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Manchester City annihilate Arsenal 4-1 to close in on Premier League top spot

Manchester City put on a magnificent show in their Premier League match against league leaders Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 4-1 victory with a dominant display, led by the in-form Kevin De Bruyne, who opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a low shot beyond Arsenal’s goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

John Stones doubled City’s lead in the stroke of half-time, while De Bruyne scored his second early in the second half, assisted by Erling Haaland, who also set up City’s fourth goal in injury time. Rob Holding scored a late consolation goal for Arsenal.

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Haaland’s strike takes him to 33 Premier League goals, surpassing Mo Salah’s record of 32 in the 2017/18 season. The victory marks City’s ninth win in the last ten matches, putting them just two points off the top spot with seven games remaining.

We are not really here
We are not really here (Image by Man City)

The Etihad was lively before the game with the unfurling of two colourful banners, one referencing City’s former home, Maine Road, and the other quoting the popular Fleetwood Mac-inspired chant sung at almost every game this season.

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De Bruyne was unfortunate not to score in the third minute when his run was blocked by Thomas Partey, but he made amends four minutes later with a spectacular goal. Arsenal attempted to regain possession to silence the City fans, but City held the leaders at arm’s length.

Haaland had a chance of his own before Stones scored in the first half, while De Bruyne’s persistence paid off early in the second half with his second goal of the game. Arsenal tried to change their playing style in the second half, but City remained in control. Holding’s well-struck shot in the 87th minute gave Arsenal a glimmer of hope, but Haaland sealed City’s victory with his 33rd Premier League goal, and his 49th goal of the season in injury time.

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De Bruyne was named the man of the match, with his penetrating run and drilled shot that gave City the lead, and his assist for Stones’ goal. He was also the catalyst for City’s second goal and was unlucky not to score more goals. City’s fans responded to Guardiola’s request to be loud, delivering an energy-filled atmosphere that contributed to their team’s dominant display.

Manchester City is now two points behind Arsenal with seven games remaining and a realistic chance of winning their third successive Premier League title and their fifth in the last six seasons.

Fidelis Musamba

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