Post-Match Report

Report: Manchester City 4-1 Arsenal

Rob Holding in action against Manchester City

Manchester City -

Etihad Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Manchester City
              De Bruyne (7
               Stones (45)
               Haaland (90)
Manchester City
De Bruyne (7 54) Stones (45) Haaland (90)
4 1
                  R. Holding (86)
R. Holding (86)

We saw our lead at the top of the Premier League cut to two points after second-placed Manchester City ran out winners at Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring just seven minutes in, before John Stones added a VAR-assisted second just before half-time, with the Belgian completing his brace nine minutes after the restart.

Rob Holding would pull one back five minutes from the end, but Erling Haaland netted with virtually the last kick of the game to ensure our 10-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end.

Slow start costs us

The first half was one-way traffic as the hosts - on a six-match winning streak - tested us time and time again, and we soon found ourselves behind. Haaland held the ball up and found De Bruyne, who burst forward and switched the ball onto his right foot to arrow a low shot in the bottom corner past the outstretched arm of Aaron Ramsdale.

The City duo were the main threat throughout the half, and the goalscorer would once again break through in similar fashion - but an excellent sliding block by Ben White prevented De Bruyne adding his second.

Then began a personal battle between Ramsdale and Haaland, which started when the division’s leading marksman slipped between two defenders but scuffed at our number one, who then had to beat away a fierce volley by the Norwegian striker as City cranked up the pressure.

Our only sight of goal in the first half arrived after 34 minutes, when Thomas Partey took aim from the edge of the box but failed to hit the target, and soon after, Haaland was at it again when he found space and burst forward but bent his effort wide of the post.

He continued to keep Ramsdale busy, and five minutes before half-time Ilkay Gundogan wriggled his way along the touchline and picked out Haaland, but Aaron made a good stop with his legs before hacking the loose ball away.

Blows either side of the break

It looked as though we would get into half-time trailing by just one, but then a heartbreaker arrived. In stoppage-time, De Bruyne sent a free-kick to the back post where Stones was waiting to head past Ramsdale, and after it was initially flagged offside, VAR intervened and sent us into the break 2-0 down.

After the restart it was the same old story as Haaland and De Bruyne continued to be at the heart of all City’s most dangerous moments. The striker went one-on-one with Ramsdale and was once again denied - but despite that, it was virtually game over after 54 minutes.

De Bruyne latched onto an under-hit Martin Odegaard pass and found Haaland, who picked the right time to play it back to his team-mate. He expertly controlled the pass and slipped the ball past Ramsdale to get his second of the night.

Late goals for both

We needed something quickly to give ourselves any glimmer of hope and Holding saw a shot deflect just wide after a goalmouth scramble, but after that, a skied Bukayo Saka free-kick and a shot across goal by substitute Eddie Nketiah failed to trouble Ederson.

However we did pull one back with five minutes remaining when Leandro Trossard cut inside from the right and got into the box, and the ball fell into the path of Holding who produced a neat finish to beat City’s Brazilian keeper.

But in the final seconds, Phil Foden teed up Haaland who finally got the better of Ramsdale to score his 33rd league goal of the season to round off a disappointing night that saw the gap at the top of the table reduced.

Facts and stats

Manchester City have won seven consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since a 12-match winning run between November 2021 and January 2022.

Kevin De Bruyne has scored eight Premier League goals against us, three more than he has against any other side.

Erling Haaland scored his 33rd Premier League goal of the season, the most any player has scored in a 38-game season in the Premier League. Only Andrew Cole in 1993/94 and Alan Shearer in 1994/95 (34 goals each) have scored more in a campaign.

Since Leandro Trossard’s first Premier League game for us in January, the Belgian has more assists in the competition than any other player (8).

We are the first side to concede two or more goals in four consecutive top-flight matches in which they started the day top for each match since Manchester United in December 1966.

We are the first side to go four consecutive Premier League games winless while starting the day top for each match since ourselves in March 2008.

Tonight was the first time Haaland had assisted De Bruyne for a Premier League goal, assisting twice – with De Bruyne assisting him eight times previously, their 10 goal combinations are the most by a Manchester City duo in a season.

What’s next

We’re back in action in six days’ time when we host Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, May 2, before we head to the north-east to take on high-flying Newcastle United the following Sunday.

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