Jack Grealish felt Arsenal were “a lot better” than Manchester City despite the champions running out 3-1 winners at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Grealish and Erling Haaland, were enough to earn City a vital three points in the Premier League title race despite Bukayo Saka scoring from the spot for the hosts.
The victory leapfrogs City above Arsenal on goal difference as they chase a fifth title in six seasons, although Mikel Arteta’s men do have a game in hand.
Grealish feels City were fortunate to beat the Gunners, who held 63.6 per cent of the possession and had 10 shots to the visitors’ nine.
“If I’m being honest, I don’t think we actually played that well,” Grealish told Amazon Prime after his fifth goal involvement in nine Premier League matches since returning from the World Cup.
“I think Arsenal played a lot better than us. I thought they were the better team, I think so.”
1, 5 – Jack Grealish had one goal and no assists in eight appearances in the Premier League this season heading into the World Cup break, while he has two goals and three assists from nine matches since the competition returned. Game-face. pic.twitter.com/EuaGy4GdGP
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 15, 2023
Grealish won the Premier League title last season in his first campaign with City after they made him the most expensive English player of all time by activating his £100million release clause at Aston Villa.
The 27-year-old believes City showed the mentality of champions against Arsenal, saying: “If you win titles, you’ve got to come to grounds like this.
“Even when you’re not at your best, you’ve got to win games.”
Grealish scored in the 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester United last month and added another goal in a big game against Arsenal on Wednesday.
The winger says scoring in important matches is exactly what he had in mind when he made the move to City, explaining: “Honestly, it was massive. For me, it was a great night.
“That’s what I’ve wanted to do. I feel like I’ve been playing well. I want to come and affect these big games.
“To score tonight was so important, honestly, I was absolutely buzzing, for myself and the team. I thank the manager really, he’s letting me play a lot and with freedom.”
Grealish had a potential red card on his mind as he celebrated after his 72nd-minute strike, having already been booked earlier in the game for dissent.
“I know [Ilkay] Gundo[gan] and I knew he was going to pass it. He’s so unselfish, I just knew he was going to pass,” Grealish recalled.
“As it was coming, it felt like 10 seconds. I was going to try and reverse it, but I know [Aaron] Ramsdale from our time at England.
“When I was celebrating, I was going to take my top off, but I was on a yellow card already!”
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