City miss chance in Emirates stalemate
City were given a boost ahead of the game when fourth-placed rivals Tottenham were beaten 3-1 at Manchester United, but Roberto Mancini's men failed to capitalise in north London. Robin van Persie made a welcome return to the Arsenal line-up, while Emmanuel Adebayor was named on the bench by Mancini for his first return to his former club. Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure both started and the latter had to be alert to curtail an early van Persie burst into the box. Van Persie was denied by a block from the same player midway through the half but there was little goalmouth action to speak of, with Shay Given not making the first meaningful until the 40th minute following a Samir Nasri effort. The second half began in similarly low-key fashion but the game was given a fresh dimension in the 51st minute when Adebayor was brought on for Vieira amid a crescendo of boos from the home supporters. Adebayor had a shot blocked by Mikael Silvestre six minutes after his introduction but Arsenal continued to look the more dangerous of the sides, with Thomas Rosicky forcing Given into more action, albeit regulatory, just before the hour mark. City did begin to come more into the game but it was Arsenal that went closest to scoring in the 70th minute when Given dived full stretch to turn Abou Diaby's low effort around the post. The Republic of Ireland keeper hurt his shoulder in the process and was replaced by Gunnar Nielsen but he was not really tested, even despite the eight extra minutes added on for Given's injury. The draw means Arsenal are still not guaranteed of third place and automatic qualification for the Champions League, but possibly more upsetting for Gunners fans will be the boost the result gives north London rivals Spurs.