Late Rodri Goal Gives Man City 2-1 Win over 10-Man Arsenal

The win extends City's lead over Chelsea, who take on third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, to 11 points, while Arsenal are fourth on 35 points. (AP)
The win extends City's lead over Chelsea, who take on third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, to 11 points, while Arsenal are fourth on 35 points. (AP)
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Late Rodri Goal Gives Man City 2-1 Win over 10-Man Arsenal

The win extends City's lead over Chelsea, who take on third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, to 11 points, while Arsenal are fourth on 35 points. (AP)
The win extends City's lead over Chelsea, who take on third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, to 11 points, while Arsenal are fourth on 35 points. (AP)

A stoppage-time goal from midfielder Rodri gave Premier League leaders Manchester City a 2-1 win at Arsenal on New Year's Day as the home side finished a thrilling encounter with 10 men following the sending-off of defender Gabriel.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta missed the game due to a positive COVID-19 test, but his side cast aside any lingering memories of their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of City in August as they pressed high up the pitch from the first whistle.

Their early pressure looked to have paid dividends when playmaker Martin Odegaard was upended in the box by goalkeeper Ederson, but neither the referee nor VAR deemed the challenge worth of a penalty.

The Gunners eventually took a deserved lead in the 31st minute when Bukayo Saka finished a sweeping move by rifling home Kieran Tierney's pass, and they closed out the first half without allowing City a single shot on target.

Seeking their 11th Premier League win in a row, City were not prepared to give up and they flipped the script in the second half to claw their way back into the game.

The visitors leveled from the spot through Riyad Mahrez early in the second half when Granit Xhaka was adjudged to have fouled Bernardo Silva in the box after a VAR review.

Gabriel Martinelli missed a glorious chance to put Arsenal back in the lead moments later before Gabriel was sent off for his second yellow card, picked up for a foul on Gabriel Jesus.

Arsenal held their shape but they failed to deal with a high ball into the box in stoppage time and it fell to Rodri, who drilled it home to grab all three points with only their second effort on target in the game.

The win extends City's lead over Chelsea, who take on third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, to 11 points, while Arsenal are fourth on 35 points.

"They did a great game, but fortunately we saw our personality, our champion personality," goalscorer Rodri told broadcaster BT Sport.

Arsenal were annoyed that the incident involving Odegaard was not studied more closely by referee Stuart Attwell. In contrast, he reviewed the footage before awarding Manchester City their penalty.

"I don't know why the referee is told to see one and not the other. It is there for a reason, go and use it. It is the inconsistency, the whole point is to help the game out," said Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale.



Spain Players’ Euro 2024 Celebration Song Pushes Gibraltar Soccer Body to Weigh Complaint to UEFA

File: Spain’s Alvaro Morata holds the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates after winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
File: Spain’s Alvaro Morata holds the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates after winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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Spain Players’ Euro 2024 Celebration Song Pushes Gibraltar Soccer Body to Weigh Complaint to UEFA

File: Spain’s Alvaro Morata holds the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates after winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
File: Spain’s Alvaro Morata holds the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates after winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Gibraltar’s soccer federation said Tuesday it is taking legal advice about Spain players’ “extremely provocative and insulting” chants at a welcome home party for the European Championship title winner.

In Madrid on Monday evening, Spain captain Alvaro Morata and player of the tournament Rodri led thousands of fans singing “Gibraltar is Spanish.” It was at a celebration for the team’s 2-1 win over England in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday in Berlin, The aP reported.

Gibraltar, on the southern tip of Spain, has been a British overseas territory for more than 300 years with a population of about 35,000 people. Spain has maintained its sovereignty claim.

Gibraltar has been an independent member of European soccer body UEFA since 2013 and FIFA three years later but the diplomatic issue has meant its teams are separated from Spanish opponents in competition draws.

“Football has no place for behavior of this nature,” the Gibraltar federation said Tuesday in a statement, noting the “extremely provocative and insulting nature of the celebrations around the Spanish men’s national team winning Euro 2024.”

The federation said it is taking legal advice about a formal complaint to UEFA for “unacceptable chanting and songs.”

UEFA has clear jurisdiction over political statements and chants at stadiums of games it organizes, though the Spain players sang at a public square in Madrid.

Footage of the incident Monday showed Morata, who previously played in England for Chelsea, reminding long-time Manchester City star Rodri that he still plays in that country. Rodri reportedly replied “I don’t care.”