Manchester City consolidated their lead at the top of the table in Premier League with another victory at the Etihad Stadium against London rivals Arsenal on Sunday. The Citizens now have 31 points from 11 games and are unbeaten in all competitions this season.
Arsenal came into the match 5th in the table with 19 points from 10 games. They dropped to the sixth spot after the match, owing to a worse goal difference than Liverpool, who demolished West Ham earlier in the week.
The match was competitive from the word go as Arsenal won the match’s first corner in the very first minute. Manchester City, on the other hand, had a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring as Aguero disappointingly hit the side netting from close range.
Arsenal responded as they enjoyed majority of the possession in the first ten minutes and they put the hosts under real pressure with repeated attacks. City could have again taken the lead in the 11th minute, but for a miraculous miss by England international Raheem Sterling, who failed to tap in Leroy Sane’s cross from the left into an open net. City regained control of the ball soon after and Kevin De Bruyne had a brilliant grounded shot saved by Petr Cech. But City’s composure paid off as the Belgian brilliantly fired in a left footer beyond the Arsenal keeper to put the hosts in front.
The table toppers maintained their pressure after taking the lead, occasionally coming close to score again. They had an absolute wonderful chance to double their lead in the 35th minute when Sterling and Sane found themselves on a 2 vs 1 situation after the Gunners lost the ball in City’s half. But Sterling was at fault again as his intended pass for Sane was wayward and the chance went begging. City came close to scoring again a few minutes later, when Walker’s cross was scrambled clear by the Arsenal back-line. Arsenal almost went into the break all square, but for Ederson’s heroics in the injury time. Sanchez’s pass was brilliantly controlled by Aaron Ramsey to fire in a powerful shot into the near post, only for the Brazilian keeper to prevent the ball from going in.
No sooner the play had resumed after the break, Manchester City went back to their attacking ways and they were suitably rewarded for their efforts. Fernandinho’s lofted pass in the 49th minute was chased down by Sterling as he got the better of Kolasniac and entered the penalty area where he was brought down by Nacho Monreal. However, the decision seemed harsh as Sterling clearly went down too easily after what looked like a very little contact. Record goal scorer Sergio Aguero stepped up to double the lead from the spot.
Arsenal were almost handed a goal when Iwobi’s shot was fumbled into his own net by Ederson. Arsenal’s star summer signing Alexandre Lacazette came off shortly afterwards for Coquelin and they immediately looked more threatening. The Frenchman’s inclusion paid off almost instantly when Ramsey’s pass was expertly steered home past Ederson by the 26-year old in the 65th minute.
Arsene Wenger’s men continued the pressure after the goal but their lack of deadliness in front of the goal prevented them from getting level. In the 74th minute somewhat against the run of play, City scored again. David Silva received the ball unmarked on the right, to cross for substitute Gabriel Jesus to slither the ball into the net. However, it showed on replays that Silva was clearly off when the ball was played to him.
Manchester City held on to their lead and went over the line comfortably after that. Nothing of much significance happened after the third goal other than Özil escaping a sure shot sending off in the injury time when his push on Fabian Delph looked like a clear second booking.
Although City were given a few problems by Arsenal midway through the second half, they were comfortably on top from start to finish. They were always banging on the attacking third and looked dangerous on the counter. Pep Guardiola’s attacking tactics ensured that the Blues went into the international break with another 3 points and a 3-1 win.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Line-Ups:
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph; Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva; Raheem Sterling (Ilkay Gündogan), Sergio Aguero (Gabriel Jesus), Leroy Sane (Leroy Sane).
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac; Granit Xhaka (Olivier Giroud), Francis Coquelin (Alexandre Lacazette); Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Özil, Alex Iwobi (Jack Wilshere); Alexis Sanchez.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Highlights:
Manchester City vs Arsenal facts:
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