It was a night to forget for Arsenal as they were humbled by Manchester City at the Etihad in the potential title deciding clash.
Manchester City’s formation and starting XI:
Pep Guardiola went with a 3-2-4-1 formation for this game with Ederson in goal, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish and Erling Haaland completing the XI.
Arsenal’s starting 11 and formation:
For Arsenal they set up in a 4-3-3 formation for the encounter with Ramsdale in goal, Ben White, Holding, Meghalese, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Martinelli completing the eleven.
The team tutored by Mikel Arteta got the game underway and both sides began to go at each other until the 7th minute when City struck.
Kevin De Bruyne took Manchester City into the lead after Erling Haaland chested the ball down under pressure from Rob Holding before playing a delightful ball to De Bruyne.
De Bruyne bursted down the middle of the pitch before striking the ball which went past Ramsdale with a low shot into the bottom corner.
Ramsdale saved Arsenal a lot of times during the game
Both sides afterwards continued to size each other up until the 28th minute when Erling Haaland got down the right side of the box and went in-between Holding and Zinchenko before curling a left-footed attempt towards the bottom corner.
However, Ramsdale was on hand to save his side as he parried the ball away from Kevin De Bruyne who was in position for the rebound.
On the 40th minute, Arsenal definitely would have to thank Aaron Ramsdale for the scoreline has the outcome could have been more huge.
Gundogan got down the left and near the byline, dribbling his way past Partey before he cut the ball into the centre of the box.
Haaland was available and appeared to have an easy finish, but Ramsdale blocked his attempt before he cleared it away.
In the 45th+1 minute, De Bruyne curled a wonderful free-kick into the area that found the head of John Stones who powered his header across the goal and beyond Ramsdale.
The referee on the sideline instantly pulled his flag up for offside but there was a VAR check afterwards to ascertain the goal.
Manchester City defender John Stones was awarded the goal!
Manchester City were handed the goal and definitely there was smiles across the city of Manchester as the Cityzens continued to assert their dominance over Arsenal.
In the 45th+4 minute, Ruben Dias became the first man to get his name into the referee’s book after kicking Arsenal’s white in a show of retaliation.
The first half ended in Manchester City being in firm control of the game and with the Premier League title firmly in sight.
The home side began the second half and off-they-went as they continue to display their superiority over the Gunners.
Haaland became provider for Manchester City while Kevin De Bruyne became the finisher
It looked like De Bruyne and Erling Haaland had switched roles during the game as the Norwegian once again assisted the Belgian for City’s third.
Kevin De Bruyne recovered the ball from Thomas Partey before stretching his leg to pass the ball to Haaland who charges forward before playing the ball back to an unmarked De Bruyne down the left side of the area.
The No 17 man of City then slotted his effort through the legs of Holding and into the bottom corner for Manchester City’s third.
That goal has put a real daylight between the two sides as the gulf in quality was fully evident.
Leandro Trossard and Jorginho then came on to replace Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka respectively in the 60th minute of the game.
12 minutes later, Pep Guardiola then effected a change introducing Riyad Mahrez for German attacker Ilkay Gundogan.
In the 75th minute, Jack Grealish picked up a yellow card after a collision that ensued between him and Thomas Partey with both players holding on to each other’s shirts.
Thomas Partey was also shown a yellow card for his involvement in the occurrence.
The Gunners with the game looking out of the grasp made two substitutions bringing on Reiss Nelson for Bukayo Saka in the 80th minute alongside Edward Nketiah for Gabriel Jesus.
Pep Guardiola substituted Kevin De Bruyne for Julian Alvarez and the Belgian did not get a chance in the last 10 mins of the game to get his hat-trick.
Arsenal got a consolation goal in the 86th minute off a strike from Rob Holding after Trossard ran into the box from the right side and sent a pass to the leg of the Gunners defender who hit an attempt beyond Ederson.
Pep Guardiola made City’s last change in the game bringing on Phil Foden for Jack Grealish in the 87th minute.
A minute later, Rodri was brandished a yellow card for time wasting.
Erling Haaland broke a record against Arsenal
The moment came for Erling Braut Haaland to smash the goalscoring record in a 38-game season as he extended his tally to 33 goals netting the home side’s fourth on the night.
Foden brought the ball to the ground close to the box before trying to locate Erling Haaland, his pass deflected off Rob Holding and straight to Erling Haaland who struck a low shot past Aaron Ramsdale.
It finished at the Etihad Stadium with Manchester City victorious once again over Arsenal in the Premier League and they are now enjoying 17 games winning run.
The disparity in quality between Manchester City and Arsenal showed on the night
The Gunners couldn’t cope with the quality alongside brilliance of the Cityzens and the gulf in class between the two teams was fully shown.
Pep Guardiola’s side would win the English Premier League title if they win all their remaining games this campaign and definitely one can’t bet against them doing that.
Manchester City are now two points behind Arsenal with two games outstanding as they currently have 73 points while Arsenal have 75 points.
Arsenal have extended their winless run to 4 games, sharing the spoils with Liverpool, West Ham United and Southampton in addition to dropping maximum points against City.
All the hardwork throughout this campaign for the Gunners aimed at the league title appears to be in ruins but they can take pride in the astonishing season they have had whilst praying for an almost impossible slip up from Manchester City.
Match Highlights Below: