Title race is on! Manchester City are back on top as Arsenal stay in slump

LONDON – Manchester City climbed to the top of the Premier League for the first time since November with a 3-1 win over Arsenal in the biggest game of the season.

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland – from Bukayo Saka’s first-half equalizer – gave Arsenal their first home defeat of the season and severely undermined their first title hopes. since 2004.

The defeat extended Arsenal’s recent slump which saw them pick up just one point in their last three games.

GO TO: Best/worst performers | Highlights and Notable Moments | Quotes after the game | Key statistics | Upcoming matches

Fast reaction

1 Arsenal slump keeps Man City at the top of the table

Manchester City are now on pole position to retain the Premier League title and become only the fifth club in English football history to win three consecutive league titles after a potentially decisive 3-1 win over Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s team opened up an eight-point lead last month, but they are now second on goal difference after their first home defeat of the season.

And, after picking up just one point in three games, the Gunners are now just five points behind third-placed Manchester United in what has now become a three-way title fight.

But while Arsenal, who didn’t have injured midfielder Thomas Partey, are now facing a battle to rebuild their form, City have put on a championship performance, sending an ominous signal to their rivals that they are still a team. that needs to be defeated.

A stunning cross from Kevin De Bruyne in the 24th minute from a free pass from Takehiro Tomiyasu gave City the lead before Bukayo Saka equalized from a penalty shortly before half-time after goalkeeper Ederson fouled Eddie Nketii.

City dominated the second half but had to wait for Jack Grealish’s deflected goal in the 72nd minute before regaining the lead. From that point on, with Arsenal trying to equalise, it looked like City’s third goal was imminent, and it came in the 82nd minute when Erling Haaland scored from close range after being set up by De Bruyne.

With both teams yet to meet at Etihad in April, the title race remains tight and unpredictable. But Arsenal’s job now is to make sure they’re still in the race when they visit Etihad, rather than looking over their shoulder at United.

– Stream on Sportzshala+: La Liga, Bundesliga and more (USA)

2. Grealish rewards Guardiola’s faith

Not too long ago, English football raged over Phil Foden’s absence from Gareth Southgate’s England starting line-up for the World Cup with one argument: if he’s good enough for Manchester City, he must be good enough for England. However, a couple of months after Qatar 2022, Foden is now also off the City team because Pep Guardiola believes Jack Grealish is offering more on the side.

And at the Emirates, the City boss was right: Grealish put in a great performance before scoring the second goal of the game to secure control of the champions late in the second half. Foden hasn’t played in the Premier League since losing the Manchester derby to Manchester United over a month ago, thanks in large part to the form of Grealish and Riyad Mahrez.

In this game, Mahrez was ineffective and was substituted, but Grealish was City’s best offensive player. The former Aston Villa winger, who signed from Villa Park for £100m in 2021, differs from Guardiola’s other options in that he runs straight at opponents, dribbling far more frequently than his teammates.

He tormented right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu all night with his straight run and ability to win free kicks. When he scored his goal after the good work of Haaland and Ilkay Gundogan, it was a reward for his performance and also for Guardiola’s belief in the quality of the player.

3. Arteta’s touchline antics are now out of control.

Something needs to be done about Mikel Arteta and his behavior on the touchline, especially in games at the Emirates. Officials spoke to the Arsenal manager during games against Newcastle and Manchester United last month after he got too close to the pitch both times, but he took his antics to new heights against City.

Perhaps it was the tension of being in the most important game of the season and a match that had so much at stake for both sides. But Arteta just needs to control himself better, because he risks provoking a serious confrontation with his opponent if he continues to behave like in this game.

In the first half, Arteta nearly collided with Jack Grealish as the City winger raced down the field close to the touchline. In this case, the Arsenal boss was reprimanded by fourth official Darren England for leaving his technical area and getting too close to the pitch. But Arteta, a former assistant manager at City, was involved in a fight with de Bruyne in the second half when he kicked the ball away from the midfielder as he was trying to take a quick throw-in.

De Bruyne pushed Arteta and wagged his finger before returning to the field while complaining to referee Anthony Taylor. Arteta escaped warning for his antics, but history shows that when passions flare up, incidents can get out of hand. No one wants a repeat of Newcastle boss Alan Pardew headbutting Hull City’s David Mailer in 2014, so Arteta needs to calm down to avoid the prospect of something like that spiraling out of control.

Best and Worst Performers

BEST: Ruben Diaz. The City defender made his Premier League debut for the first time since October due to injury problems and he made a big difference. His commanding presence made City more convincing on the home front.

BEST: Eddie Nketiah – Missed some good chances, but the Arsenal striker also created endless problems for City and overcame his slips, becoming a constant thorn in the opponent’s side.

BEST: William Saliba – The Arsenal defender has comfortably controlled Erling Haaland with his strength, pace and reading of the game.

WORST: Takehiro Tomiyasu. Chosen to start in front not in Ben White’s form, but Tomiyasu had a nightmare. An accidental back pass led to a goal by Kevin De Bruyne, after which he missed an easy chance from six yards.

WORST: Ederson… Very fortunate not to have been sent off for a foul on Eddie Nketiah which led to Arsenal equalizing the penalty. Freshly cautioned for wasting time, the City goalkeeper should have received a second yellow card for a foul.

WORST: Riyad Mahrez. The City winger was in top form, but he had a day off at the Emirates. Just couldn’t get into the game and was replaced an hour later.

Highlights and Notable Moments

Should there have been a penalty? Ederson was embarrassed after he challenged Eddie Nketiya in the first half, which gave Bukayo Sake the opportunity to score from the penalty spot.

But Arsenal’s rally was halted after two second-half goals from City, including a nail in the coffin late in the game by Erling Haaland.

After the match: What coaches, players said

Arsenal manager Mikel Areta on defeat: “Psychologically, the marathon is still ahead. So psychologically [the title] very far. I said it three months ago and I said it today, it’s about tomorrow. The most important thing is what we will be tomorrow, and focus on that, because everything else – we do not know what will happen.

Manchester City head coach Josep Guardiola on title race: “[Arsenal] Played one game less, so I think they are at the top of the league. There are still many games ahead, the Champions League ahead, the Europa League ahead. Lots and lots of hardships for everyone.”

Erling Haaland of Manchester City on the team’s performance: “City”, “we”, not me, champions, so you can say [that it was a champions’ performance]yeah.

Martin Odegaard from Arsenal has been linked with leaving the club. “This is football. Sometimes there is a chance, sometimes not. But this is where we need to improve, be more attentive and defend our penalty area. This applies not only to one player, but to the whole team.”

Key statistics (provided by Sportzshala Stats & Information research)

– When Bukayo Saka scores in a Premier League match, it often means Arsenal win. Tuesday’s defeat is only the third such result that Saka has scored, the other two being against Manchester City (September 4, 2022) and Manchester United (January 1, 2022).

– Manchester City have won their last 11 Premier League games against Arsenal with an aggregate score of 29-4; this is Arsenal’s longest losing streak in the league against a single opponent. City also became the first away team to beat Arsenal seven times in a row.

– Don’t be afraid of the Erling Haaland fans, he’s back in shape. His goal was 26th this season in the Premier League, equaling Sergio Aguero’s record for Manchester City in 2014/15. He also records a three-game goalless streak, the longest since he joined the team last summer.


Arsenal: He will have to bounce back from a tough defeat by traveling to Aston Villa on Saturday and then having a rare full week off before visiting Leicester City on 25 February.

Manchester: A busy stretch through three competitions before the end of the month. On Saturday they travel to Nottingham Forest and then on February 22 they will take part in the first leg of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League against RB Leipzig. Then on 25 February in a league game against Bournemouth, followed by a trip to Bristol City on 2 February. 0.28 per match in the fifth round of the FA Cup.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker