We observed three crucial things as the hopes of Arsenal winning the Premier League for the first time since 2003-04 suffered a setback after Manchester City reclaimed their top spot in the table. The reigning champions started slowly but improved in the second half.
The 3-1 defeat for the North London side was due to individual player errors, such as Takehiro Tomiyasu’s weak back-pass which allowed Kevin de Bruyne to score, and Gabriel’s loss of possession, which led to Jack Grealish scoring.
Despite initially equalising with a penalty from Bukayo Saka, Arsenal were unable to capitalise on their opponents’ weaknesses, resulting in a ruthless victory for Manchester City. Arsene Wenger has cautioned the Gunners against missing the current opportunity, as next season’s conditions may not be favorable, with Chelsea and United appearing stronger.
1. Kevin De Bruyne Showed Why He Is A World Class Player
Kevin De Bruyne played a significant role as Manchester City cruised to a 3-1 victory against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. The Belgian play-maker scored the first goal and assisted Erling Haaland in securing the third.
🇧🇪 Kevin De Bruyne vs Arsenal:
• 87 mins played
• 1 goal
• 1 assist
• 2 key passes
• 2 big chances created
• 1 cross completed
• Man of the Match 🌟
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) February 15, 2023
However, the game was marred by a contentious De Bruyne vs the Gunners battle, resulting in the unsportsmanlike act of Arsenal fans throwing beer bottles at the midfielder. City’s triumph over Arteta’s men allowed them to reclaim their position at the top of the Premier League, although they have not quite met their own season standards.
2. Pep Outclasses Arteta Again
Pep Guardiola lauded Erling Haaland’s outstanding performance for the Cityzens at the Emirates Stadium, describing it as one of the best performances he has seen from the player in a City shirt. Although his team secured all three points, Guardiola acknowledged that he expects more from De Bruyne and Jack Grealish in future games.
◉ Man City 1-0 Arsenal (2020)
◉ Arsenal 1-4 Man City (2020)
◉ Arsenal 0-1 Man City (2021)
◉ Man City 5-0 Arsenal (2021)
◉ Arsenal 1-2 Man City (2022)
◉ Man City 1-0 Arsenal (2023)
◉ Arsenal 1-3 Man City (2023)
MAN CITY have won their last 7 games vs Arsenal in all comps! pic.twitter.com/g5iE5VFgtI
— FITZDARES (@Fitzdares) February 15, 2023
At the post-match press conference, Guardiola revealed that his team’s second-half strategy revolved around stopping Martin Odegaard after Arsenal equalised through a Bukayo Saka penalty before the break. His team successfully executed this plan, leading to goals from Grealish and Haaland, resulting in a well-deserved victory for City.
3. Arsenal Have Stumbled Quite A Bit In 2023
Arsenal’s recent string of results, including losses to City in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League, along with a controversial draw against Brentford, makes this latest defeat in front of their home supporters a bitter pill to swallow. While Mikel Arteta and his team must avoid letting their morale drop, they cannot ignore the magnitude of this loss in the context of the title race.
Arsenal’s results in 2023:
0-0 vs. Newcastle (h) 🤝
3-0 vs. Oxford United (a) ✅
2-0 vs. Tottenham (a) ✅
3-2 vs. Manchester United (h) ✅
0-1 vs. Manchester City (a) ❌
0-1 vs. Everton (a) ❌
1-1 vs. Brentford (h) 🤝
1-3 vs. Manchester City (h) ❌#afc pic.twitter.com/kQQ0wZm428
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) February 15, 2023
Despite performing well in the first half, costly mistakes by Tomiyasu and Gabriel proved detrimental against a team of City’s caliber. Although the Gunners still remains in the running for the Premier League title, they must regroup and acknowledge the consequences of this result.
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Due to Thomas Partey’s muscular injury, Arsenal started strong but couldn’t resist the second-half pressure from a galvanised Manchester City side, who had the momentum from recent charges levelled against them by the Premier League. While the Gunners deserved their leveller, they couldn’t prevent City’s experience and clinical edge from sealing their fate.
The defeat puts the Londoners’ winless run to three games, and City now sit at the top of the table on goal difference, having played a game more. City’s skill proved to be the deciding factor in a thrilling contest that could alter the course of the Premier League title race.
With this win against Arsenal, Manchester City aims to maintain their top spot as they prepare to play against Nottingham Forest in their upcoming match. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s team has failed to secure a win in the last four games and will face Aston Villa next.
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