Manchester City against Arsenal had been billed as a winner takes all match for several months. Arsenal went into this game in poor form having drawn their last three games, two of them from winning positions. Due to the dropped points in the last three games, this was a game Arsenal could not afford to lose. A draw or win would still give them a good chance of ending the season as league champions.
The form of Manchester City in recent weeks compared with Arsenal’s form was an indicator of how the match was likely to end, but football can be unpredictable. Not many pundits predicted it would as one sided as it was, but it was.
The game started badly for Arsenal. They were 1-0 down after seven minutes. A clearance from inside the Manchester City half was controlled by Haaland. He put De Bruyne through, who took his chance well. Manchester City increased the pressure on Arsenal after the first goal with waves of attack. Ramsdale denied Haaland opportunities to double Manchester City’s lead. Arsenal had no answers to these constant attacks and were not able to threaten the Manchester City goal. The home team were not able to put away any of their chances until the first minute of added time.
In the first minute of added time John Stones headed into the net from a freekick, from a terrific cross by De Bruyne. The goal was initially disallowed for offside, but was later awarded following a VAR review.
Manchester City really got themselves up for this match, almost as though they wanted to put the young upstarts in their place. Anyone without a knowledge of the Premier League watching this would never have guessed that Arsenal were top of the league going into this match.
The second half didn’t start much better for Arsenal. Manchester dominated from the whistle. Ramsdale was called into action early in the second half, saving Haaland’s effort on goal. He was not able to save Arsenal from going 2-0 down. Manchester City increased their lead through De Bruyne in the 54th minute. The chance was also created by Haaland, who picked up a loose pass by his friend and fellow Norwegian, Odegaard
The third goal killed off the match as a contest. Manchester City were simply too good on the day and continued to dominate the game and look for more goals. Arsenal’s loss of form made the match even more difficult for the away side. Meeting Arsenal while in form would have been a challenge for Arsenal, but meeting them with confidence as low as it was, was becoming a chastening experience for this young side. Their match winners, Jesus, Martinelli, Saka and Odegaard were not getting much of a sniff.
Arsenal scored a goal in the 86th minute through Rob Holding. A well taken goal by the defender. This was always going to be nothing more than a consolation.
Manchester City striker was not going to be denied and got his goal in added time to make the score 4-1.
The match ended 4-1. It could have been more. Arsenal remains two points ahead but have played two games more than their title rival. Manchester City are expected to win those two games and go four points ahead. It’s safe to say that they will retain the title unless something dramatic happens.
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