Manchester City scored three first-half goals to ensure the storm clouds over the Emirates Stadium continued to gather on Thursday night.
The champions elect were in fine form in the first period and Bernardo Silva opened the scoring within 15 minutes. David Silva finished off an eye-catching move in the 28th minute as he blasted home before the irrepressible Leroy Sané ensured that Pep Guardiola’s men wrapped up the points in the first-half.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty early in the second half but the result was beyond doubt as Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of the Premier League crown continued.
Bernardo blasts City ahead
Both sides got off to a lively start in the capital but it was Arsenal who had the first chance. Aaron Ramsey found space on the right-side and thundered a cross into the box. The ball took a deflection off of Vincent Kompany but Ederson saved well. Henrikh Mkhitaryan also tested the Brazilian with a sweet, low strike but it did not quite have enough purchase to find the net.
The hosts’ promising start to the game however only lasted 15 minutes. Leroy Sané danced from the by-line and found Bernardo Silva in space. The ex-Monaco man took a touch, before shifting onto his right foot and bending a sumptuous shot beyond Petr Čech from the edge of the area.
Slick City scythe through Arsenal
In all, Arsene Wenger’s men did have a couple of chances to equalise. Granit Xhaka first tried his luck from a free-kick but Ederson again held confidently. Ramsey also found space as he connected with Hector Bellerin’s cross but was not able to divert his first-time shot into the net.
Despite the Gunners’ reaction, two quick-fire goals turned an already hostile atmosphere at the Emirates into a toxic one. Lovely combination play between Sané and Sergio Agüero saw the latter create space. The Argentine forward then played a perfect through ball to David Silva who finished high past Čech.
Barely five minutes later, Sané himself got in on the act. Agüero raced beyond Koscielny and fed Kevin De Bruyne, stretching the Arsenal defence. The Belgian creator freed Kyle Walker, who in turn crossed the unmarked Sané. It was a simple task from then on as the German speedster prodded beyond into the bottom corner. It could have got worse for the hosts but Čech denied Agüero from close range.
Arsenal gifted route back but Aubameyang fails to convert
The Gunners had a chance within the first seven minutes of the second-half to grab a goal back. Mkhitaryan was clumsily bundled over by Otamendi in the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Aubameyang stepped up but failed to find the net as Ederson saved the Gabon striker’s weak effort.
The ex-Borussia Dortmund man could have found the net not long after but his powerful volley thundered just wide. Agüero also failed to add to the scoring as his precise finish was halted by a strong hand from Čech. The scored though stayed at three as the Citizens scored three goals against the Gunners for the third time this season.
Despite all the ill-feelings currently engulfing the Emirates Stadium, Manchester City were simply not to be stopped on Thursday evening. The visitors were ruthless, clinical and simply brilliant. Some of the football they displayed against the Gunners was stunning and it was three fantastic goals that secured the three points. Guardiola’s troops regain their 16-point advantage at the top of the table ahead of the weekend’s clash with Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Arsenal remain ten points behind the top-four as they turn their attention Sunday’s trip to Brighton.
Arsenal: Čech (6); Bellerin (5), Koscielny (6), Mustafi (6), Kolašinac (6); Xhaka (5), Ramsey (6); Mkhitaryan (6), Özil (5); Welbeck (5), Aubameyang (5).
Manchester City: Ederson (7); Walker (7) (Zinchenko (6), 72′), Kompany (7), Otamendi (7), Danilo (6); Gündoğan (7), De Bruyne (8), D. Silva (8) (Jesus (N/A), 86′); B. Silva (8), Agüero (7) (Touré (N/A), 82′), Sané (9).
Goals: B. Silva (15′), D. Silva (28′), Sané (33′)
Referee: Andre Marriner
Yellow Cards: Otamendi (19′), Kolašinac (32′)
Red Cards: N/A
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