Manchester City took a huge stride towards retaining their Premier League title with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Arsenal on Wednesday evening.
City went into Wednesday’s fixture knowing that beating an Arsenal side five points ahead of them would confirm that momentum had travelled north from London to Manchester over recent weeks.
And Pep Guardiola’s side tore into Arsenal from the off; Kevin de Bruyne gave City the lead in the opening 10 minutes with a deliciously curled finish beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
England’s last remaining Champions League representative battered Arsenal for the rest of the first half, but looked set to go into the break with a slender lead until John Stones powered home a header from De Bruyne’s free kick.
Mikel Arteta’s side were fully rattled by City’s superiority and De Bruyne combined with Erling Haaland to score City’s third shortly after half-time to confirm their victory.
Rob Holding scored a consolation before Haaland wrapped up proceedings with his 49th goal of the season in injury time.
We’ve collected 9 of the best stats from a season-defining night in east Manchester.
– Kevin De Bruyne has scored and assisted in both Premier League games against Arsenal this season.
– And De Bruyne has scored more goals against Arsenal (7) than any other club in his career.
– He has 24 assists in all competitions during the 2022-23 campaign. Lionel Messi is second on 19.
– The Belgium international has now more goals and assists in the Premier League than David Beckham (63 and 101 compared to 62 and 80). This just underlines that De Bruyne is arguably the finest creative midfielder of his generation.
– John Stones has scored in consecutive Premier League games – against Leicester and Arsenal – for the first time in his career.
– The first half xG stats were telling; City led Arsenal by 1.48 to 0.11, illustrating the one-sided nature of the contest.
– Ruben Dias had more first-half touches (58) than Arsenal’s entire midfield (50) at the Etihad on Wednesday night.
– It’s understandable that Erling Haaland’s goals have grabbed the attention this season, but only five players have provided more than his seven assists in the Premier League this year; De Bruyne, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Andrew Robertson and Michael Olise.
– He’s also provided as many assists as fellow Norway international Martin Odegaard this year.