Manchester City struck a hammer blow in the Premier League title race as they outclassed leaders Arsenal 4-1 with an electrifying display in a seismic clash of the top two at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola’s relentless side ran riot as they made it 12 successive league wins against Arsenal with a masterful Kevin De Bruyne scoring twice and Erling Haaland also on target as City seized control of their destiny.
De Bruyne fired City ahead in the seventh minute and City bombarded Arsenal’s goal before John Stones deservedly doubled their lead with a header in first half stoppage time.
Arsenal, who began the clash five points clear but having drawn three successive games, looked powerless to stop their hosts and when De Bruyne struck again early in the second half it became a damage-limitation operation for the leaders.
Rob Holding grabbed an 86th-minute consolation but it was too little too late for Mikel Arteta’s side and City now look firm favourites to claim a fifth title in six seasons.
Haaland finally got on the scoresheet in stoppage time to take his tally for the season to 49.
City’s seventh successive league win left them with 73 points to Arsenal’s 75, but crucially they have played two fewer games than the Londoners whose hopes of a first title since 2004 now look forlorn after four games without a win.
Guardiola’s City, who have trailed Arsenal for almost the entire season, will go top if they beat Fulham at the weekend.