By Chris Harris

Manchester City have surprised Arsène Wenger with their near-perfect start to the season.

Roberto Mancini's team are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table after winning eight and drawing one of their first nine fixtures. Their most impressive result came last weekend - a 6-1 win at city rivals Manchester United.

That Old Trafford thrashing underlined City's title credentials and, although Wenger expects the leaders to eventually suffer lows as well as highs, he has been extremely impressed by them.

"Manchester City have had a tremendous start," he told Arsenal Player.

"You didn't expect them to start as strongly as they did, but it is still early in the season. Every team will go through difficult patches. Hopefully we have had our part and we can move up now.

"In the first eight to 10 games you can see the first trends in the league coming out and that is what it is at the moment. It looks like Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and hopefully us, will be there.

"City's win at Man United couldn't be stronger," he added. "I don't take too much importance in a result like that because it is always explainable by special circumstances. When you have 10 men you have to chase the game and of course you open yourselves to counter-attacks.

"I think Man City had seven shots on target and they won 6-1, that means every opportunity they had was a clear one like United had against us. We tried to attack with 10 men and we conceded four goals in the last 20 minutes. But at the end of the day, apart from the emotional aspect of the result, it is not of great significance.

"It is amazing how easily they score goals at the moment. That means they must be a force going forward and everybody in the league has to deal with that."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 28 Oct 2011