By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Referee Mike Dean was the centre of attention early on in the game after he sent off defender Laurent Koscielny, who was the last man for the Gunners, for hauling down City striker Edin Dzeko in the box and denying the Bosnian a goalscoring opportunity.
Dzeko failed to score from the resulting penalty, but City took full advantage of their numerical advantage to take the lead in the 21st minute. Arsenal failed to react to a quickly taken free-kick, Carlos Tevez fed James Milner on the right of the penalty box, and the England international blasted the ball powerfully past Szczesny.
City soon doubled their advantage, Dzeko making amends for his penalty miss with a predatory goal as the Bosnian international found himself in the right place at the right time to tap the ball home into an empty net after it fell kindly to him following Szczesny's save from Tevez's shot.
Here, ESPNSTAR.com takes a look at the players that took to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Wojciech Szczesny - 7.5
Szczesny looked nervous during the initial stages but slowly grew in confidence as the game wore on. He made several smart stops to deny City from extending their lead, including a fantastic save to deny Tevez from scoring in a one-on-one situation. Szczesny also deserve great credit for smartly saving Dzeko's penalty with the use of his legs.
Bacary Sagna - 7
The French defender was a stable presence on the right of defence and worked very hard to constantly overlap to support the attack. Sagna's crossing still needs a lot of work however, as he delivered several poor balls into the box despite finding himself in good positions on the right on several occasions.
Thomas Vermaelen - 6.5
Vermaelen made several important tackles for Arsenal at the back and had a decent game overall. However, it was his failure to pick up Milner's run following a quick City free-kick which allowed the 27-year-old winger to score the first goal.
Laurent Koscielny (10' Sent off) - N/A
Although there will be endless debate over whether Koscielny's dismissal was warranted, there is no doubt the French defender was at fault for needlessly hauling down Dzeko in the box after he got caught flat footed. His mistake effectively cost Arsenal the game.
Kieran Gibbs - 6.5
It was a relatively subdued display by Gibbs, who seemed unwilling to bombard forward to support the attack as often as he usually does. The 23-year-old was also given a torrid time by Milner on his flank and never really managed to get to grips with the former Aston Villa player's tenacity.
Abou Diaby (61' off) - 6
It was always a gamble for Wenger to start with Diaby, who had only just recovered from injury, in a game of such high intensity. Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off for Wenger, as the lanky midfielder looked out of sorts with the pace of the game and generally tended to slow Arsenal's attack down by taking one too many touches on the ball.
Jack Wilshere - 9
It might not have been Arsenal's day, but they can be cheered by the majestic performance of Wilshere in the middle of the pitch. When it seemed like every Arsenal player had retreated into their shell after having conceded, Wilshere stepped up to the plate and almost single-handedly dragged the Gunners out from their stupor, leading by example with his battling and determined display in midfield. It was a testament to Wilshere's talent that he was fouled seven times in this game, making him the joint-most times of any player in any Premier League game this season.
Santi Cazorla - 5.5
Much of Arsenal's fortunes this season have hinged on Cazorla's talented feet, but the former Malaga player failed to produce the type of performance that the Gunner fans have grown accustomed to. Instead, the Spain international was uncharacteristically sloppy in possession and wasted several good goalscoring opportunities.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (13' off) - N/A
He looked lively in the time he was on and was unfortunate to have been the player sacrificed after Koscielny was sent off.
Lukas Podolski (57' off) - 6
The German international has blown hot and cold this season, but unfortunately for the Gunners, this was one of his poorer displays. Podolski did work very hard down the left, but his final ball was often poor and he failed to offer any penetration on the flanks.
Theo Walcott - 5
Walcott's near anonymous display in this game makes it extremely hard to justify why the Gunners are preparing to offer the England international a reported £90,000-a-week deal. Walcott failed to impose himself on the game and his lack of presence up front meant that Arsenal did not have a viable outlet of attack for majority of the game.
Per Mertesacker (13' on) - 6.5
Mertesacker's early introduction into the game as a replacement for the dismissed Koscielny in the game meant that the German international did not have the luxury of warming up and getting himself ready. As a result, he made several schoolboy errors and lost the ball on several occasions, although he did manage to do much better in the second half.
Olivier Giroud (57' on) - 7
Giroud may not have touched the ball much, but his immense presence up front helped provide the Gunners with an actual target to look for, and the Frenchman's movement off-the-ball helped open the City defence up. He should have done much better with a free header in the box following a Wilshere free-kick.
Aaron Ramsey (61' on) - 7
Ramsey has been mercilessly criticised by Arsenal fans for the past two seasons, but the Welshman reminded everyone of his talent with an inventive display in midfield for the Gunners when he came on. His passing was crisp and positive, and he very nearly got himself an assist after he found Walcott with a beautiful through ball which the former Southampton player failed to convert.
Joe Hart - 7
Hart was rarely troubled by Arsenal in goal and did what he had to do with minimum fuss. It was ann overall stable performance by the England international.
Pablo Zabaleta - 7.5
Zabaleta has grown into one of the best full-backs in the Premier League, and he was once again imperious for City. The 27-year-old was nearly unbeatable on the right, making several crucial tackles and doing well to support his attack numerous times. It was his fantastic tackle on Podolski in Arsenal's half which started the move for City's second goal.
Vincent Kompany (74' Sent off) - 7
Kompany was a rock at the back for City and dominated the aerial challenges with ease. Walcott simply could not get the better of the Belgian international, who led his defence very well. However, Kompany's performance was tarnished by his dismissal for a two-footed lunge on Wilshere in the second half, and he will be thankful that the Gunners' subsequent domination in possession did not result in them scoring.
Matija Nastasic - 7
The former Fiorentina player had a decent game for his side and was a calm and composed presence at the back for the Citizens.
Gael Clichy - 6.5
Clichy was caught out of position several times on his flank, which allowed Sagna time and space to charge forward and pepper the City penalty box with crosses. The French international was also unable to go up and support the attack as usual and Mancini will be disappointed that Clichy did not manage to provide some much needed width for the Citizens.
Javi Garcia - 8
Garcia showed he had finally adapted to the Premier League with a mature display in the middle of the pitch. The former Benfica player distributed the ball from deep effectively and launched several counter-attacks with his pinpoint passing. He also made several important interceptions to break down Arsenal's attacks.
Gareth Barry - 7.5
The former Aston Villa player used his experience to great effect in this game to marshal the City midfield. Barry was a calming presence in the middle of the pitch and was a quietly effective in his role as a defensive midfielder.
James Milner - 8.5
This was one of Milner's best ever displays in a City shirt. Often derided for not having as much technical quality as his more illustrious team-mates, Milner silenced his detractors with a superb goal, firing past Szczesny from an awkward angle with his right foot. Apart from his goal, Milner was a regular threat on the right for the Citizens and caused quite a bit of havoc in the Gunners defence with his accurate crosses.
Carlos Tevez (77' off) - 7
Tevez worked extremely hard up front but he spurned several good chances to score and he will be a relived man that the Gunners did not punish his profligacy. However, the Argentinian did play an important role in his side's win, cleverly setting up Milner to score with a fantastic through pass.
David Silva (93' off) - 7
Silva was once again the conductor for City's attacks, and he did extremely well in the first-half, setting up both Tevez and Dzeko on a few occasions and stretching the Arsenal defence with his sublime passing. His influence in the game however waned in the second half, and he was not able to create as much for his strikers.
Edin Dzeko (88' off) - 9
Dzeko played what was probably his best all-round game for City this season against the Gunners. The former Wolfsburg player used his physical presence to great effect, holding the ball up well and effectively linking up play with Tevez and Silva. He might have missed a penalty, but he more than made up for it by showing great anticipation to run into the box to score City's second goal. The Arsenal defence simply could not find an answer to the Bosnian international, who was deservedly named Man-of-the-match after the game.
Joleon Lescott (77' on) - N/A
Lescott was brought on to replace the dismissed Kompany in the centre of defence and he made a vital contribution for his side, hacking Walcott's effort on goal off the line late in the game to preserve his side's clean sheet.
Mario Balotelli (88' on) - N/A
Aleksandar Kolarov (93' on) - N/A