LONDON: It’s a sign of Manchester City’s incredible level this season that a 3-1 win over a major rival like Arsenal was met with a “could do better” assessment by manager Pep Guardiola.
“We could have scored five or six today,” Guardiola said. “We just needed to be more clinical.”
Unbeaten. Ten wins from 11 games. 38 goals. And still Guardiola isn’t satisfied. That’s the standard the rest of the Premier League is up against this season.
Playing four days after an energy-sapping 4-2 win at Napoli in the Champions League, City weren’t as fluent as usual but still swept past Arsenal at Etihad Stadium to make another statement heading into the international break.
They opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table before second-placed Manchester United’s game against Chelsea an and left the Gunners trailing 12 points behind.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was angered by the awarding of a penalty against his team in the 50th minute and what he saw, with some justification, as an off-side when David Silva set up Gabriel Jesus for City’s decisive third.
“Can anyone stop them? It will be difficult this season, the way they have started, the quality they have but you never know. If on top of that they have decisions at home like that, they will be unstoppable,” Wenger told reporters.
City grabbed the lead in the 19th minute through a low drive from Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and doubled their advantage soon after the interval when record scorer Sergio Aguero slotted home a penalty after Raheem Sterling was barged over by Nacho Monreal.
Arsenal threw on striker Alexandre Lacazette in the 56th minute and he fired them back into the game with a clinical diagonal finish after being set up by Aaron Ramsey.
But City restored their two goal lead when Silva, in what replays suggested was an offside position, collected a pass from Fernandinho and slipped the ball to substitute Jesus for a simple tap-in.
TOTTENHAM EDGE PAST PALACE
Tottenham Hotspur remained in third position with 23 points, behind United on goal difference, after Son Heung-min’s second-half goal secured a nervy 1-0 win over Crystal Palace earlier on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side, fresh from beating European champions Real Madrid in midweek, found Palace a difficult nut to crack at Wembley and
could have been behind before Son curled in the winner midway through the second half.
“No point in beating Real Madrid on Wednesday if you can’t win at home at the weekend,” Tottenham defender Eric Dier said. “We knew it would be difficult today with players missing but we wanted to keep the momentum going.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s side laboured at times against Palace and had debutant goalkeeper Paolo Gazzaniga to thanks for saves from Scott Dann and Andros Townsend.
“It was a tough game for us after Wednesday,” Spurs manager Pochettino said. “Palace were compact, narrow and playing on the counter-attack. We had a few problems after the Madrid game and that’s why I’m so happy with the victory. In the end though I’m very pleased with an important three points.”
LIVERPOOL CRUSH WEST HAM
The only member of the Premier League’s top six in action on Saturday, Liverpool took full advantage.
Juergen Klopp’s side won at West Ham United 4-1 to secure successive league victories for the first time since August.
Mohamed Salah scored twice, while Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also found the net as Liverpool made light work of West Ham at the Olympic Stadium.
The victory took Liverpool level on points with Chelsea and Arsenal.
Remarkably, Burnley are also level-pegging on 19 points as Sam Vokes pounced late on for Sean Dyche’s side to earn a 1-0 victory at Southampton.
Bournemouth grabbed a last-gasp winner at Newcastle United to move out of the bottom three. Swansea City dropped into the relegation zone after slumping to a home defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion.
Steve Cook sealed Bournemouth’s 1-0 win with a 90th-minute header while Brighton’s 1-0 win in south Wales came courtesy of Glenn Murray’s first-half shot.
Huddersfield Town beat struggling West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at home to stay safely in mid-table — Dutchman Rajiv van La Parra deciding it with a curling shot just before halftime.
COURTESY BY: https://dawn.com/