England's James Milner scores as Manchester City beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates
England winger James Milner scored a stunning goal to help Manchester City win 2-0 at Arsenal and keep alive hopes they can defend their Premier League title.
Having seen leaders Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 earlier in the day there was real pressure on City to follow suit.
And Milner gave them the perfect start when he lashed home a stunning goal following a quick free-kick in the 21st minute.
England midfielder Gareth Barry was also influential while Joe Hart was in goal for the champions and defender Joleon Lescott came off the bench late on - and cleared a Theo Walcott effort off the line.
City manager Roberto Mancini was delighted with Milner's contribution, saying: "He worked very hard. He's a fantastic player. He scored the first goal which was important for us. It changed the game. At the end he was very, very tired because he put everything in the pitch."
For Arsenal, Walcott once again played up front and Kieran Gibbs at left-back. But the home team were hampered by a red card handed to Laurent Koscielny after only ten minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the unlucky man sacrificed as manager Arsene Wenger made changes after that. But the Gunners boss was at least delighted with the tireless performance of Jack Wilshere who kept driving his side forward.
Wenger said: "The spirit was positive. We had a great response in the second half. Wilshere is coming back to an outstanding level and that was very positive. He's incisive when he goes forward. When he's on the ball he's very interesting."
City, who had Vincent Kompany sent off late on for a foul on Wilshere, also found the net through Edin Dzeko.
Earlier on, at Old Trafford, Three Lions striker Danny Welbeck started up front alongside Robin van Persie as Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 and produced an energetic and impressive display.
Goals from van Persie and Nemanja Vidic won it for United, who also fielded Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley.
Another England striker, Daniel Sturridge, won praise from his manager as he scored for Liverpool.
Sturridge gave the visitors hope when they were 2-0 down, coming on as as substitute to score after a shot from England captain Steven Gerrard had been saved.
And Kop boss Brendan Rodgers was impressed, even though the former Chelsea forward couldn't take a later opportunity to make it 2-2.
He said: "In the second half, after we conceded the goal, we could have given up the fight but that is nature of the group.
"In the end, I thought we maybe deserved something from the game. The goals we conceded were disappointing.
"We will learn from days like today, even though we didn't get the result. In the first half we never threatened enough. There wasn't too many chances either way and the ones they had we presented to them.
"Daniel Sturridge was terrific when he came on and we were much better in the second half."
Liverpool also fielded England Glen Johnson, Stewart Downing and Raheem Sterling, with Jordan Henderson coming on as a substitute.