City ease to victory over Arsenal as Luiz sees red


Arsenal were totally outclassed by Manchester City as the Premier League returned to the Etihad on Wednesday night, with the hosts securing a comfortable 3-0 victory after a couple of typical David Luiz errors.

The game started at a reasonable pace in heavy Manchester rain, with Kevin De Bruyne pulling the strings for the home side and forcing Bernd Leno into an early tip over the bar from a free-kick on the edge of the box.

Two first half injuries disrupted the Gunners game-plan though, with Granit Xhaka (ankle) and Pablo Marí (Achilles) replaced by Dani Ceballos and David Luiz.

After half hour, Guardiola’s men significantly upped the pressure on the visitors’ goal.

First Raheem Sterling cut inside past Héctor Bellerín to draw a smart parry from Leno, before the German goalkeeper saved well from David Silva at the near post

He was then quick to close down a first-time effort from Riyad Mahrez, after the winger was slipped in by a delicious disguised De Bruyne through ball.

The Belgian then found Sterling in the same space between left-back Kieran Tierney and Luiz, but his chip also rose over the bar.

The breakthrough finally came in first half injury time, with Sterling’s first goal of the calendar year.

An uncharacteristically poor cross from De Bruyne went straight to Luiz, but the Brazilian tried to control the ball on his thigh.

He misjudged the ball, which skewed behind him into the box, allowing Sterling to smash a first-time volley beyond a helpless Leno from close range.

Raheem Sterling gives City the lead just before the break (credit: Premier League)

Arsenal barely threatened in the first half and the visitors were quickly finished off four minutes after the break.

Mahrez dribbled past Luiz into box and was pulled down by the erratic defender, who made no attempt to play the ball and denied a clear goalscoring opportunity – referee Anthony Taylor had no choice but to point to the spot and produce a red card.

De Bruyne confidently dispatched the penalty, sending Leno the wrong way, to make it 2-0 to City and end the contest.

Guardiola showed some mercy towards Arteta’s ten-man Gunners by withdrawing the magnificent Belgian midfielder with twenty minutes remaining, but City continued to threaten despite the drop in tempo.

A clever short free-kick from Sterling found Ílkay Gündogan in space, to draw another good save from Leno.

Eric García then became the latest player to go off injured, after a nine-minute delay, when he was clattered by his own goalkeeper Ederson.

In the first of 11 additional minutes at the end of the second half, the Sky Blues grabbed a third goal.

Substitute Sergio Agüero played a one-two with Sterling after a slick team move and Phil Foden was in the right place to bury the rebound, after the Argentine’s shot struck the post.

The win for City delays Liverpool’s title celebrations and puts a dent in ninth placed Arsenal’s European ambitions.

The host celebrate the third goal of an easy win (credit: Premier League)


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