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Now that we are firmly in the second half of the season we have reached a point where every result counts. In the last round of fixtures, we saw reigning champions Manchester City lose 2-1 at Newcastle United despite taking a first-minute lead. In the end first-place Liverpool could not take full advantage with a 1-1 draw against Leicester City.

Now we enter the next round of fixtures and Manchester City had the opportunity to close the gap on Liverpool with a positive result against an Arsenal side who had seen their form falter in recent weeks. There was a sense amongst the media that pressure was starting to build on City and their Spanish coach Pep Guardiola. This mounting pressure is perhaps a mark of the club’s expectations, both internally and externally.

The winter transfer window has now closed, with City choosing not to reinforce their squad despite them continuing to challenge both for the league title and for the Champions League. Arsenal, on the other hand, chose to add one player to their squad with the loan signing of Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez. This match, however, saw Suarez start the match on the bench.

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