City gained a valuable point as they held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at The Emirates Stadium and there chances of finishing fourth are very much alive after Spurs lost at Old Trafford.
But the blues will have to play the remainder of the season without goalkeeper Shay Given, who was substituted after dislocating his shoulder with twenty minutes remaining. As a result, Given will now miss the remaining three games of the season.
As expected, Arsenal had the majority of the play in the first half but, for all their possession, only made one decent effort on target. Samir Nasri’s angled shot was comfortably saved by Given.
That was the only shot of note in the first half, with City failing to force home keeper Lukasz Fabianski into a single save. Carlos Tevez was played as a sole striker, but any passes played to him were easily dealt with by Sol Campbell. However, Patrick Vieira was denied by a well timed challenge by Campbell as the former Gunner was about to shoot.
Six minutes into the second half, City manager Roberto Mancini introduced another former Arsenal man in the shape of Emmanuel Adebayor. The Togolese striker was met by a chorus of boos from the home side, who clearly are not ready to forgive their former striker for his actions during September’s clash at Eastlands.
But it was Adebayor’s introduction that began to make things work for the blues. And City had a penalty call rejected by the referee after Campbell seemed to handle Kolo Toure’s ball into the box.
Shay Given kept the score level when he made a brilliant save from Abou Diaby but in doing so injured his left shoulder and play was stopped for five minutes while the Irish keeper received treatment but was eventually substituted, with Faroe Islands keeper Gunnar Nielsen making his debut.
The game dragged to the end and was compounded by eight minutes of injury time due to Given’s injury. But in the end, City hung on to the point which ends Arsenal’s title challenge over for another season, but the blues closed the gap on fourth placed Spurs to just one point.
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