Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City: Pep Guardiola celebrates 100th game in style
By Lewis Jones at The Emirates
Last Updated: 02/03/18 9:06am
It was a case of déjà vu as Manchester City swatted aside Arsenal 3-0 in Pep Guardiola's 100th game in charge on Thursday night.
After meeting in the Carabao Cup final four days earlier, where City triumphed 3-0, a huge gulf between the two sides was on show again in freezing conditions at the Emirates Stadium.
Guardiola's side raced into their 3-0 lead inside 33 minutes with a spell of attacking football that oozed quality and style, summed up by goals from Bernardo Silva (15), David Silva (28) and Leroy Sane (33).
Arsenal created opportunities but were wasteful in front of goal as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty (53).
The win sends City 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League and means they have already matched Arsenal's points tally of 75 from last season with 10 games still to play.
Arsenal: Cech (6), Bellerin (5), Koscielny (6), Mustafi (6), Kolasinac (6), Xhaka (5), Ramsey (6), Mkhitaryan (6), Ozil (6), Welbeck (6), Aubameyang (5)
Man City: Ederson (8), Walker (7), Kompany (7), Otamendi (7), Danilo (7), Gundogan (7), D Silva (8), De Bruyne (8), B Silva (8), Aguero (8), Sane (9).
Subs: Zinchenko (6), Toure (6), Jesus (6)
Man of the match: Leroy Sane
Those that made the trip down the M6 from Manchester were rewarded for their commitment with a fantastic opening period from their team.
Sane danced his way down the left wing before pinging a pass out to Bernardo Silva, who took a touch and curled a wondrous effort into the top corner on 15 minutes.
If the first was good, the second goal was even better as Arsenal were cut open again by Sane down the left. He turned Henrikh Mkhitaryan inside and out, before finding Sergio Aguero in the box. The striker waited before playing a perfect pass to David Silva, who finished past Petr Cech.
Arsene Wenger made four changes with Jack Wilshere nowhere to be seen, having completed 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup final. According to the club, he was nursing a knee injury. Manchester City changed two from the Carabao Cup final. Claudio Bravo dropped back to the bench with Ederson and the injured Fernandinho was replaced by Bernardo Silva.
The searing nature of City's attacking did not relent and Sane got his deserved goal on 33 minutes. This time City attacked down their right and some amazing one-touch interplay between Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne ended with Sane poking home at the back post.
Arsenal were given a golden opportunity to stage an unlikely comeback just after the break when Nicolas Otamendi fouled Mkhitaryan in the box, kicking through the back of his legs. However, Aubameyang hit the penalty far too close to Ederson, who dived to his left and parried the ball clear.
As the temperature started to drop, so did Arsenal's belief and City strolled through the remainder of the match.
Man of the match: Leroy Sane
Rarely has one man ran a team so ragged like Sane did in the first-half. He was the catalyst for all City's attacking brilliance, playing a huge part in the opening two goals before netting the third himself. This was by far his best performance since returning from ankle ligament trouble. His manager agreed.
Guardiola said: "In the first game he came back he wasn't top, but today was the first time he's been back and played quality. The first goal was a brilliant action and he scored the third. He played a really good game."
- Arsenal suffered their joint-heaviest home Premier League defeat, having also lost by three-goal margins to Coventry (1993), Middlesbrough (2001) and Chelsea (twice in 2009).
- The Gunners have lost more matches in all competitions in 2018 than any other Premier League team (7).
- Aguero has had a hand in 14 goals in his last nine Premier League starts (11 goals, 3 assists).
- Man City have saved 11 of the last 19 penalties they have faced in all competitions (excluding penalty shootouts), with Ederson saving three of the five he has faced this season, including both in the Premier League (also against Crystal Palace).
Guardiola: "It's important to maintain the 16 points in front - we need five more games to be champions. It's never easy, when you win the title, you think you can relax or not be focused but we were. So far, we've had an amazing Premier League season."
Wenger: "When your confidence is low the first thing that goes is the fluidity and movement - the spontaneous side of the game. You could see that tonight. I don't deny City's quality but we're going through a difficult patch. That's part of football. We must stay united inside and focus on the next game and put the effort it."
Both clubs are back in Premier League action on Super Sunday as Arsenal travel to Brighton (1.30pm) while City host Chelsea (4pm) - both games are live on Sky Sports Premier League.