Manchester City back on top in title race with win away to Arsenal
Manchester City claimed three points in the first of two Premier League title showdowns with Arsenal, beating the Gunners 3-1 at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
The result puts the two sides level on 51 points atop the PL table, with Manchester City edging ahead on goal difference (+36 to +26), though Arsenal have a game in hand (23 and 22 played, respectively).
Arsenal will visit Etihad Stadium for the return fixture on Wednesday, April 26, in each side’s sixth-to-final game of the Premier League season.
Arsenal vs Manchester City highlights, goal videos
Manchester City landed the first blow after 24 minutes, and it was an uncharacteristic Arsenal mistake that handed them the goal on a silver platter. Ederson launched a long ball to Jack Grealish on the left wing and though Takehiro Tomiyasu got to it first, the Japanese international’s attempted pass back to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale came up well short. Kevin De Bruyne pounced and lifted the ball over Ramsdale with a first-time, left-footed lob to make it 1-1.
Arsenal’s equalizer came in the 42nd minute, courtesy of another defensive mistake, this time by Ederson. Eddie Nketiah was first to a ball played in behind Man City’s defense and got a shot away as Ederson rushed out and clattered into him as the ball slowly rolled toward goal, but Nathan Ake slid in and hooked the ball away just before it crossed the goal line. Referee Anthony Taylor immediately whistled for the contact and gave Arsenal the penalty, which Bukayo Saka dispatched with ice water running through his veins.
It was a hat trick of defensive errors that gave Manchester City their second goal, as Arsenal continued to play the ball out of the back despite coming under increased pressure. Bernardo Silva won the ball back, quickly found Haaland, who found Ilkay Gundogan, who backheeled the ball to Jack Grealish for a first-time finish past Ramsdale.
The two-time defending champions put the exclamation point on their champion’s performance as De Bruyne found Haaland inside the penalty area and an expert finish inside the far post to make it 3-1.
Arsenal vs Manchester City reaction
Pep Guardiola, on adjusting his tactics at halftime…
Erling Haaland, on being back on top in the title race…
Jack Grealish, on scoring the winning goal…
Mikel Arteta, on Arsenal’s performance…
Stars of the show
Kevin de Bruyne: Goal and an assist and helped City take charge in the second half.
Erling Haaland: Bullied the Arsenal defense and got his goal. Turned it up a few notches with his physicality too.
Bukayo Saka: A constant threat and created chances galore as well as scoring from the spot.
Arsenal face Aston Villa on Saturday, Feb. 18., while Manchester City head to Nottingham Forest on the same day.
How to watch Arsenal vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, WednesdayTV Channel/stream online: Watch on Peacock Premium PST watchalong: NBCSports’ YouTube
Key storylines & star players
Arsenal’s midfield has been exceptional when Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard have been healthy, and it’s usually Granit Xhaka tying together the Ghanaian defensive midfielder and their Norwegian playmaking teammate. Look for them to be keys to getting through Rodri and Co.
Ilkay Gundogan remains one of the sneaky under-appreciated players in the league, thanks in large part to the love heaped on Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, and Phil Foden. If he’s not underappreciated, it’s because Riyad Mahrez is... the Algerian had a goal and an assist in the win over Villa and ranks higher than you’d think in City’s all-time ranks.
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Gabriel Jesus (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knee), Emile Smith Rowe (thigh), Thomas Partey (undisclosed)
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: John Stones (thigh).
TEAM NEWS IS HERE! 🙌— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 15, 2023
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Mahrez, Grealish, Haaland
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Laporte, Alvarez, Gomez, Akanji, Foden, Palmer, Lewis#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/OXcHAYKOeE