City needed a big result against the Gunners after the surprising midweek defeat at Newcastle, and with it being Groundhog Day yesterday, blues fans must have thought they would relive the anguish of Tuesday’s loss as City again scored within the first minute, only for the Gunners to level. Thankfully, Aguero was on hand to score twice again to move the blues above Spurs and just two points behind leaders Liverpool.
After once losing eight successive home matches, City are now unbeaten in four home games against Arsenal and recorded a league double over the Gunners for the second successive season, but they had to work hard to break Arsenal’s resistance in the first half.
Once again, City took the lead in the first minute and it was Aymeric Laporte who provided it. The defender dispossessed Alex Iwobi, who had attempted to dribble the ball away from his own penalty, and crossed for Aguero to head home on 46 seconds. Gunners fans will have taken heart from Newcastle’s midweek heroics, but the blues didn’t seem in the mood to allow them into the game. Just two minutes later, City were denied a penalty when Aguero was clearly brought down in the area, but the referee waved play on.
If blues fans were annoyed about the penalty that wasn’t given, they will have been livid eight minutes later when Arsenal drew level. The Gunners won a corner and Nacho Monreal flicked the ball on for Laurent Koscielny to head home unmarked. It was a poor goal for the blues to concede and will have been some encouragement to Gunners boss Unai emery, who had seen his team under the cosh from the start.
Both teams had chances as the half progressed, but it was City who took theirs first. The hugely underrated Ilkay Gundogan chipped the ball first time to Raheem Sterling, and the winger’s volley across the area was met by Aguero to side-foot home and send City 2-1 in at the break, much to the relieve of the City fans.
On the hour mark, it was all over and Aguero was moving another hat-trick closer to Alan Shearer’s record of eleven Premier League hat-tricks, although there was some controversy about the manner in which it was scored. Again it was Sterling who was the provider, jinking his way to the by-line and his cross was deflected by Leno, but Aguero managed to bundle the ball home with Arsenal appealing for handball. Aguero later said he felt it came off his chest, but looking at the replay, he realised it went in off his arm.
With the three points now safe, attention now turns to West Ham United on Monday as Liverpool visit the London Stadium. The pressure is fully on Liverpool now and it’s a question of how well they handle it.
Final Score: Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal