Manchester City cruised to an emphatic 5-0 victory over ten-man Arsenal to go top of the Premier League table.
It was men against boys as the Gunners endured a disastrous opening 45 minutes at the Etihad, with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres both netting early on before Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red card for a rash two-footed tackle on Joao Cancelo.
The impressive Gabriel Jesus piled yet more misery on Arsenal to increase City’s advantage heading into the break before Rodri scored the pick of the goals with a superb curled effort from range in the 53rd minute.
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Torres completed his brace at the death to cap off a dream afternoon for Pep Guardiola’s champions, while the pressure grows on Mikel Arteta to find a result from somewhere after three defeats from three in the English top flight.
The result sees the north London club drop to the bottom of the division ahead of their clash with newly-promoted Norwich next weekend.
City – unchanged from their defeat of Norwich – scored with the first meaningful attack of the match as an unchallenged Gundogan met Jesus’ cross and nodded home past Bernd Leno, who could only get a weak hand to the ball.
The champions came close to doubling their lead just moments later and did just that with their next serious chance in the 12th minute after Bernardo Silva’s dinked ball from a quick free-kick trickled through to Torres via a Cedric Soares deflection.
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The Gunners were deservedly punished for their clueless defending as the Spain forward made no mistake from close range to send the Etihad crowd into raptures.
Guardiola’s side continued to run riot under next to no pressure from their lacklustre opposition, but the visitors were almost gifted a goal as Emile Smith Rowe caught Ederson dallying inside his own six-yard box in the 20th minute.
The City goalkeeper got away with his mistake, though, with the ball cannoning off Smith Rowe and across the face of goal to safety.
It was a rare opportunity from an Arsenal perspective and their afternoon went from bad to worse as Xhaka was shown a straight red card for a reckless two-footed challenge on Cancelo with ten minutes remaining of the first half.
City capped off an almost embarrassingly one-sided opening 45 minutes as Ederson dissected Arsenal’s entire midfield to find Torres, who, in turn, found Jack Grealish in acres of space on the left flank.
The England midfielder strolled past Calum Chambers into the box and kept his composure to cross for Jesus, who took a touch before stroking the ball into an empty net.
City picked up where they left off after the break and had the first real opportunity as Grealish danced through before Silva’s subsequent strike was palmed away by Leno.
The pressure told in the 53rd minute as Torres laid the ball back to Rodri, who cooly bent the ball around Leno from 25 yards to give the hosts an imperious four-goal advantage.
Second-half substitute Raheem Sterling forced a superb save from Leno in the 67th minute before curling the ball past the German’s left post just moments later, with City pushing hard for a fifth.
Ten-man Arsenal were camped inside their own half as the clock ticked towards the final 15 minutes and Torres made it five late on as he nodded Riyad Mahrez’s inviting cross beyond Leno.
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