By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Arsenal dominated proceedings right from the get go and had majority of the possession although they failed to really test Joe Hart in the Manchester City goal, with a miscontrolled Gervinho chance the closest the Gunners came to opening the scoring.
Manchester City however scored against the run of play in the 40th minute through Joleon Lescott, who capitalised on Vito Mannone's mistake in goal to head in his side's 10th goal of the season.
The Gunners came out strongly in the second half and finally got the reward for their persistence when Laurent Koscielny, back in the side only because of a virus to Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen, popped up in the penalty box to smash the ball into the back of Hart's net.
ESPNSTAR.com takes a look at the players who took to the Etihad Stadium.
Joe Hart - 6.5
Hart was rarely tested in goal but he had to be alert to make several smart stops to deny several of Arsenal's long range efforts and he could not be blamed for Koscielny's equaliser.
Zabaleta - 6.5
The Argentinian defender was given a stern test on the right with the speedy Gervinho and Gibbs combination constantly tearing down his flank and as a result, he was unable to venture forward and support his side's attack as much as he would possibly like. He was however, stable defensively and did not often get caught out of position.
Vincent Kompany - 7
The City captain was once again imperious in the heart of defence for City and almost snatched a late dramatic winner for his side with an acrobatic bicycle kick which Mannone had to be alert to keep out.
Joleon Lescott - 7
Lescott was slightly suspect in defence and allowed Podolski to run in behind him on several occasions but he did make a huge contribution with a goal for his side when he rose highest to head in from a corner.
Gael Clichy - 6.5
Clichy had an average game for the Citizens against his former club. He was often left short-handed by the lack of support from his midfield and the back and forth battle between him and his opposite number Jenkinson was intriguing to say the least.
Javi Garcia - 3
The new City signing was anonymous in this game and the 25-year-old's only notable contribution was to pick up a necessary yellow card to illegally halt Jenkinson from launching a counter-attack late in the game. He seemed overwhelmed by Arsenal's crisp passing and clever off the ball movement and the never really got to grips with the pace of the game.
Yaya Toure - 7
The talismanic midfielder was once again the engine for the Citizens as he put in a dominant performance in the middle of the pitch for his side. He looked dangerous when driving forward from midfield and was one of the best players in blue at the Etihad Stadium.
David Silva - 6.5
He was influential in the first half but his influence waned severely in the second although that was largely due to Arsenal controlling majority of the possession. He was so starved off the ball in the second half that he had to go very deep in order to get involved in the game.
Scott Sinclair (45' off) - 3
The former Swansea player barely made an impact on the left flank against Jenkinson and the fact that he was promptly hauled off by Mancini at the stroke of half-time spoke volumes about his performance.
Edin Dzeko (67' off) - 5.5
Apart from a chance in the first half which forced Mannone into making a fingertip save, the Bosnian international cut a frustrated figure upfront and he hardly made the Arsenal defence work with his stagnant movement off-the-ball, although to be fair to the former Wolfsburg hitman, he was given very little service from his midfielders.
Sergio Aguero (84' off) - 6.5
It was a decent return from injury for Aguero who so nearly grabbed a late winner for his side with a snap shot which just grazed past Mannone's post. He played like a player who had just returned from injury and will be disappointed that he did not manage to utilise his blistering pace to torment Mertesacker.
Jack Rodwell (45' on) - 4.5
Rodwell was brought on for the ineffective Sinclair to shore up City's midfield and prevent Arsenal from overrunning the middle of the pitch like they did in the second half. However, the former Everton player hardly touched the ball and failed to stop the Gunners from dominating the game.
Carlos Tevez (67' on) - 6
Mancini surprisingly omitted Tevez from the starting line-up and the Argentinian hotshot striker showed his manager what a mistake that was with a typically energetic performance upfront which had Koscielny and Mertesacker worried. However, he was let down by a lack of service from his midfielders and he was unable to test Mannone in goal.
Balotelli (84' on) - N/A
Vito Mannone - 6.5
The battle for number 1 spot at Arsenal between Wojciech Szczesny and Mannone swung back in the Polish international's favour after the Italian custodian flapped at a corner and allowed Lescott to score. He was decent in shot stopping but his lack of height made him vulnerable to crosses and high balls although he redeemed himself with several important saves later on in the game.
Carl Jenkinson - 7
The young right-back has divided opinions of his contribution to the squad but he proved his naysayers wrong with a mature display for the Gunners. He was defensively sound and provided width for the Arsenal attack on the right flank.
Laurent Koscielny - 7.5
Wenger will go home from the Eithad Stadium with a headache because of Koscielny. But it will be a headache which the French manager will relish, as he decides on which centre-back pairing out of Thomas Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Koscielny should be his first choice. Koscielny's dominant display in defence kept Aguero and Silva quiet for majority of the game and his goal in the 84th minute was no less than he deserved for his excellent display.
Per Mertesacker - 7.5
There were some fears that the notoriously slow Mertesacker would not be able to cope with the pace of City's speedy players but he more than made up for his lack of pace with his impeccable reading of the game and the German international made several crucial interceptions to halt City's attack.
Kieran Gibbs - 7
The Gunners' left-back had a decent game for his side and offered a genuine outlet of attack down the left flank which had Zabaleta pegged back for most of the game.
Abou Diaby (70' off) - 3
Diaby was really poor in the middle of the pitch for Arsenal. He was caught dallying on the ball too often and lost possession too easily and caused his side to be put under unnecessary pressure on one too many occasions.
Mikel Arteta - 7.5
Once again, Arteta controlled the midfield from deep and was the metronomic figure in the middle of the pitch for Arsenal. He kept the ball moving well for the Gunners, winning and recycling possession effectively as well as providing added defensive steel in front of his defence. The way he controlled the game from deep is a marvel to behold and he was arguably one of the best players on the pitch.
Santi Cazorla - 7.5
The Spain international was once again the attacking fulcrum for the Gunners and tormented the City's defence with his precise passing. His near telepathic understanding with Arteta in the middle of the pitch caused City's midfield all sorts of problems and his willingness and ability to shoot from range, a quality which few of his teammates possess, is an added and potent weapon in Arsenal's armoury.
Aaron Ramsey - 7.5
Eyebrows were raised when Ramsey's name was included in the Arsenal team-sheet ahead of the popular Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but he paid off Wenger's faith with a respectable and hardworking performance. The Welshman was at the heart of almost each of the Gunners' attacks and he looks like he could be ready to genuinely challenge for a first team spot in the near future.
Gervinho (90' off) - 4
The Ivorian was guilty of being over-elaborate in front of goal and was largely ineffective on the flanks. He was always capable of beating one or two players but his final ball was often poor and a lot of promising attacks broke down because of him. He was presented with a brilliant opportunity to score early in the first half after having being released through on goal by Ramsey but his first touch was akin to that of a club-footed mule, which allowed Hart to come out from his area and smother the ball.
Lukas Podolski (70' off) - 6.5
The German international worked his socks off for the team and although he did not really manage to impress much offensively, he helped his team out immensely defensively and did not allow City's midfielders any time on the ball.
Olivier Giroud (70' on) - 6.5
Giroud offered a different outlet of attack for Wenger's men and the physically imposing striker certainly did his part, holding up the ball well, linking play up effectively with his teammates and generally making a nuisance of himself in City's defence.
Theo Walcott (70' on) - 5
The 23-year-old was brought on the inject some pace in the Arsenal attack but apart from a few promising mazy runs (which were promptly halted by the excellent Kompany), Walcott never really got going and his below average performance will weaken his position in negotiations with Arsenal for a new and improved contract.
Coqeulin (90' on) - N/A