Manchester City beat Arsenal, 3-1, at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday in one of the more anticipated games of the current Premier League campaign. Arsenal entered the match three points ahead of City for the league lead. The two clubs racked up 31 combined victories in just 43 top flight matches so far this season.
Arsenal were the better side in the opening 20 minutes of the match. The hosts had a majority of the possession and had a very good opportunity to open the scoring. Eddie Nketiah sent an open header wide of the post in the 22nd minute after Oleksandr Zinchenko put the ball on a platter. Nevertheless, City struck first.
Arsenal defenders gave the ball away too easily on the night
Gunners defender Takehiro Tomiyasu attempted a back pass to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. The ball, however, was played well short of the keeper and Kevin De Bruyne pounced on the opportunity. While the ball was handed straight to the star midfielder, De Bruyne finished off the goal very well. The Belgian had to lift the ball over an onrushing Ramsdale to put his team ahead.
The Gunners were given a penalty 15 minutes later. Anthony Taylor awarded the hosts the spot kick after Ederson clattered into Nketiah, failing to get any of the ball. Bukayo Saka then stepped up to take the shot and sent the Brazilian keeper the wrong way to level the score. The goal was the winger’s eighth Premier League goal of the season.
City were then given a penalty of their own in the 57th minute. Gabriel essentially wrestled Erling Haaland down to the ground inside the penalty area. The Arsenal defender was also booked for the tackle. However, the decision was reversed after a VAR intervention. Haaland was offside when he initially received the ball. Gabriel’s yellow card was rescinded as well.
Grealish puts City on top of Arsenal in Premier League
Nevertheless, Jack Grealish put the visitors ahead 14 minutes later. Much like the first City goal, Arsenal gave the ball away to start the move. This time, it was Gabriel who gave possession straight to the opposition. Bernardo Silva played in Haaland, who found Ilkay Gundogan at the edge of the box. The German then played a smart pass to a wide open Grealish to finish off the goal.
Haaland capped off the victory with his league-leading 26th goal in his first Premier League campaign. Perhaps unsurprisingly, De Bruyne fed the Norwegian the ball for the assist. The duo have now linked up six times in England’s top flight during the current campaign.
The top two teams in the Premier League will still meet in the league once more time. City will host the Gunners on April 26th. Arsenal will try to collect three points against City in Premier League play for the first time since 2015.
Also, while City ends the night ahead on the table, Arsenal has played one fewer. That makeup game is against relegation-entrenched Everton on March 1. However, Arsenal’s next game in league play is on the road against Aston Villa. Manchester City looks to retain its new spot at the top when it plays Nottingham Forest. Both games are on Saturday, Feb. 18.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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