggests Arsenal are pretty happy leaving here with a point but Tomiyasu is probably better suited to dealing with Doku than Kiwior.

Positive subs from Man City

Grealish and Doku are on for Foden and Kovacic for Manchester City and the home fans are delighted about the return of Grealish from injury as the sing his name loud and proud. Very positive sub from Pep Guardiola. Foden just never really got into the game today but that was because Ben White played him superbly.

Huge chance for Arsenal

Saka gets free down the right and crosses to the back post but Gabriel Jesus slides in and can't get on the end of it. The game is opening up nicely now. Also, City's fans cannot believe there hasn't been a yellow card yet. They are not happy with referee Anthony Taylor.

Bright start to the second half

Okay, here we go. Kovacic curls a shot just wide of the far post. At the other end Odegaard almost plays in Havertz after Saka won the ball back superbly.

Half time: Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal

City started well but then didn't kick on. Arsenal hung in there and had a few chances on the break before half time. Ake went close for City. Jesus went close for Arsenal. And that was about it. A tense opening 45. Surely City have to take the handbrake off in the second half but that will leave chances for Arsenal on the counter.

Best way to sum up this first half

Look, it hasn't been a classic. Both teams know this system so well and much like their clash at the Emirates earlier this season, it has been a real stalemate so far. Guardiola and Arteta know exactly what to expect from each other and this is the result of that familiarity. Surely City will take a few more risks in the second half, right?

Arsenal improving as we approach half time

The Gunners have finally settled down. They're forcing City into a few mistakes and Jesus is becoming a real nuisance as he drifts inside off the left flank. City clear this time but Odegaard, Jesus and Saka are starting to find their rhythm. 37 minutes gone in the first half and a cross is whipped in towards Haaland but he heads well off target under pressure. Haaland is having a frustrating outing. So far…

First big chance for Arsenal!

Ben White's cross to the back post is knocked back by Jakub Kiwior to Gabriel Jesus and he wriggles free before scuffing a shot just wide. After 30 minutes, Arsenal are finally starting to have an attacking impact on this game.

Rico Lewis is on for the injured Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake is off and he has suffered what looks like a right calf injury. Rico Lewis is on at right back with Akanji moving to center back. Yet another defensive reshuffle for City.

Oh Nathan Ake, you have to score

A proper head in hands moment for Nathan Ake there. The first big chance of the game falls his way and he seemed to panic. A brilliant corner from Kevin de Bruyne finds Ake free, three yards out, but he gets it all wrong and bundles the ball straight to David Raya. Arsenal very lucky there.

Tight, tense start here

As expected there's plenty of respect between these two teams and that has led to a tense opening 10 minutes. Arsenal have yet to really get on the ball and it's City who are prodding and probing for an opening. No chances. Yet. It's bubbling up quite nicely in midfield and City are looking to Silva and De Bruyne who are drifting out to the right and interchanging all the time.

Hello and welcome to Manchester!

There is an incredible buzz in the air here as Manchester City and Arsenal go through their final warm ups. Will this game decide who wins the title? Will the Premier League winner come from these two teams? Buckle up. You just know it is going to be brilliant.

Fans of both teams are feeling confident but there's also some nerves. City have three key players out in Ederson, Stones and Walker and look to be starting in a slightly unfamiliar back four, while Arsenal are almost fully fit but they also have the issue of being dominated by City over the last decade. Is today the day that dominance ends and Arsenal put one hand on the Premier League title? With all of the injuries, this feels like the best chance Arsenal are going to get to beat City.

Manchester City lineup

Ortega, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol, Rodrigo, Kovacic, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Foden, Haaland

Arsenal lineup

Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Rice, Jorginho, Odegaard, Saka, Jesus, Havertz

Manchester City focus, team news

There are some big injury concerns for City with Kevin de Bruyne not playing for Belgium during the international break, while Ederson was injured in that clumsy challenge where he conceded a penalty to Liverpool and remains a doubt. Kyle Walker and John Stones were both injured on international duty for England and that duo are so important to how City look to control games and stop counters. Pep Guardiola will hope all four of these players are available but if not, Ortega, Kovacic, Lewis and Dias are ready to step in to the starting lineup.

OUT: John Stones (adductor), Kyle Walker (thigh) | QUESTIONABLE: Ederson (thigh)

Arsenal focus, team news

The trio who are questionable are all expected to be fit to start so Arsenal will be pretty much at full strength, which is huge for Mikel Arteta. Havertz starting up top is likely given how his movement causes problems for opposition defenses and leaves gaps for the likes of Saka, Odegaard, Trossard and Martinelli to make the most of.

OUT: Jurrien Timber (torn ACL – out for season) | QUESTIONABLE: Bukayo Saka (thigh), Gabriel Martinelli (foot), Gabriel Magalhaes (achilles)

Manchester City vs Arsenal preview

City currently sit in third in the Premier League table but are just one point behind leaders Arsenal and second-place Liverpool. Pep Guardiola's side took the lead at Liverpool before the international break but they limped to a draw at Anfield and their hopes of winning an unprecedented fourth-straight title are in the balance. Still, this is City. This is the Spring time. They usually kick on now and they hammered Arsenal at home last April as they surged back in the title race to win it. The importance of this game, the final game this season between the three title contenders, is huge. City need Haaland, Foden and Rodri to stand tall, especially because the likes of Walker, Stones, De Bruyne, Akanji and Ederson are all injury doubts.

Arsenal are in a great position. Mikel Arteta's young side are top of the table with 10 games to go and although they have the toughest remaining schedule of the three title contenders, the Gunners have risen to the occasion in those big games all season long. They beat Brentford late on before the break to stay top of the table and they have players stepping up at different times to deliver big moments with Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz increasingly important in attack. Declan Rice continues to be the difference for Arsenal this season as his maturity and dominance in midfield underlines their progress. Arsenal will also take plenty of confidence from their win against Manchester City at home earlier this season. Arsenal have injury concerns over Gabriel, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli but it's expected that all three will be fit to feature.

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