Manchester City overpowers Arsenal in direct confrontation title contenders

Manchester City overpowers Arsenal in direct confrontation title contenders
Kevin De Bruyne (center) put City in the lead

NOS Football

Although Arsenal remain the Premier League leaders even after tonight, Manchester City have made a solid advance on title prolongation in England.

Pep Guardiola’s men, without the hamstring injury-plagued Nathan Aké, won the mutual duel at home 4-1 and although they still face a two-point deficit, they have also played two fewer games.

The victory of ‘The Citizens’, who are now seventeen games in a row – ten of them in the league – unbeaten, was nothing to write off. City imposed its will on the opponent for almost ninety minutes and still has sight of the ‘treble’: the final of the FA Cup has already been reached and in the Champions League it meets Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

Premier League standings as of April 26

Arsenal had already escaped with a scare after half-intervention by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale when it still suffered an early blow after six minutes. After a pass from Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne deftly played himself free between three Londoners to make the ball disappear with a curve into the far corner: 1-0.

It certainly did not make the job easier for the guests, who had already lost both previous clashes this season – the home game (1-3) and an away game in the FA Cup (1-0). Especially since the home side did not feel like pulling the strings.

Kevin De Bruyne’s 1-0 in the making

Ramsdale caught a Bernardo Silva effort, Ben White narrowly managed to block a De Bryune shot, and top scorer Haaland thwarted the London goalkeeper three times and also shot wide. Arsenal, whose three consecutive draws left them in the lead, could hardly do anything in return, let alone embarrass the City defense.


Indeed, the leaders went into halftime trailing 2-0. In the extra time of the first half, De Bruyne laid a free kick on the head of John Stones, who – on the right edge of offside for him – headed hard: 2-0.

John Stones celebrates his goal against Arsenal

The final blow followed soon after the break. Shortly after the usually so unapproachable Haaland – already good for no fewer than 32 goals in 28 league games this season – again pounced on Ramsdale, City mercilessly punished ball loss by Arsenal captain Martin Ødegaard.

De Bruyne intercepted and, after combining with Haaland, slotted the ball between Rob Holding’s legs into the goal: 3-0. Guardiola also knew that the game was over, and he allowed himself to substitute the Belgian a quarter of an hour before time.


In the 86th minute, Holding still saved the proverbial honor, but it was nothing more than an empty shell for the ‘Gunners. The twelfth consecutive league defeat against City was near and the first league title since 2004 far away.

Haaland, who by now had shed his hair, also picked up a goal at the last minute. He knotlessly set the final score at 4-1.

Erling Haaland hit the mark again

Small consolation for Arsenal is that Brighton’s defeat at Nottingham Forest does assure them of a spot in the Champions League again – after six seasons of absence.

West Ham lose

West Ham United, AZ’s opponent in the Conference League semifinals, lost 2-1 to Liverpool. Cody Gakpo had an important part in Liverpool’s victory with a goal. He accounted for the equalizer.

Gakpo took a shot from over 20 meters in the 18th minute and the ball disappeared behind Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski via the inside of the post. For the former PSV player it was his sixth goal of the season.

Chelsea lost for the thirteenth time already this season: Brentford was too strong for the declining top club 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Sheffield United secured direct promotion to the Premier League in England through a win over West Bromwich Albion. Sheffield won 2-0 thanks to goals from Sander Berge and Anel Ahmedhodzic to finish in second place in the Championship.

Sheffield follows Burnley, which was already certain of the Championship title and thus promotion.

Kayleigh Williams