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Summary

  1. Arsenal now two points behind Leicester
  2. Walcott curls in effort from edge of box
  3. Giroud drives in second from Ozil assist
  4. Toure pokes in consolation for City

Live Reporting

By Marc Higginson

All times stated are UK

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They think it's all over...

That's about it from us tonight. There's plenty of exciting features planned in the next couple of days for the BBC Sport website so keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime, allow me to sign off and wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Night!

Arsenal fan dressed as Santa
PA

Coming up

Next time we see any football, Christmas Day will have been and gone and we'll be gorging ourselves on the Boxing Day buzz. Arsenal are at Southampton on the 26th, with Manchester City at home to Sunderland and Leicester visiting Liverpool.

The title decider is on 13 February: Arsenal v Leicester.

'Exceptional'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Arsenal

More from Arsene Wenger: "There is exceptional life in this team. Every win strengthens your belief and even more in a big game like that. We have something really special there.

"We have good desire to improve and we earned the right to win in these games. You could see when the legs went they still kept going, that's fantastic to see.

"You get used to that from Mesut Ozil, I am long enough in the game to know that to find this quality you have to travel a long way.

"This league is very difficult, that makes you cautious. Today we did alright, now let's get the resources out on the 26th."

'You cannot make mistakes'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on BBC Sport: "I am uncomfortable because we played better than Arsenal. When we had possession we had chances, before the beautiful goal from Theo Walcott. We took more risks and created chances but you cannot make mistakes in these important games.

"We will continue to fight for the title."

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini
PA

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#bbcfootball

Am I the only one who doesn't understand what Jesus Navas offers apart from raw speed? Toure trotted for 82 minutes, but still offered more.

'There is life in the team'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "It was a very intense game, with both teams giving everything. We always looked dangerous. We got great goals in the first half and we became shaky at 2-1.

"We knew how big this game was, Theo Walcott scored a fantastic goal which surprised Joe Hart and it put us on the way. Olivier Giroud is influential in every game. We missed chances, that's the fear you have. When you see Wilfried Bony and Jesus Navas coming on you know they can make a difference.

"Yaya Toure, I have known him since he was 15 years old and he can play in every position. He has scored so many late goals but this one is one of the exceptional ones.

"It is too early to talk about the title but we are up there. It gives us confidence. I believe we have a very strong spirit, there is life in the team.

"Alexis Sanchez will not be back until the 10th of January or so."

Arsene Wenger
Getty Images

Manager reaction

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini:"The second goal was decisive. The first shot they had was the first goal, before that we had a clear option to score. The second goal was important in the last minute of the half, it was an important mistake from our team.

"You must win these important games. It was important for Sergio to return to the team, maybe he needs a couple of games to return to his performances but it was important to have him back. There are 63 more points to win, a lot of games and the way we played in the second half shows that we will continue to fight for the title.

"I don't know about statistics, but of course we are not out of the title race. If you don't believe, you are not in the profession."

Celebrating a fine win

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

The big man's got moves.

Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker
Reuters

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

John Bennett

BBC World Service

"Manchester City haven't won a Premier League away game since 12th September. In that time Leicester City have won five Premier League away games."

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Arsenal 2-1 Man City

I reckon @theowalcott will make a mighty fine pundit one day. Bright, articulate and likeable.

'We can win the league from behind'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Man City midfielder Yaya Toure: "In the end we were unlucky. We had a couple of chances and it is disappointing. Arsenal counter-attacked very quick, it is tough to take.

"We played very well, it's not easy to control the game at Arsenal. They took their chances, Theo Walcott scored a great goal but the league is not finished yet.

"We showed a couple of years ago that we can win the league from behind. We will get all the players fit and get back to business."

Toure turns it on late

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure came alive in the latter stages when he suddenly got the scent of a point in his nostrils.

Twenty-eight of his 109 touches - over 25% - came in the final 15 minutes.

Yaya Toure touchmap
BBC

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Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Superb result. Bit nervy at the end but well deserved. Happy Christmas Gooners #bbcfootball #AFCvMCFC

'Hard to take'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Manchester City

Man City defender Bacary Sagna: "It is hard to take. We started really well and they scored with the first shot, against the run of the game.

"We have to keep our head up and work hard. It is not a blow, we will keep fighting to the end and have many games to close the gap. We are missing a bit of luck and a bit of quality." 

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Arsenal 2-1 Man City

How hard was that for Arsenal at the end? Theo Walcott keeps saying off air that he's going to be sick. Keep it together!

'He sees things nobody else does'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Arsenal

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott: "When you have to hold on for 10 minutes it's very hard, they scored a stunning goal out of nowhere. A special moment. We got the three points and that's all that matters.

"Mesut Ozil is very modest! He sees things that nobody else does, you just have to make that run. When you have special players on the pitch it makes our jobs so much easier." 

Theo Walcott
PA

There's only one stat that really matters...

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

It didn't feel like it, but City had more than double the shots on goal than Arsenal in that game: 20 compared to eight.

Crucially, only six were on target for the visitors and five for the hosts.

'We can win the league'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil on Sky Sports: "We had a lot of difficult games but we are happy to win. All the team are happy, and me too. I am happy to help the team, you see that on the pitch. Today was again an important game and I try to give my best. 

"We believe in us. We know our quality if we play our game, we can win the league. We will give all the season our best."

No hanging around...

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport in the Match of the Day edit suite

And as the last toot of the whistle comes, our Match of the Day pundits are rushed out. It's time for a quick meeting and then on air at 22:40 GMT, 23:40 GMT in Scotland.

Match of the Day
BBC Sport

There will be plenty to sink the teeth into on the show - presented by Mark Chapman - and of course, all the goals from the weekend will be on show.

Leicester fans, your team were discussed in the edit suite. The whole 'will they? Won't they?' debate seemed to engage everyone. 

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#bbcfootball

Right Gooooooooners. Calm. Breathe. Contemplate glory. We were all 20 years younger last time @arsenal looked this good #bbcfootball

Your Christmas Day table

Let's remind ourselves what that victory means for Arsenal...

Premier League
BBC

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Big win for The Gunners and fully deserved despite Man City's late rally. Optimism growing at the Emirates.  

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#bbcfootball

Liz, I'm sure you remember, slighted Yaya just minutes before he popped in that worldy.

Enjoying the torrents of abuse you brought to my door #bbcfootball but my comment stands. Great goal. Shame he showed up in min 82 not min 1

'Best chance in years?'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Kelly Cates

Sports Presenter

"You get a real sense from the fans around us here that they believe that Arsenal can win the league this season. Is this their best chance in 10 years?"

Petr Cech
Getty Images

'Terribly disappointing'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Danny Mills

Former Man City defender

"Yaya Toure's goal came from nowhere. City dominated possession but only had long shots as Arsenal played perfect counter-attacking football.

"Arsenal had really good chances to kill the game off and got nervous at the end but you have to say all credit to them. It was a terribly disappointing performance from City."

Arsenal's players celebrate - Olivier Giroud high-fiving Petr Cech.

The Frenchman is strutting about with a ripped shirt. It's not quite Terry Butcher-esque, but he put his body on the line when he wiped out Nicolas Otamendi late on.

FULL-TIME - Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Yaya Toure steamed into the party late and threatened to ruin it for Arsene's boys, but they somehow managed to bundle him out of the back door before he could do any lasting damage.

Arsenal win. Just about.

Arsene Wenger
Getty Images

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Yaya Toure is desperate to haul Manchester City back into this, giving away a free-kick for dragging Calum Chambers to the ground.

It's like he's finally woken up, discovered a burglar in his living room and he is throwing haymakers left, right and centre.

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Danny Mills

Former Man City defender

"It was a good strong challenge from Olivier Giroud! Hopefully it's nothing too serious an injury but everyone is taking their time."

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Concern for Arsenal as Olivier Giroud rolls around in discomfort after tangling with Nicolas Otamendi in the penalty area. City wanted a penalty. It was a firm challenge, that's for sure.

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Yaya's goal reminds me of when you play football with your dad. You laugh at how unfit he looks (Yaya is not unfit, mind)... then he pings one into the top corner and offers a little wink which says 'I've still got it you know'.

Petr Cech watches as Yaya Toure scores for Man City
AFP

Head in hands...

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport in the Match of the Day edit suite

Match of the Day
BBC Sport

Manchester City's defending has prompted a few head in hands moments for our pundits tonight.

There's praise now though. "They're battling well now City," says Phil Neville.

CLOSE!

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Yaya Toure surges into the Arsenal box like only Yaya Toure knows how to, but the big man pokes wide under pressure from a panicked centre-half. Admit it, Gunners. You're worried now.

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

"Suddenly Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is pacing his technical area in anticipation and Arsenal's fans are living on their nerves. 

"If City get a point they will have barely deserved it - but now they have a lifeline."

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Don't rule out Manchester City nicking a point here. Jesus Navas drills in a low cross which is put behind for a corner. The centre which follows eventually finds Wilfried Bony who puts the ball over the bar.

Head in hands...

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport in the Match of the Day edit suite

"That is nonchalant , that is nonchalant," says Martin Keown as Yaya Toure scores a sumptuous goal.

As the replays roll both Keown and Phil Neville are intently gazing at the screens to ascertain the root of the Arsenal problem.

"Flamini has to come out quicker to him," Keown concludes.

Arsene Wenger
Reuters

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

It's happening at both ends now. Moments after Arsenal go close at one end, Wilfried Bony drags a shot wide at the other.

'A brilliant finish'

Arsenal 2-1 Man City

Danny Mills

Former Man City defender on 5 live

"Another fabulous strike! Toure just opens up his left foot and passes it into the top corner. He just felt it in. It's a brilliant finish!

"If Arsenal don't win this game they will rue some missed chances. They should have put this game beyond City but City are back in it now."