Manchester City extended their winning streak to 18 games and continued their impressive march towards the Premier League title with a win over Arsenal.
The guests, who have been here since the 15th. December didn’t waste a single point, looked confident from the start and needed just two minutes on the clock when Raheem Sterling managed to thwart Rob Holding and head in a cross from Riyad Mahrez.
Arsenal fired four shots in the first quarter and it looked like the Gunners would suffer a heavy defeat as Pep Guardiola’s men went forward at every opportunity.
Arsenal overcame this early storm and found the game getting better and better. Kieran Tierney tested Ederson with a powerful shot from distance, while a through ball from Bukayo Sac created danger.
After the break, City failed to get the game going, although they came closest to a victory when Kevin de Bruyne, for the first time in over a month, extended the lead, Ilkay Gundogan attempted a shot which was parried by Bernd Leno, before Joao Cancelo missed the post with a fine strike.
In the end, the second goal was unnecessary as City took the three points and remain in the lead with 10 points with 13 games to go.
Arsenal are in 10th place and are six points clear of the top six.
The impressive city continues
According to Pep Guardiola, results like the 1-0 win over Arsenal are sometimes more important.
City regained their best performance of the season, scoring 18 goals in their last six Premier League games here.
It looked like another game was on the line when Sterling and Guardiola and his former assistant coach Mikel Arteta took an early lead through Sterling, and as soon as they finished exchanging jokes on the touchline the ball flew out of Arsenal’s net.
But the extra goals failed to materialise as City strangely failed to show their best in the closing stages of the game. Gabriel Jesus, for example, scored after a quick counter-attack, while Gündogan and De Bruyne could have made better use of their chances.
Although the win was narrow, it never seemed in doubt and Ederson made just one play that saved the entire game.
This is their 23rd unbeaten game of the season, more than any other team in the top five of the European Championships or England’s four divisions, although they have never trailed in their last 17 Premier League games.
The win also marks a record 11 consecutive away wins for the club in all competitions. It’s an impressive statistic for City, one that worries any team hoping in any way to deny them a third league title in four seasons.
Saka shines, Arsenal recover from fearful start
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s manager, believes his side lack quality in finishing.
Arsenal have lost their last seven league games against City, so a win against Guardiola’s eleven was always going to be a big challenge.
Their terrible departure, when they were completely overrun by their opponents, suggested that it would be not just a defeat, but a heavy one.
While Ederson had no trouble with City’s goal, Arsenal had some particularly vivid moments with Saka, again.
The 19-year-old’s pace meant City never really relaxed and perhaps explained why the visitors didn’t win by a bigger margin.
Saka played on the left side, although he has scored more goals and assists on the right side this season. He could have been an even bigger threat had he started this game at that position.
Arteta will be unhappy that his side did not threaten Ederson’s goal again, but he can be happy that at least it did not collapse after the poor start.
The pound sterling back on the road –-Stats
- Arsenal have now lost each of their last eight league games against Manchester City. It was the longest run of consecutive league defeats by an opponent, as was a run of eight match losses against Leeds United between 1973 and 1976.
- Arsenal have lost their last four Premier League games against Manchester City without scoring a goal. For the first time in their history, they have failed to score in four consecutive league games at home against an opponent.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 25 games in all competitions (W22 D3) – the second longest unbeaten run under Guardiola after a run of 28 games from April to December 2017.
- This is the 15th time Manchester City have remained goal-less in the Premier League this season – the highest number of teams after 25 games in the top flight since the 2008/09 season, when Manchester United (19) and Chelsea (15) played the same number of games.
- Since the start of last season, no player has scored more goals in the Premier League than Sterling (20). In fact, Sterling scored twice as many goals during that period as Manchester City’s second-highest scorer (10-year-old Gabriel Jesus).
- Manchester City’s Sterling is the third player to score in three consecutive away games against Arsenal in the Premier League, following Nicolas Anelka (four games to May 2009) and Ian Harte (three games to May 2003).
- Manchester City’s first goal after 75 seconds was the first in the first two minutes of a Premier League match since December 2019, then also away at Arsenal (Kevin de Bruyne after 89 seconds).
What’s the next step?
Manchester City are focusing on Wednesday’s game 24. In February (20:00 GMT), the Champions League travels to Budapest to meet Borussia Monchengladbach in the Round of 16, while Arsenal take on Benfica Athens in their second match of the European League, which lasts 32 seconds (17:55 GMT).
The player of the game
- 2BellerinBocking in 87 mines
- 16MaintenanceSubstitution of David Luisata 82’minutes
- 22 Marie
- 25ElnenyReplaced by Kebals after 86’minutes
- 34XhakaBay in 53 minutes
- 19 PePeRplaced bySmith Rovit 73 minutes
- 11OdegardReplaced by side 73 minutes
- 17Cedric Soares
- 23David Louis
- 32Smith Rowe
- 35 Martinelli
City of people
Formation of a 4-3-3
- 27CancellationWritten at 64 min.
- 5 stones
- 3Rouben Diaz
- 11 Zinchenko
- 17De BruyneSubstitution of Gabriel Jesus in the 63rd minute
- 20Bernardo SilvaBocage in 51 minors
- 2 walkers
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 22 Mendy
- The match finishes, Arsenal 0, Manchester City 1.
- End of the second half, Arsenal 0, Manchester City 1.
- Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) takes a free kick on the left wing.
- Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) takes a free kick on the left wing.
- Emil Smith Rowe (Arsenal) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Rúben Dias (Manchester City) shoots his free kick into the far corner.
- David Luiz (Arsenal) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) hits a free kick on the opponent’s half.
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) hits a free kick on the opponent’s half.
- David Luiz (Arsenal) is penalised after committing a foul.
- The attempt failed. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)’s shot from distance with the right foot is high and wide on the right side of the box. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko after a fast break.
- Fernandinho (Manchester City) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) hits his free kick on the left wing.
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) swings in a free kick in the opponent’s half.
- Just around the corner in Manchester City. Introduced by David Louis.
- Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) has been booked for a foul.
- Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) hits a free kick on the opponent’s half.
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