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Published: 18:28 | 8/5/16

City and Gunners draw

Arsenal twice come from behind to earn a point

Manchester City's prospects of a top four finish were dealt a severe blow after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.

The home side dominated for long periods and were twice ahead in the game but had to settle for a point in the end which leaves them just two points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United who have a game in hand.

Arsenal aren't quite guaranteed a top four finish themselves as they lead United by five points, but play already relegated Aston Villa in their final game of the season.

Sergio Aguero put City ahead on eight minutes after Fernandinho headed the ball down for the Argentinian international to fire home from the edge of the penalty area.

But the Gunners were level just two minutes later as Olivier Giroud jumped highest to head in a corner after Gael Clichy had almost diverted the ball into his own net with a wayward back header.

Aguero was unlucky not to restore City's advantage shortly afterwards when his goal-bound shot was deflected over the crossbar by Gabriel's last-gasp intervention.

The visitors suffered a blow midway through the first half when striker Danny Welbeck limped off with what looked like a knee injury after landing awkwardly and could now be a doubt for England's Euro 2016 campaign.

City ended the opening period on the front foot but, despite both Jesus Navas and Eliaquim Mangala going close, couldn't find a way through as it remained 1-1 at the break.

But City didn't have to wait too long for the breakthrough their play deserved as Kevin de Bruyne capped a fine individual run with a low shot that just crept inside the post.

Kelechi Inheanacho spurned a great chance to double the advantage shortly afterwards as he shot tamely wide from 15 yards with both Aguero and Navas better positioned inside the penalty area.

They were made to pay for their profligacy as Alexis Sanchez levelled matters on 68 minutes with a cool finish after a good lay-off from Giroud.

City were unable to find a third goal as Manuel Pellegrini's final game in charge at the Etihad ended in disappointment and he was faced with near empty stands when he returned after the final whistle to thank the fans for their support over the course of what has been a hugely disappointing campaign for the blue side of Manchester who may have to face life without Champions League football next season if results don't go their way.

Meanwhile, in the other 4pm kick-off in the Premier League, Liverpool eased to a 2-0 victory over a battling Watford side at Anfield.

There were fears that Jurgen Klopp's side would find it hard to lift themselves following their Europa League heroics in midweek and Watford certainly had the better of the chances early on.

However, Joe Allen took advantage of Christian Benteke's cushioned header put them ahead from close range ten minutes before the break with what proved to be their only effort on target in the opening 45 minutes.

The Hornets continued to battle hard into the second half, but substitute Roberto Firmino sealed victory after taking advantage of a stray cross-field pass before driving on and scoring with a low shot which Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes might have done better with.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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