11182017

Man City outclass Arsenal to open up eight-point lead

Sergio Aguero scores a penalty

Sergio Aguero broke Manchester City’s goalscoring record in the midweek win over Napoli

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised his side’s “amazing” run of form after they outclassed Arsenal to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

City have won nine consecutive league matches, a club record for a single season, have progressed to the knockout stage of the Champions League and are through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

“We cannot deny the last two months have been amazing,” Guardiola said. “We knew how important this game was and we prepared well. The players gave an amazing performance.”

Kevin de Bruyne’s driven finish and a Sergio Aguero penalty put City in command and, even though substitute Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back for Arsenal, Gabriel Jesus sealed victory for the home side from close range.

Arsenal were aggrieved at the penalty awarded for Nacho Monreal’s challenge on Raheem Sterling and both Jesus and David Silva appeared to be offside for the third goal, but the visitors did not deserve to take anything from the game.

“It is unfortunate that the game finished the way it finished,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “You can accept it if City win in a normal way, but this is unacceptable.”

Still, the Gunners would have been beaten by more had it not been for the saves of goalkeeper Petr Cech and the wastefulness of the hosts.

City go into the two-week international break with an extended advantage over second-placed Manchester United, who were beaten 1-0 at Chelsea.

Arsenal slip to sixth, 12 points behind City, and face a battle to regain a place in the Champions League.

City march on

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Pep Guardiola is ‘so satisfied’ by victory over Gunners

City have now won 15 consecutive matches in all competitions, including an EFL Cup victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on penalties.

Their 11-game haul of 31 points and +31 goal difference is a Premier League record, built on some breathtaking attacking play. This win was no different, even if they were hampered by their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

City were particularly dangerous on the counter-attack, their pace, movement and precision passing a constant threat. Just behind the front three of Aguero, Sterling and Leroy Sane, De Bruyne was the orchestrator.

Aguero and Sterling could have both scored before De Bruyne broke the deadlock, the Belgian playing a one-two with Fernandinho and angling the ball inside the far post via Cech’s fingertips.

City could have been further ahead by the break, a Silva ball across goal should have been finished, while Sterling was unable to feed Sane when Arsenal were outnumbered at the back.

Only when Aguero converted a penalty off the post, early in the second half, was the result beyond doubt.

The visitors complained that Monreal’s tangle with Sterling should not have penalised, but the Arsenal defender hauled down the England forward without winning the ball.

Some sloppiness crept into City’s play – home keeper Ederson almost dropped Alex Iwobi’s long-range shot into his own net and they were carved open for Lacazette’s goal.

But substitute Jesus’ tap-in, fed by Silva from the right when both men could have been flagged offside, was no more than Guardiola’s side deserved.

Sergio Aguero<!–

Sergio Aguero was presented with a blue boot by Betty Cowgill, the daughter of Eric Brook, the man he replaced as the club’s record goalscorer

Arsenal left lagging behind

It was to Arsenal’s credit that they did not capitulate – as they have done so often in the past – but this was a stark reminder of how far they lag behind the Premier League’s top clubs.

In away league matches against the rest of the ‘big six’ since the start of the 2014-15 season, Wenger’s side have won only once (a 2-0 win at City in January 2015), losing 10 and drawing seven.

Though they started brightly, the Gunners were soon pushed back by wave after wave of City attacks, a central defensive trio that included Francis Coquelin continually stretched.

Going forward, they lacked the incision and creativity of their opponents. Alexis Sanchez, pursued by City in the summer, was tireless in his efforts as a lone striker, but an isolated figure.

Sanchez was preferred up front to Lacazatte, the £46.5m pre-season arrival, and it was only when the France striker was introduced that Arsenal looked like taking anything from the game.

The visitors came down the inside-right channel, good work from Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey fed Lacazette, whose shot went through the legs of Ederson.

Even then, though, the prospect of Arsenal earning a point seemed unlikely and they needed Cech to deny Jesus and De Bruyne before the third City goal made the scoreline a fair reflection of the game.

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Sterling dived well for penalty – Wenger

Man of the match – Kevin de Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne<!–

This could have gone to a number of City forwards, or even Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, but De Bruyne gets the nod for his masterful marshalling of the hosts’ attacking play.

‘It will be difficult to stop City’ – what they said

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “The only regret is the chances in the first half that we did not take, or when we didn’t make the right pass. My wish is that the players come back healthy from the international break.

“We deserved to win it. We were so, so tired after the Champions League game and against Arsenal it is never won because they are able to make changes.

“We have 12 more points than Arsenal and Liverpool, eight more than Tottenham. That is a lot in November.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “Can anyone stop them? With the way they have started and the quality they have it will be difficult, but you never know. If on top of that they have decisions like they have had today, they will be unstoppable.

“Sanchez did very well. He was up front on his own in the first half but did not have enough support. Overall, I think he has done everything. He is focused and wants to win. He put in a good performance.

“[Per] Mertesacker came in sick yesterday morning. [Fellow defender Rob] Holding had a thigh strain and [Mathieu] Debuchy has just come back from a long-term absence. I don’t see that big problem for Coquelin to play in the middle of the two defenders or as the defensive midfielder.”

Record-breaking City – the stats

  • Manchester City’s 31 points and a +31 goal difference is the best start to a Premier League season after 11 games.
  • Arsenal have registered just one win away to the ‘big six’ in the Premier League since the start of 2014-15, drawing seven and losing 10.
  • Manchester City’s haul of 52 goals is a record for a Premier League club after 17 games in all competitions (since 1992-93).
  • City midfielder Fernandinho has been directly involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances (two goals, two assists), as many as in his previous 64.
  • Since the start of last season, Arsenal have conceded 12 goals from the penalty spot, more than any other Premier League side.
  • City forward Sergio Aguero has had a hand in 10 goals in his last five Premier League games (seven goals, three assists).
  • Petr Cech has saved none of the 13 penalties he has faced with Arsenal in all competitions.
  • City forward Gabriel Jesus’ rate of a goal every 89.6 minutes in the Premier League is the best record of any player to score more than 10 goals in the competition.

What’s next?

Manchester City travel to Leicester on Saturday, 18 November, following the international break (15:00 GMT). Earlier that day, Arsenal host biggest rivals Tottenham in the north London derby (12:30).

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 3, Arsenal 1.

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Arsenal 1.

Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Fabian Delph (Manchester City) because of an injury.

Offside, Manchester City. Ederson tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Mesut Özil (Arsenal).

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

Substitution, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva replaces Leroy Sané.

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Fabian Delph (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

Substitution, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud replaces Granit Xhaka.

Substitution, Arsenal. Jack Wilshere replaces Alex Iwobi.

Substitution, Manchester City. Ilkay Gündogan replaces Raheem Sterling.

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).

Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Goal! Manchester City 3, Arsenal 1. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva.

Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. John Stones (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Petr Cech.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Petr Cech.

Attempt saved. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Héctor Bellerín.

Attempt blocked. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a cross.

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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