Arsenal put an end to their eight-year Premier League victory drought against Manchester City with a thrilling 1-0 win, secured by Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal. This dramatic victory marked a significant moment for the Gunners, who had suffered 12 consecutive league losses to Pep Guardiola’s side. Martinelli’s shot, deflected by City’s Nathan Ake, ignited jubilant celebrations as Arsenal triumphed over the reigning champions for the first time since December 2015.
While Arsenal had previously beaten City in the Community Shield in August, this Premier League win carried more weight. It elevated Arsenal to second place, two points ahead of City, who slipped to third, trailing leaders Tottenham only on goal difference. City’s recent league defeats, including one against Wolves, and a League Cup loss to Newcastle, highlighted a rare vulnerability for a team that started the season with six straight wins in their quest for a fourth consecutive title.
Guardiola acknowledged Arsenal’s resurgence under his former assistant Arteta and lost the tactical battle against him in this match. Arteta’s substitutions proved decisive, altering the course of the title race.
In the early stages of the game, City threatened to take the lead but were denied by Arsenal’s defense and goalkeeper. Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah attempted to alleviate the pressure but missed the target. The match heated up with bookings for both sides, including a VAR-checked challenge by Kovacic, which could have resulted in a red card.
Arsenal emerged as the more assertive team in the second half, with Martinelli, a halftime substitute, testing City’s goalkeeper Ederson. Despite Guardiola’s tactical changes, City struggled to make an impact.
However, Arteta’s introduction of Thomas Partey and Kai Havertz proved to be a game-changing decision. Arsenal continued to press, and in the 86th minute, they finally broke through. Partey’s long pass found Havertz, who set up Martinelli at the edge of the box. The Brazilian’s powerful strike, aided by a deflection off Ake, left Ederson wrong-footed and secured Arsenal’s historic victory.