For the second time in a week, Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0 in the English capital, with goals from Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Leroy Sane ensuring the Premier League leaders followed up their Carabao Cup triumph with a commanding win at the Emirates Stadium to stay on track for a treble.
Pep Guardiola started an almost identical XI to the one that beat the Gunners at Wembley on Thursday night, with the injured Fernandinho the only absentee as he was replaced by Bernardo Silva.
And the Portuguese would open the scoring on a frosty night in the capital, after some excellent wing-play from Sane on the left. With Sead Kolasinac for company, the former Monaco man cut inside onto his favoured left foot and let fly with a precise curler that beat Petr Cech all ends up in the 15th minute.
In Sunday’s cup final, Arsene Wenger’s men had gone down early after a defensive blunder and never truly recovered and it was a similar tale just few days later.
Granit Xhaka would test Ederson’s reflexes with a fierce free-kick from distance but that was about all of the home side’s attacking endeavour as David Silva would double the Sky Blues’ lead in the 28th minute with a well-crafted goal.
And five minutes later, the scoreline would be complete with Sane deservedly getting in among the goals after a lightning-fast break caught the Gunners cold.
Post the interval, Arsenal did improve and would get a chance to get back in the tie when Nicolas Otamendi brought down Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the box.
Referee Andre Marriner promptly pointed to the spot and while club-record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up, Ederson went the right way and made a smart stop to preserve his side’s clean-sheet.
City would continue to threaten intermittently, with Aguero coming close to registering his 200th goal in a Sky Blues short but Cech got down well to deny him and the match
The Premier League leaders were already virtually assured of the title as they lead derby rivals Manchester United by an incredible 16 points with 10 games left, but the question is how soon before they confirm the champions tag?
They next host defending champions Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and while the Blues will be smarting from their loss at the hands of the Red Devils last week, expect Pep Guardiola’s side to emerge victorious on the day as they edge closer to the league title.
For Arsenal, they technically remain in contention for the Champions League spots as they trail fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by 10 points, but overhauling the Lilywhites seems like a unlikely proposition no for the Gunners would do well if they could even overtake fifth-placed Chelsea (eight points ahead). Their defensive woes come to the fore each time they take on a direct rival and while they have splurged in the transfer market of late, none of their vaunted acquisitions seem to be clicking in attack as well.