Kasper Schmeichel’s heroics were not enough to preserve Manchester City’s 100% record in the Premier League this season as Cesc Fabregas struck late in the match to earn Arsenal victory. Fabregas found the top corner to become the first goalscorer against Sven-Goran Eriksson’s City, who had won their first three games. It was particularly harsh on the imposing centre-back duo of Richard Dunne and Micah Richards, Richards’ only mistake resulting in a penalty that Schmeichel saved from Robin van Persie. And at the other end, Eriksson and his bench were up on their feet in the second half claiming a penalty when Kolo Toure flattened Michael Johnson, but referee Chris Foy waved play on, allowing Arsenal to take advantage. Emmanuel Adebayor returned to frist team action after a groin problem and Tomas Rosicky was also back in the team asÂ Arsenal looked to break down a stubborn City defence. At the back, though, Philippe Senderos was injured in the warm-up and Gilberto came in at centre-half for his first appearance of the season, and within 19 minutes Mathieu Flamini was playing at right-back following an injury to Bacary Sagna.
For City Johnson burst through the Arsenal defence to set up Martin Petrov for an effort that went wide. Emile Mpenza, in for the injured Valeri Bojinov, had an even better chances after Petrov sent him through but the striker made poor contact on his effort.
Elano had the best of the first-half chances for City but he barely tested Manuel Almunia with a shot from the area when he had team-mates waiting for a pass.
At the other end, goalkeeper Schmeichel required treatment after claiming the ball when Van Persie ran through. The Holland forward appeared to leave a boot in, but he also apologised as the goalkeeper was treated. Richards has earned praise for his impressive start to the season, and his form continued as he threw everything to block Arsenal’s attacks. Dunne did the same as the hosts looked to convert their possession into chances.
well to block
Adebayor had an early effort from the edge of the area deflected wide, while Rosicky found himself in a great position but Dunne again positioned himself well to block. City then applied the pressure, firstly when Petrov flashed a shot wide of the far post after cutting in from the left. Eriksson and his bench were off their feet claiming a penalty when Johnson was flattened by Toure in the area, but Foy waved play on. Then after 62 minutes Mpenza raced through but Almunia spread himself to deny the striker. They were almost made to rue their misses when Richards brought down Alexander Hleb in the area and Foy consulted the assistant referee before pointing to the spot. However, Schmeichel saved with his legs as Van Persie blasted down the middle, and he denied the striker again two minutes later with a long-range effort. The City keeper then tipped Fabregas’ powerful effort over the bar. But the Spaniard was not to be denied with 10 minutes remaining. The ball was fed to Hleb on the right before he slipped a pass Fabregas who smashed into the roof of the net at the near post. Schmeichel forced Almunia into a stoppage time save when he raced up for a corner.