Brilliant De Bruyne reckons Man City were at their ‘best’ after massive 4-1 win over title rivals Arsenal

Manchester City look set to win their fifth Premier League title in six seasons after they outclassed their main rivals Arsenal at the Etihad tonight to win 4-1.

Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions often fly out of the traps in big games at the Etihad, and that is exactly what happened here, with the home side taking the lead after just six minutes. Erling Haaland laid a long ball off to Kevin de Bruyne just inside the Arsenal half, with the brilliant Belgian then driving forward and firing an inch-perfect low drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

As the first-half went on, it became clear that Man City were in dominant form and Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were simply holding on for dear life. On 25 minutes Benjamin White pulled off a superb block to deny De Bruyne, before Haaland surprisingly missed a couple of chances when the prolific Norweigan looked destined to score.

Then, on the stroke of half-time City found that crucial and deserved second goal. Kevin de Bruyne curled in a beautifully flighted free-kick from out wide on the right and John Stones rose unopposed to coolly head home.

10 minutes into the second period and the final nail was put into the Arsenal coffin when Haaland played in De Bruyne and the 31-year-old playmaker clinically curled past Aaron Ramsdale.

The Gunners grabbed themselves a consolation five minutes from time, much-maligned centre-back Rob Holding curling home from the edge of the area after some good work from Leandro Trossard.

City weren’t done yet though, with Haaland putting the icing on the cake with his 49th goal of the season in injury time.

Arsenal remain two points ahead of City at the top of the Premier League table, although Guardiola’s side have two games in hand and tonight’s defeat felt ominous for Arteta’s men. Speaking afterwards

“When they played man to man we had to go a bit longer because there was no place for short passes. The first half was really good,” De Bruyne told BT Sport.

“We could have scored more. The second half was 50-50 but we didn’t give much away. They’re a class team and hard to play against. We had to be at our best today – and we were.”

“I think we set up a bit differently, instead of two number eights I had the freedom to go left or right depending on where the space was.”

When pushed on whether City now has the title in the bag, De Bruyne predictably remained coy.

“It’s too long,” he said. ”We know what people will say. It’s so hard. A lot of things can happen. There are still seven games left – and we’re still behind them [in the table]. People say we will win the title. We won’t give in until it’s mathematical. Our schedule is hectic.”

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