Raheem Sterling scored his ninth Premier League goal of the season
Manchester City extended their winning streak to 18 games as they continued their formidable march towards the Premier League title with a win at Arsenal.
The guests haven’t lost a point since December 15th and looked confident from the start. They took the lead by just two minutes when Raheem Sterling somehow managed to overtake Rob Holding and hit Riyad Mahrez’s cross.
City had four shots against Arsenal in the first quarter of an hour and it looked like the Gunners were in danger of ending a heavy loss as Pep Guardiola’s side poured forward at every opportunity.
In Arsenal’s favor, they weathered that early storm and came into play when Kieran Tierney tested Ederson with a vigorous effort from a distance while there were signs of a threat as Bukayo Saka broke the pace.
After the break, City failed at kick-off, although Kevin de Bruyne, who made his first start in over a month for the first time in over a month, was the most likely to extend the lead while Ilkay Gundogan saw Bernd Leno take a shot in front of Joao Cancelo a nice stroke late past the post.
No second goal was required in the end as City took the three points, meaning they are 10 points clear of the top of the table with 13 games remaining.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are in 10th place and six points below the top six.
Impressive city continues
According to Pep Guardiola, results like the 1-0 win at Arsenal are sometimes more important
City were back at their best this season, scoring 18 goals in their last six Premier League games.
It looked like another high scoring game was at stake when they took the lead through Sterling very early on. Guardiola and his former assistant coach Mikel Arteta had barely managed to exchange courtesies on the sideline when the ball was pulled from the Arsenal net.
The additional goals were not achieved, however, as City was unusually not at their best in the final third. Gabriel Jesus started late after a quick counterattack, while Gundogan and De Bruyne could have used their chances better.
While it was a close win in the end, it was one that was never really put into doubt, with Ederson only making the one that saved the whole game.
This was City’s 23rd goal of the season, more than any other team in the top five European leagues or England’s top four divisions, while not falling behind in any of their last 17 Premier League games.
The win also corresponded to a club record of 11 away wins in all competitions. Impressive stats for City which are worrying for any team in hopes of denying them a third division title in four seasons.
Saka shines as Arsenal recovers from its worrying start
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his team have “no quality” on completion
Arsenal had gone into that game after losing their last seven league games to City. A win against Guardiola’s in form team was always a big challenge.
Their terrible start, when they were completely overwhelmed by their opponents, indicated that this would be not only another but also a major defeat.
While Ederson was never really alarmed at the city gate, Arsenal once again had their moments with Saka particularly lively.
The 19-year-old’s pace at the counter meant City could never really relax and possibly explained why the visitors couldn’t keep winning.
Saka was on the left despite having more goals and assists on the right this season. So he could have been even more of a threat if he’d started this game in this position.
While Arteta will be unhappy that his side didn’t threaten Ederson’s goal anymore, he can be glad they didn’t at least collapse after their bad start.
Sterling scores on the road again – the stats
- Arsenal have now lost each of their last eight league games to Manchester City – the longest streak of straight defeats to an opponent, along with an eight-game run against Leeds United between 1973 and 1976.
- Arsenal have lost their last four Premier League games against Manchester City without scoring a goal. This is the first time in their history that they have not scored a goal in four consecutive home league games against an opponent.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in the last 25 games of all competitions (W22 D3) – the second longest run without a loss under Guardiola after 28 games between April and December 2017.
- This was Manchester City’s 15th goal in the Premier League this season – most from one team after 25 games in a top season since 2008-09, when both Manchester United (19) and Chelsea (15) had that many.
- Since the start of last season, no player has scored more away goals than Sterling in the Premier League (20). In fact, Sterling is twice as many as Manchester City’s second highest away scorer of the time (Gabriel Jesus, 10).
- Manchester City’s Sterling is the third player, after Nicolas Anelka (four games until May 2009) and Ian Harte (three games until May 2003), to score a goal in three away games against Arsenal in the Premier League.
- The start in Manchester City after 75 seconds was the first time in the first two minutes of a Premier League game since December 2019, which was also canceled at Arsenal (Kevin de Bruyne after 89 seconds).
Manchester City turned their attention to the Champions League as they face Borussia Mönchengladbach in the round of 16 in Budapest on Wednesday 24 February (8:00 p.m. GMT), while Arsenal in the second leg of their last 32 Europa League games against Benfica in Athens plays (17:55 GMT).
Player of the game
- 2BellerinBooked at 87 minutes
- 16HoldReplaced byDavid Luizat the 82 ‘protocol
- 25thElnenyReplaced byCeballosat the 86 ‘protocol
- 34JacaBooked at 53 minutes
- 19thGrandpaReplaced bySmith Roweat the 73 ‘protocol
- 11ØdegaardReplaced byLacazetteat the 73 ‘protocol
- 17thCédric Soares
- 23David Luiz
- 32Smith Rowe
- 27CancelBooked at 64 minutes
- 3Rúben Dias
- 17thDe BruyneReplaced byGabriel Jesusat the 63 ‘protocol
- 20thBernardo SilvaBooked at 51 minutes
- 2Walking aid
- 9Gabriel Jesus
End of game, Arsenal 0, Manchester City 1.
The second half ends, Arsenal 0, Manchester City 1.
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Dani Ceballos (Arsenal).
Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal).
Rúben Dias (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by David Luiz (Arsenal).
Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).
Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by David Luiz (Arsenal).
Missed attempt. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and far to the right. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko after a quick break.
Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner of Manchester City. The corner was caused by David Luiz.
Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) receives a yellow card for a bad foul.
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.