It was a top-of-the-table clash at the Emirates on Wednesday, but it was Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City team who triumphed 3-1 to overtake Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at the top of the English Premier League table.
Aside from the league, the Gunners are looking for their first win over the Cityzens in their last ten meetings, while Arteta has yet to beat his former boss.
Arsenal also suffered their first home defeat since April, when they were defeated 2-1 by Brighton and Hove Albion.
Kevin De Bruyne scored his first goal in over three months before Bukayo Saka equalised from the penalty spot near the end of the first half, but Guardiola earned a much-needed victory with goals from Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland in the 72nd and 82nd minutes.
With Thomas Partey injured, Jorginho made his first start for the Gunners in the heart of Arteta’s midfield.
Both managers, just like in a game of chess, were careful with their usage of pawns. But after 10 minutes of pleasantries between both sides, the Gunners got their first chance at goal in the 12th minute when Eddie Nketiah’s attempt was blocked by Nathan Ake.
Two minutes later, Rodri sent a pass to Riyad Mahrez, but Erling Haaland fired the winger’s fizzed cross wide. Nketiah came close to putting the hosts in front after his header from Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross went off-target in the 22nd minute.
While Arsenal were trying to recoup their strategies, a sloppy pass from Takehiro Tomiyasu was hijacked by Kevin De Bruyne, who didn’t hesitate to loop it over Ramsdale to score his first goal in the last 17 appearances for club and country in the 24th minute.
However, Tomiyasu tried to correct his earlier mistake, but he fired a Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected over the crossbar two minutes later.
In the 39th minute, Nketiah gave the Gunners a chance to restore parity after Ederson clattered into him in the box and referee Anthony Taylor blew for a penalty. Saka took responsibility and restored parity with three minutes left in the first half.
The visitors then missed two goal-scoring chances at the cusp of the first half: First, Ramsdale parried Grealish’s header, and then the goalkeeper parried Rodri’s header for a corner.
City looked more energised as the second half began, and Guardiola seemed more confident of a seventh consecutive win at the Emirates.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Gabriel almost gave away a penalty after the Brazilian defender tangled with Haaland in the box. But after a VAR check, the referee cancelled the call.
Nketiah continued to fritter away good chances in the second half, as he failed to connect with Tomiyasu’s cross in the 66th minute.
After a boring 27 minutes in the second half, the Cityzens scored with a sweeping move finished by Grealish’s strike. Ten minutes later, Haaland added a third goal to cement City’s top-of-the-table position.
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