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Sterling’s early goal earns Man City win at the Emirates

There was plenty of Premier League excitement across the weekend as Everton won the Merseyside derby and West Ham beat Tottenham in a London derby, but a Manchester City win seems to be a constant right now. 

They travelled to the Emirates yesterday afternoon, keen to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points after Leicester’s earlier win over Aston Villa. 

City faced an Arsenal side in an inconsistent run of form but one that had beaten Leeds in convincing fashion a week ago and would have the chance to climb above bitter rivals Spurs and into eighth with a win. 

Both managers made five changes to their starting lineups and the most notable of those was the return of Kevin De Bruyne in the middle of the park. 

As they do often do, Man City got off to a very quick start, pushing Arsenal onto the back foot from the very first whistle.

And it didn’t take long to find the breakthrough as Riyad Mahrez crossed from the right and an unmarked Raheem Sterling leaped high to nod home.

Man City, Premier League

Ominous signs indeed for Arsenal who struggled to even touch the ball in the first ten minutes, let alone get out of their own half. 

Sterling went close to his second shortly after as he was played through on goal by De Bruyne but took too many touches, allowing Bernd Leno to gather.

The tempo dropped somewhat after about fifteen minutes or so although City had complet control of the game. 

Arsenal did begin to see more of the ball but didn’t create anything meaningful for quite a while.

The Gunners had an encouraging ten minute spell before the break but some resolute defecting kept them firmly at arms length.

Half time and Manchester City had the advantage but may have hoped to have been further in front as Arsenal were still well in the game. 

Man City, Arsenal, Premier League

City started the second half in a similar fashion to the first with relentless possession around the edge of the Arsenal box.

Zinchenko, De Bruyne and Gundogan all had shots from range but were either hit too high or at a comfortable height for Leno.

City soon slipped back into their possession based control but didn’t really threaten a second goal at all.

With that, Arsenal would’ve sensed an opportunity but they didn’t really look like scoring themselves. 

In fact, the closest they came was through a very bizarre pass back to Ederson which the keeper needed to volley away off his own goal line, before Elneny struck wide on the rebound.

Man City went very close to settling the game late on after a deceiving piece of footwork from Cancelo, but he sent his effort just wide of the far post. 

It mattered little though as City managed the five minutes of stoppage time well and the full time whistle confirmed their 18th straight win in all competitions.

The lead at the top is back to double figures and it doesn’t look like anyone will stop them now. 

Arsenal meanwhile remain tenth, six points adrift of the top six and eleven points off the top four. 


Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “The way we conceded the goal after two minutes put us in a really difficult situation in the game.”

“The team reacted really well; we started to generate chances and momentum but we lacked quality to score.”

I thought we were really good on the ball against the press but we couldn’t pick the right pass.”

Pep Guardiola meanwhile was left with a strong sense of pride and said “It was as hard as we expected it to be. Playing against Mikel is so difficult – he’s so clever; I learn a lot watching his teams.”

“That’s why I give incredible credit for this victory. People think, 18 wins in a row, it’s easy but you look around Europe, teams are dropping points.”

“This consistency in the last month, honestly I didn’t expect it. I’m more than grateful for what these players are doing.”

Next up for Arsenal is the second leg of their last 32 Europa League tie against Benfica whee the scoreline is nicely balanced at 1-1. 

Man City are also in European action in midweek as they face Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

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