Manchester City moved back to within seven points of the top of the English Premier League with a 2-0 victory against Arsenal on Sunday.
Arsenal played with a man disadvantage for 80 minutes after Laurent Koscielny was sent off for hauling down Edin Dzeko in the penalty area, with the Bosnian striker missing the resulting penalty.
City made their man advantage count with two first-half goals as James Milner fired an excellent opener from a tight angle before Dzeko did manage to get his name on the scoresheet with a tap in.
Both teams played the final 15 minutes at the Emirates Stadium with 10 men after City captain Vincent Kompany was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Jack Wilshere.
Under pressure following Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool earlier on Sunday, second-placed City responded to their bitter rivals in impressive style, while Arsenal remain sixth.
The victory was City’s first league win at Arsenal in 38 years.
The visitors started brightly before the match-defining moment in the ninth minute as referee Mike Dean awarded City a penalty and showed a red card to Koscielny.
While the decision infuriated Arsene Wenger and the home crowd, Dean had no choice after Koscielny rugby tackled Dzeko in the penalty area as the City striker attempted to turn and shoot.
Arsenal were not punished immediately amid bizarre scenes.
Dzeko stepped up to take the spot-kick, which was saved by Wojciech Szczesny with his legs before the ball rebounded off the post and across the goal-line into the goalkeeper’s arms.
City dominated possession and made their man advantage count in the 21st minute with a beautifully worked opener.
David Silva was alert enough to take a quick free-kick before Carlos Tevez slipped a delightful pass to Milner, who smashed his finish into the far corner from a tight angle via the post.
In the 32nd minute, Dzeko all but ended the game as a contest.
Milner whipped in an excellent low cross from the right and the forward was on hand to tap home his 10th league goal of the season after Szczesny saved Tevez’s initial effort.
After the break, City went into cruise control as they looked to save their energy and coast to victory.
Arsenal showed fighting spirit in the second half and were given hope in the 75th minute when Kompany was dismissed for a two-footed lunge on Wilshere despite winning the ball.
It made little difference as City saw out the result to repay the travelling fans and keep the pressure on United.
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