David Silva sent Manchester City back to the top of the Barclays Premier League with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Arsenal.
The Spaniard slid in his sixth goal of the season after 53 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to finally give City reward for some brilliant attacking play.
Yet Arsenal, although perhaps lucky not to have Alex Song sent off, threatened on a number of occasions and Joe Hart saved well from Thomas Vermaelen late on.
Gervinho had Arsenal's first serious opportunity but Hart saved well.
Mario Balotelli almost gave City the lead with an opportunistic acrobatic shot but Wojciech Szczesny reacted quickly.
City caught Arsenal on the counter-attack to take the lead seven minutes after the restart. Samir Nasri found Balotelli in space down the left and the Italian charged forward to cut inside and shoot.
Szczesny parried but Sergio Aguero reacted quickly to head across goal for Silva to slide in and score.
It was a lead which was almost wiped out within a minute as Theo Walcott forced Hart to tip over from 18 yards.
Robin van Persie thought he had equalised when he deftly chipped Hart three minutes later but the flag was raised for offside and Pablo Zabaleta almost made it 2-0 when he seized on a poor pass from Laurent Koscielny but drove against the post with Szczesny beaten.
Arsenal pressed until the end with Vermaelen forcing Hart to make a brilliant save with a well-struck shot following a short free-kick.