Football NewsMaster vs Apprentice: Man City Deliver a Masterclass To Overwhelm Arsenal
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Manchester City handed a devastating blow to Arsenal’s hopes of winning a first Premier League title in 19 years.

Although Arsenal have been excellent for most of the season, City look to have peaked at the perfect time and it appears their class and experience will ultimately prove the difference in this year’s title race.

Guardiola’s side have not lost since February and have hit top gear at the exact time Arsenal have faltered. And City’s juggernaut are now eyeing a treble having moved into pole position to win the league.

With City hitting top form at the perfect time in this title race, both Haaland and De Bruyne have been so important to their run of form. Haaland has scored 16 goals in his last nine matches, while De Bruyne has now made eight goal contributions in City’s last four league games.

And the pair were a constant threat throughout the game, linking up excellently for the first and third goals as they switched roles with Haaland becoming the provider to set up De Bruyne. “It’s textbook centre-forward play from Erling Haaland to find Kevin De Bruyne and he shows great pace before stroking it into the corner,” former striker Dion Dublin said.

“Haaland and De Bruyne are no more than 10 yards away from each other all the time and they just play as a pair. It is brilliant to watch.”

It was not that long ago that Guardiola appeared open to letting Stones leave the club, but the 28-year-old has been crucial for City this season. Stones has been playing a more advanced role in City’s defence and was once again excellent against Arsenal.

He helped City nullify Arsenal until Holding’s late strike, while also popping up with a key goal and has thrived in his new role. “He’s been unique this season, he’s made that role into his own,” former City defender Joleon Lescott told BT Sport last week.

“You’ve seen other teams adopt a similar style, but the way he’s performing with the ball at his feet, his recognition of patterns, he’s picking up spaces, identifying where the next pass is. There are not many players with that capability and he’s obviously full of confidence.”

It is no coincidence that since William Saliba got injured against Sporting Lisbon back in March, Arsenal have dropped six points in the league and failed to keep a single clean sheet.

The Frenchman had been excellent for the Gunners alongside Gabriel Magalhaes and, while his absence is not the sole reason for Arsenal’s recent struggles, it is clear they are a much less effective defensive unit without him. Replacement Holding is a more limited defender than Saliba and struggled against City’s attack for much of the game, while Gabriel has not looked the same without his regular partner.

Despite making excellent progress under Arteta, Arsenal remain unable to cope with City having now lost their last 12 Premier League games against them. It is the Gunners’ longest losing streak against a single time and they have lost all seven of their visits to the Etihad while Guardiola has been in charge.