London: Manchester City’s hopes of finishing in the top four of the English Premier League table and qualifying for the Champions League took a severe hit after being held by Arsenal at 2-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City now stand at 65 points from 37 games while Arsenal grew to 68 from as many games. Fifth placed Manchester United, at 63 points, have two more games left before the season concludes. If Louis van Gaal’s men manage to win both the remaining matches, irrespective of City’s fate in their last game, United’s otherwise forgettable season could turn into celebrations at the fag-end of the season.

Sergio Aguero found the net for the sixth straight game in the eighth minute. The celebrations did not last long. Olivier Giroud equalised two minutes later to keep the match and Manchester United’s hopes alive.

Kevin De Bruyne then put the hosts ahead in the 51st minute with a well-placed grounded shot past Peter Cech. Bruyne took off from the halfway line before darting past at least three Arsenal defenders to sneak one past the Czech goalie.

City’s celebration was cut short one more time when Alexis Sanchez took charge and put on display a beautiful one-two with Giroud before equalising in the 68th minute with a vicious strike from just outside the box.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men can only pray for Manchester United’s failure in the next two games. City have one game against Swansea City while United play West Ham on May 11 and Bournemouth on May 15.