Manchester City inflicted more misery on former assistant Mikel Arteta and his 10-man Arsenal side with a resounding 5-0 win in Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.
The Gunners were two goals down inside the opening 12 minutes through an Ilkay Gundogan header and Ferran Torres’ strike, before losing Granit Xhaka to a straight red card for a reckless challenge.
Gabriel Jesus and Rodri added to City’s goals tally either side of half-time and Torres rounded off the scoring in the closing stages with his second of the contest.
Arsenal have now lost their opening three league games without scoring and remain in the relegation zone, while City have recovered from their opening-game defeat to Tottenham with back-to-back wins without conceding.
After putting five unanswered goals past Norwich City last weekend, the hosts named an unchanged starting line-up in the league for the first time since October 2017 and soon picked up from where they left off.
Bernardo Silva and Jesus combined down the right and the latter sent a cross to the back post for Gundogan to head past Bernd Leno before the Arsenal goalkeeper could properly react.
That was the 10th time in a row City had opened the scoring against Arsenal in the league and they soon had a second goal thanks to Torres’ simple finish after Silva’s cross somehow made its way through to the unmarked Spaniard.
The goal was allowed to stand following a VAR check for a possible foul on Calum Chambers and Arteta, having also seen Kieran Tierney denied a penalty, had further reason to be annoyed when Xhaka was sent off for lunging in on Joao Cancelo.
Jesus tapped in a third goal for City shortly before half-time after being teed up by Jack Grealish at the end of a flowing move and Rodri sided-footed a fourth past Leno from further out eight minutes after the restart.
Substitute Raheem Sterling was twice denied by Leno after being introduced from the bench, but Torres – who had set up Rodri’s strike – converted a Riyad Mahrez cross with a header in off the post to register a third successive 5-0 home win for City in the Premier League.
What does it mean? Arteta running out of time
Arsenal picked up a much-needed 6-0 win over West Brom in the EFL Cup in midweek, but it was business as usual in the league with this calamitous defensive display at the Etihad Stadium.
City scored from their first two shots in a league match for the first time since December 2019, also against Arsenal, whom they have now beaten nine times in a row in the top flight, and did not look back after Xhaka’s dismissal.
Arteta admitted earlier this week it will take time to turn things around , although on the basis of this performance – a game in which his side had just 19 per cent possession and were outshot 25-1 – the Spaniard’s future is now in serious doubt.
City missed out on the signings of Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo – or rejected the chance to bring in the latter, depending on which reports you read – but they have showed over the last week they already have plenty of attacking talent in their ranks.
None more so than Torres, who scored two and set up another against Arsenal – the first time he has both scored and assisted in a league match since doing so for Valencia in December 2019.
Xhaka sees red… again
Arsenal already had a huge mountain to climb when Xhaka was dismissed for his challenge on Cancelo, and the Swiss midfielder can have little complaint as both feet left the ground.
That was Xhaka’s fourth red card in the Premier League since the start of 2016-17, level with Fernandinho and David Luiz for the most in the competition.
That was also the 10th red card shown to an Arsenal player in the league since Arteta took charge in December 2019, at least four more than any other club.
Key Opta facts:
– City have won their first two home games of the season by an aggregate score of 10-0, the biggest such combined score in a top-flight campaign since Liverpool’s 12-1 tally in their first two home fixtures of 1989-90.
– Arsenal have lost each of their last nine Premier League meetings with City, their outright longest-ever run of consecutive defeats against a specific opponent in their league history.
– City are just the third side to win three consecutive Premier League home games by a 5+ goal margin, after the Citizens themselves (October 2017) and Chelsea (August 2010)
– Arsenal mustered just one shot against City, their lowest tally in a Premier League match since 2003-04 (when Opta started recording shot data).
– The Gunners have lost each of their first three league games of a season without scoring a single goal for the first time ever.
Man City travel to Leicester City on their return to Premier League action following the international break, while Arsenal host Norwich City in two weeks’ time.
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