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Man City 3-1 Arsenal: Leaders continue unbeaten run with comfortable win

Premier League leaders Manchester City continued their blistering form with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.  

Kevin De Bruyne netted the opener (19) with a low, left-footed effort from 16 yards into the bottom right corner, and Sergio Aguero made it 2-0 from the penalty spot (50) after Raheem Sterling was shoved in the box by Nacho Monreal.

Sub Alexandre Lacazette halved the deficit with a low drive (65) through Ederson’s legs, but City regained their two-goal lead through their own sub Gabriel Jesus (74), netting from close range despite David Silva being in an offside position before crossing.

Sergio Aguero celebrates with team-mates after putting City 2-0 up from the penalty spot
Sergio Aguero celebrates with team-mates after putting City 2-0 up from the penalty spot

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Stones (6), Otamendi (6), Delph (6), Fernandinho (7), Silva (8), Sane (7), De Bruyne (8), Sterling (7), Aguero (7)

Subs: Gundogan (6), Jesus (7), Silva (NA)

Arsenal: Cech (5), Bellerin (5), Monreal (4), Koscielny (5), Kolasinac (5), Coquelin (4), Xhaka (4), Ramsey (5), Ozil (4), Sanchez (5), Iwobi (5)

Subs: Lacazette (6), Wilshere (NA), Giroud (NA)

Man of the match: David Silva

The result means City are now unbeaten in 23 games in all competitions, while Arsenal drop down to sixth place, 12 points off the leaders.

Arsenal have not beaten one of their big five rivals on the road since they won at the Etihad nearly three years ago, and their struggles went on as City attacked in numbers.

Aguero – who was given a pre-match guard of honour after becoming City’s record goalscorer in midweek – blazed over from an angle early on, while Leroy Sane’s ball across the face of goal was inches from being converted by Sterling.

Team news

Alex Iwobi started for Arsenal in place of Alexandre Lacazette, while Francis Coquelin came in for Per Mertesacker, who was out with illness. Sergio Aguero started for the hosts, with Gabriel Jesus on the bench, and Raheem Sterling started in place of Bernardo Silva.

Aguero (L) celebrates with Leroy Sane
Aguero (L) celebrates with Leroy Sane

City took the lead on 19 minutes through De Bruyne, who found the bottom right corner from the left of the box following a nice one-two with Fernandinho, just 30 seconds after Petr Cech had superbly denied the Belgian from a snapshot from 20 yards.

The hosts continued to pile on the pressure as Sterling miscued a square ball for Sane to convert before Laurent Koscielny nearly diverted the ball into his own net, but City goalkeeper Ederson was forced into action in first-half stoppage time, saving well down low from Aaron Ramsey’s drive.

It was 2-0 just five minutes after the break as Sterling got goal-side of Monreal from Fernandinho’s fine lofted ball, forcing the Spaniard to push him over. Aguero stepped up and sent Cech the wrong way, in off the post.

Lacazette was on the pitch just nine minutes before netting, striking low past Ederson after Ramsey’s through ball, and Cech kept Arsenal in it at the other end, blocking Jesus’ close-range effort at the far post from a corner.

But Jesus gave City breathing space 16 minutes from time, finishing off from six yards from Silva’s low centre, but the midfielder was in an offside position from Fernandinho’s initial through ball to the right of the box.

Aguero looks to shake off the challenge of Francis Coquelin
Aguero looks to shake off the challenge of Francis Coquelin

Man of the match – David Silva

De Bruyne was firmly in the running, but Silva’s typically classy show did not go unnoticed.

The Spaniard was faultless on the ball, and even kept his position with discipline to allow City’s quicker players in Sane, De Bruyne and Sterling to bomb forward.

He has a game-high 64 touches in the opposition half, more than double Arsenal’s highest of 31 from Mesut Ozil, and kept his calm to set up Jesus for City’s vital third goal.

The managers

Arsene Wenger: “I would say overall the referee made the decision today, with the soft penalty and the offside goal.

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