Man City beats Arsenal to grab momentum in EPL title race

Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (R) after scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 15, 2023.

Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (R) after scoring his workforce’s third purpose through the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester City on the Emirates Stadium in London on February 15, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Manchester City seized the momentum within the Premier League title race after Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland scored second-half targets to safe a 3-1 win at Arsenal on Wednesday.

Having trailed Arsenal by as a lot as eight factors simply weeks in the past, City abruptly finds itself atop the desk after the defending champions prolonged their latest dominance over the Gunners and confirmed they gained’t relinquish the title simply.

The win places City in first place forward of Arsenal on purpose distinction, though the Gunners nonetheless have a sport in hand. More importantly, maybe, it maintained a psychological edge over its title rival as City has now crushed Arsenal in 11 straight league matches.

“We can all agree that (Arsenal) has been the very best workforce this season, so to come back to their place and play in opposition to them just isn’t straightforward,” Haaland said. “But we played an amazing game and we got the three really important points, and we’re in it again.”

In a game that lived up to the billing of the biggest Premier League match of the season so far with moments of end-to-end action, City took the lead when Kevin de Bruyne capitalized on a defensive error in the 24th minute, before Bukayo Saka equalized from the penalty spot in the 42nd.

Arsenal made a bright start but gave away the lead cheaply after City goalkeeper Ederson booted the ball up the field. Right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu tried to pass the ball back to Aaron Ramsdale but only hit it into the path of De Bruyne, who curled a lob over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the empty net.

“I’ve never seen Tomiyasu make that pass back in seven years but he did it today,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.

Minutes earlier, Eddie Nketiah had spurned the best chance of the game so far when Oleksandr Zinchenko picked him out in the box with a cross but the striker headed wide.

But Arsenal kept pushing forward and the host’s pressure paid off when it was awarded a penalty for a foul by Ederson on Eddie Nketiah as the striker tried to shoot from a difficult angle. Saka calmly rolled the spot kick into the left corner after sending Ederson the wrong way.

City improved after the break and thought it had a penalty early in the second half when Gabriel clumsily pulled down Haaland in the area, but the decision was overturned for an offside on the Norway striker.

But City still retook the lead after another mistake by Gabriel, who turned the ball over in his own half. The visitors countered quickly and Ilkay Gundogan squared the ball for Grealish, who beat Ramsdale with a low shot that took a deflection off Tomiyasu.

Haaland was fit to start after picking up a knock in the previous game against Aston Villa on Sunday and took his tally to 26 league goals this season when De Bruyne cut the ball back for the striker, who took one touch before slotting a shot into the far corner.

Nketiah sent another header wide late on but that was the closest Arsenal came to pulling a goal back.

“In the first half, they were much better than us. Second half, we were much, much better,” City supervisor Pep Guardiola mentioned. “At halftime, we said we were not playing, just defending because they were so good, but we should be more active and the second half was excellent.”

Arsenal has now gone three straight league games without a victory — losing two of those — after racking up 16 wins in the first 19 rounds of the season. The Gunners have dropped more points in those three games (8) than they did in the first 19 (7).

Arteta said the defeat was largely self-inflicted.

“It was an incredible battle between two teams and we just gave them the goals, absolutely gave them the goals and against this team, they’re going to destroy you,” Arteta mentioned. “On the opposite hand, we had three huge, huge possibilities and we didn’t put them away. That was the distinction.”

The sport had initially been scheduled for October however was postponed due to a schedule reshuffling within the wake of the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.

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