Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City
Manchester City stay top of the Premier League by ten points thanks to a Raheem Sterling header, which was enough to beat Arsenal at the Emirates.
Pep Guardiola’s league leaders have now won their last 18 games, in all competitions, and while this wasn’t the most convincing of wins it was a performance of champions. The Premier League 2021 betting odds have been forecasting a Sky Blue march to the title for some time and tonight the visitors rarely got out of second gear.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal deserve credit for staying in the game but they never really threatened City’s water-tight back four, led by man-of-the-match Ruben Dias.
Highlights of the game
Two minutes was all it took for City to get ahead, and it was a goal of great simplicity which was brilliantly executed. Riyad Mahrez beat his full-back on the right-wing and chipped a ball onto the head of a leaping Sterling who directed it into the corner of the net.
The pre-match odds here at SBOTOP had the Sky Blues at 1.50 to win and that offer already looked generous!
If Arsenal began the game with a tough task, now they had a mountain to climb and the first half looked rather like a training session for the league leaders as they passed the ball around at ease. Kevin de Bruyne’s recovery from injury meant he made a start and he settled seamlessly back into the side, slotting a pass-through to Sterling, but this time the striker was less clinical and allowed Bernd Leno to smother the ball.
As City tormented their hosts Mahrez and De Bruyne both had efforts wide of the mark and the half-hour passed before the Gunners had their first meaningful attempt, Kieran Tierney catching his shot well but straight at Ederson.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has started to look like his old self in recent weeks, scoring a hat-trick against Leeds United last week, but he was anonymous in the first half, and the Gunners were happy to be still in the game at the break.
The hosts began with more energy at the restart but it was Leno in action again to palm away a fierce drive from Ilkay Gundogan. But then, as the half wore on the game settled into the same pattern as the first period, City controlling possession but with a little bite. Joao Cancelo tried a shot from a tight angle which was blocked by Tierney, but then at the other end of the pitch the Portuguese wing-back gifted Arsenal a chance with a sloppy pass but Mohamed Elneny’s first-time drive skidded wide. Cancelo was back on his game in attack, taking a pass from Gabriel Jesus and curling an effort with the outside of his right boot just beyond the far post.
This was a professional rather than spectacular victory which Guardiola will be delighted with. His side have shown they can win when they are not at their best.
While the Sky Blues registered 14 shots to seven on target, they only managed three on target to Arsenal’s one.
As well as winning 18 consecutive matches in all competitions the Sky Blues are unbeaten in 24, and have won their last 11 on the road.
Manchester City have the most exciting front six in the league, but the back four aren’t bad either. They have conceded just four goals in 17 games!
Yesterday’s Premier League 2021 results threw up another headline as Everton beat Liverpool in the Mersey derby and that must mean Jurgen Klopp’s champions are now out of the title race.
The Sky Blues still have Leicester City and Manchester United to shake off, and are back in league action with a home game against David Moyes’ high flying West Ham next week. Before that they have a Champions League tie away to Borussia Monchengladbach. Die Fohlen are labouring in their domestic campaign and lost at home to struggling Mainz on Saturday, a result which left them in eighth place in the Bundesliga table.
Next up, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have a Europa League Round of 32-second leg match at home to Benfica, with the tie in the balance at 1-1. And then they have another tough Premier League game when they head to the Midlands to face Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester. The Foxes climbed into second place on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, with Manchester United still to play.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.