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Koscielny clinches draw for Arsenal at Man City

Associated Press Modified: September 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm •  Published: September 23, 2012

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Laurent Koscielny spared Arsenal from a first loss of the Premier League season at Manchester City on Sunday, clinching a 1-1 draw against the defending champions.

Joleon Lescott headed City in front at the end of the first half, but the defender failed to clear a corner in the 82nd minute, allowing Koscielny to score the late leveler from close range.

City's title defense has now started with two scrappy wins and three draws to sit in seventh, behind fifth-place Arsenal on goal difference.

City had been boosted by the return of Sergio Aguero for the first time since the opening weekend of the season after a knee injury, and the striker had the first real chance of the game in the 14th with a curling shot that was pushed away by goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

It was Arsenal who were looking the more dangerous, though, cutting swathes through City's midfield, and had it not been for a bad touch from Gervinho as he ran on to Aaron Ramsey's throughball, the visitors might have been ahead.

The Gunners were taking on their opponents with real pace and Carl Jenkinson did well down the right and pulled the ball back to Lukas Podolski, who could only blaze his shot well over the bar.

Gervinho then fired just wide with a shot that rippled the side-netting and drew cheers from the section of Arsenal fans down the other end who thought it had sneaked in.

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