Head, foot, arm: Aguero rewards Guardiola’s risk three times over
Manchester City prevented another setback in the Premier League title race against their favourite opponent Arsenal – Sergio Aguero scored with three body parts. The visitors lasted only half as long.
Four of the last nine Premier League games lost, but since 20 August they have only scored three points more than their opponents Arsenal: Manchester City went into the top game on Sunday with Manchester City atypical statistics – but they emerged stronger from it. The 3-1 win over the Gunners left Liverpool (West Ham on Monday) only two points behind.
Pep Guardiola went all-in in a way after the unexpected 1:2 in Newcastle during the week: In his extremely offensive line-up Fernandinho extended the trio only in the game against the ball. Once again, ManCity took the lead early, when Laporte Iwobi loached the ball on the counter-press and flanked Aguero’s head – 1-0 after 46 seconds. But once again the early advantage did not hold: Ten minutes later Koscielny scored after a Monreal extended corner in low flight to equalize, Sterling had lost him out of sight.
Gündogan shines at 2:1 – Özil 90 minutes on the bench
And the goal against visibly occupied the hosts after their initial pressure, their game didn’t seem as ice-cold, not as self-confident as it did in high form times. Because Arsenal defended Özil compactly without bench press and moved well at the same time, Leno hardly even had to intervene – until the 44th minute: Sterling played a nice double pass with Gündogan’s ankle and made it possible for Aguero to get the dusters alias the double pack.
This time Arsenal failed the answer; ManCity came strengthened from the break and worked on the third goal: De Bruyne failed three times on not always safe Leno (51./53./56.) – then Aguero scored again: Sterling was too easy on the left, his sharp cross pass into the five-meter room Leno could only deflect with a pike, and Aguero scored his tenth Premier League triple pack (61st) with his hips and arm. Arsenal protested in vain, the intention was not really visible in the – probably decisive – touch of the arm. Koscielny could even have clarified Aguero’s conclusion if he hadn’t stumbled over Leno.
Arsenal can’t play zero away
Arsenal, who had been rather defeated in the duels and had been offensive since the side change, was defeated, Leno prevented at least against Aguero (76th) and David Silva (82nd) further goals. ManCity celebrated their fifth successive competitive win over Arsenal, while the Gunners were forced to let Manchester United pass – and are the only Premier League team to remain without a zero away game. But that was already clear after 46 seconds.