Manchester City steamroll Arsenal to seize control of EPL title race
Manchester City are in position to overtake Arsenal for first place in the Premier League after recording a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Gunners on Wednesday.
City, in search of their fifth title in six years, now sit just two points back of the north London club with two games in hand.
Pep Guardiola’s treble-chasing team is guaranteed to become English champion for a third consecutive season if it wins six of its last seven matches. City are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions, winning 13 of their past 14 contests as they continue to reel Arsenal in.
“We know what people will say. It’s so hard. A lot of things can happen. There are still seven games,” Kevin De Bruyne, who scored twice on Wednesday, told BT Sport after the match. “That’s a lot of points, and I know we have two games in hand, but we’re still behind them (in the table). People say we will win the title now, but I know this team. We will not give in until it’s mathematically done. Our schedule is hectic.”
Arsenal’s hopes of winning the league for the first time in 19 years were dealt a devastating blow early on in the title showdown with first-half goals from De Bruyne and John Stones. The latter came on the stroke of halftime after a VAR check confirmed the defender was just onside when he nodded home De Bruyne’s inviting free-kick.
The shell-shocked visitors continued to look overmatched after halftime against a City side that dominated possession and dictated play.
Arsenal were plunged further into despair when De Bruyne’s side-footed effort beat Aaron Ramsdale in the 54th minute, triggering celebrations around the Etihad. Arsenal had no answer for De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, who combined to devastating effect all match long.
“The connection between Kevin and Erling is extraordinary, today we tried to use it as much as possible,” Guardiola explained.
Rob Holding gave the traveling support something to cheer about when he fired in a late consolation goal.
But it was City fans who had the last laugh. Haaland capped off the emphatic victory in injury time with his 33rd goal of the Premier League season – the most ever scored in a 38-game campaign.
Haaland is also one goal shy of tying Andy Cole and Alan Shearer’s record for the most goals scored in any single Premier League season.
While City are surging to close out the season, Mikel Arteta’s young team has stumbled at the worst possible time. Arsenal are now winless in four Premier League matches, with draws against Liverpool, West Ham United, and Southampton eating into their lead before Wednesday’s emphatic defeat.