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      Manchester City return to the top of the Premier League after beating Arsenal at the Emirates

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 15, 2023

      The Gunners have led the way since the third week of the season, but were knocked out of the top when City secured a 3-1 victory in a gripping encounter. Kevin De Bruyne had put City in front before Bukayo Saka equalized for Arsenal from the penalty spot, but the visitors would score twice after the break as Jack Grealish and Haaland, an injury doubt before the game, secured three points. vital. Arsenal have now lost three of their last four in all competitions as their title bid has faltered, though they only sit second by virtue of worse goal difference and have a game to go over the men of Pep Guardiola. The atmosphere inside Emirates Stadium was crackling even before kick-off, the gravity of the occasion not lost on anyone as City aimed to completely erode Arsenal’s once-held eight-point lead. Arsenal started well, Eddie Nketiah seeing a shot blocked after Granit Xhaka, without his regular midfield partner Thomas Partey due to a muscle injury, intercepted a pass to set the striker up behind. Haaland got his first nose for goal after 15 minutes, moving behind the remembered Takehiro Tomiyasu but failing to shoot on goal from a sharp angle. The best chance in the early stages fell to Nketiah, who couldn’t even hit the target with a header from a pinpoint cross from Oleksandr Zinchenko. City would break the tie soon after, with a combination of poor defending and world-class finishing putting the visitors ahead. A long overhead ball headed towards Tomiyasu and he looked to play a pass into goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, but didn’t put enough power into his effort. He was intercepted by De Bruyne, whose first shot was perfectly weighted, elevated above Ramsdale and just inside the post. Arsenal reacted well to the setback and forced City to waste time and shoot long balls, Ederson eventually showing a yellow card for delaying a series of restarts. The City goalkeeper was therefore lucky to remain on the pitch when referee Anthony Taylor signaled for the penalty spot after he hit Nketiah. Saka was on hand to coolly score the penalty kick and deservedly equalize Arsenal’s level, but they had the crossbar to thank for coming on even at half-time, Nathan Ake putting the finishing touches with Ramsdale beaten. The second half started where the first had left off, both sides drenched in blood as Mikel Arteta and De Bruyne became embroiled in a dispute after the Arsenal manager took the ball from the Belgian as he sought to win it back for a throw-in. City were awarded a penalty of their own when Gabriel Magalhaes brought down Haaland in the box as the pair battled for the ball. Unlike Ivan Toney’s equalizer here on Saturday, there was a VAR reprieve for the hosts, Haaland narrowly offside in the build-up when the penalty was ruled out. Guardiola turned to his bench, abandoning his surprise tactic of putting Bernardo Silva at left-back after Saka gave the playmaker a torrid night. Manuel Akanji was his replacement and the defender nearly put City ahead only to see his effort cleared down the line by Jorginho, impressing in his full Arsenal debut. For the first time, the home team was beginning to look patchy when Zinchenko was caught in possession trying to play, only Ramsdale’s reactions preventing Haaland from scoring. The sloppiness that was building up soon proved Arsenal’s doom, as a weak back pass from Gabriel led to Haaland crossing for Grealish to score and restore the lead. Points were secure when Haaland converted De Bruyne’s cross with eight minutes remaining, City extended their winning streak over Arsenal in the Premier League to 11 games and left Arteta now having to change his players’ mentality from hunted to hunters. show less

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