LONDON — Manchester City’s quest to retain their Premier League title has received a significant boost with a convincing 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
The win takes Manchester City to the top of the league standings on goal difference, and more importantly, gives Pep Guardiola’s team the psychological advantage in what is expected to be an intriguing the title race.
The match was as good as advertised, with both teams looking to seize the initiative early on. It was Manchester City which took the lead in the 24th minute through Kevin De Bruyne’s clinical finish, following a poor Takehiro Tomiyasu backpass.
However, Arsenal responded with a penalty from Bukayo Saka in the 42nd minute. The game was finely balanced until the second half when the champions’ class began to show. – Read More: Report: Harry Kane open to joining Manchester United
Two second-half goals from Jack Grealish in the 72nd and Erling Haaland in the 82nd minutes, were enough to secure the win for the Citizens, who send a strong message to the rest of the league, although Arsenal have a game in hand.
For the Gunners, today’s defeat is a major setback in their quest to win the league this season, with Mikel Arteta’s side now gone three games without a win and will be looking to bounce back when they face Aston Villa next.
“I have more belief than I had before the game, with the performance and the level the team put in against City,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta speaking to BBC Match of the Day. “They wanted to play a different game than the one we played and with the crowd we have we can do it.
“They still have it [the belief], I can sense it. They feel they can do it.
“The difference was in the boxes, they had three chances and they put them away. We had chances and we didn’t put them away.”
Manchester City, on the other hand, will be looking to build on its momentum when they travel to face Nottingham Forest next.
This win over Arsenal puts the Citizens in a strong position in the league standings, and they will be hoping to maintain their good form for the rest of the season.
Speaking after the game, City’s Haaland praised his team’s performance and acknowledged the difficulty of playing against Arsenal.
“We can all agree [Arsenal] has been the best team this season so to come and play against them is not easy, but we played an amazing game and got three really important points – we are in it again,” a very proud Haaland said in his post game interview.
The win over Arsenal is a statement of intent from Manchester City and sets them up nicely for the rest of the season. The Premier League title race is shaping up to be a close affair, but on the basis of this performance, Guardiola’s men will take some stopping.