Boss Manuel Pellegrini has declared the Stamford Bridge showdown with Chelsea a must-win game after Manchester City’s January blues continued against Arsenal.
Slack City dominated possession but barely troubled the Gunners, who put in a classic away performance, scoring through Santi Cazorla’s penalty and Olivier Giroud’s second-half header.
The defeat means City now trail Jose Mourinho’s table toppers by five points ahead of the January 31 clash in London.
He said: “The game we must play at Stamford Bridge is a very important game. We must close the gap to two points. I hope we are going to recover and play the way we are playing so far. With the ball we didn’t have clear ideas.”