Gary Neville has claimed that some of Arsenal's players stepped their game up in the 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on Monday night because they were playing for their places in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
CITY are struggling to sell out their allocation for their huge FA Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.
Ike Ugbo put the visitors ahead against the run of play on the stroke of half-time, only for City playmaker Phil Foden to level it up with a fine strike just after the hour-mark.More news: Polar bear dies unexpectedly at SeaWorld San Diego
The Londoners went onto win the second leg 3-1 a year ago and they will be hoping for the same again when they reconvene on Wednesday.
But City reacted quickly and after a strong finish to the first half, they were rewarded in the 62nd minute when Phil Foden restored parity with his effort after the hosts had robbed Chelsea of the ball in midfield.
Hudson-Odoi created the opener when he ran at the City defence and unleashed a low shot that hit the post and rebounded back out to him.More news: Barcelona fans, players, coach stay positive after CL exit
City, watched by first team boss Pep Guardiola high in the stands, struggled to break down the visitors with highly rated winger Jadon Sancho often up against two defenders and Foden finding himself on the periphery of the action.
The breakthrough came a minute before the interval when the impressive Hudson-Odoi burst into the box and, after his shot was deflected against the post by keeper Arijanet Muric's legs, he teed up Ugbo to slam home.
City, who won the league in September and the Continental Cup in October, were also looking to become the first side to hold all three major domestic club honours at the same time since Arsenal in 2011.More news: Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League
Hudson-Odoi went close to restoring Chelsea's lead but there was no separating the sides ahead of next Wednesday's return match.
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