Manchester City took control of the Premier League title race with a comprehensive 4 – 1 win over Arsenal on Wednesday.
They’re two points behind Arsenal and look set to turn their two games in hand into a four point lead. In truth, Arsenal were never in the game at the Etihad.
Kevin de Bruyne opened the scoring for Manchester City with a signature goal from outside the box on seven minutes. It was the worst possible start for Arsenal whose form, particularly defensively, has been wobbly of late.
Anyone who saw Arsenal’s ‘All Or Nothing’ documentary will be familiar with Mikel Arteta’s assertion that he’s upset when he loses a duel. The Arsenal manager must have been inconsolable in Manchester, because his team didn’t win any.
Manchester City went 2 – 0 up through John Stones after quite a cruel VAR reversal of an on-field offside call. It was two nil at half time and City had played well while Arsenal hadn’t played at all.
More incisive play between Haaland and de Bruyne saw the Belgian put City three up on 54 minutes and killed what little hope remained of another pulsating Arsenal comeback.
Arsenal are the youngest team in the league and they played like it on Wednesday night. City had a plan to stop them playing and they had no answer. Arsenal’s biggest regret will be that they didn’t do what they’re capable of, what they’ve been doing all season.
As a team who never expected to challenge for the title, they’ve hit the wall at exactly the wrong time. City, as is their wont, are blunderbussing through the wall at exactly the right time.
Obviously, it’s not over yet but it’s difficult to see Arsenal getting the two-game swing they’d need to reclaim top spot. All they can do is keep winning and hope something miraculous happens.