3 positives & negatives as Arsenal shut out Man City in goalless draw

• Pre-match injury woes alleviated

• Title race out of Arsenal's control

• Bukayo Saka fitness concern

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Michael Regan/GettyImages
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Arsenal held off Manchester City as they earned their first point at the Etihad Stadium since 2016, having played out a 0-0 draw.

In a game that was tipped as Arsenal's biggest of the season, the Gunners' desperation to avoid conceding early was clear, and this objective was realised thanks to excellent defending from the whole side, who absorbed the early pressure from the hosts.

This proved to be the tale of the half, as Arsenal continually defended chance after chance from the treble holders, who never looked like posing a genuine threat to David Raya in the Arsenal goal.

William Saliba, Erling Haaland
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The second half started in exactly the same manner, with Mikel Arteta's side happy to sit back and defend while City's frustration grew as they saw countless attacks rumbled by the strong defensive pairing of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.

Late in the game a great chance fell for substitute Gabriel Martinelli but he was unable to make the most of the opportunity, which confined Arsenal to a goalless draw - a result that many fans will more than happily take.

The result does unfortunately see Liverpool go top of the Premier League, meaning that both Arsenal and Manchester City will be relying on the Reds dropping points now, but it is a far better result for the Gunners than a loss would have been.

Here is a look at the positives and negatives from a game which offered a fascinating tactical showdown despite no goals being scored.

Positive #1: Pre-match injury woes alleviated

Bukayo Saka
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Danehouse Photography Ltd/GettyImages

Heading into this game, Arsenal had a trio of injury concerns with Bukayo Saka, Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes all major doubts due to various injuries.

Despite this, all three players featured in the match-day squad, with Saka and Gabriel both starting the game while Martinelli came on as a substitute in the 78th minute.

Ahead of a very busy run-in, the news will be music to the ears of Arteta and supporters alike, as having their key players available will obviously be vital for their title prospects.

Negative #1: Attacking frustrations

Gabriel Jesus
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Arsenal's game plan was evidently not to attack the reigning treble holders relentlessly, which is probably for the best, but there were still notable chances wasted which could have otherwise seen us win the game.

While I do not like to single out players, Gabriel Jesus was one player who struggled significantly and seemed to always try to do too much, with one Twitter/X account joking: "Gabriel Jesus doing his best Nicolas Pépé impersonation today. Too many tricks and not shooting earlier."

It was certainly an attacking performance to forget, for the whole team, but the side have already shown a great ability to score plenty of goals in recent weeks and months so is perhaps not a huge worry yet, but highlights our need for a striker this summer.

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