EPL

Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City: Peerless De Bruyne inspires emphatic victory

By Sports Desk December 15, 2019

Kevin De Bruyne produced a masterclass as Manchester City breezed to a 3-0 win over a listless Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Sunday 

The Belgium midfielder scored two high-quality goals and provided an assist for Raheem Sterling in a one-sided victory for City.

Defending champions City are 14 points behind leaders Liverpool and four behind second-place Leicester City.

Arsenal remain in ninth – seven points off Chelsea in fourth spot – in a defeat that will have done little to enhance interim boss Freddie Ljungberg's prospects of landing the job on a permanent basis.

Gunners forward Gabriel Martinelli brought an early save out of City goalkeeper Ederson but Pep Guardiola's side began the rout in the second minute.

An intelligent pass from Fernandinho released Gabriel Jesus down the left flank, and he cut the ball back for De Bruyne, who side-footed a clinical half-volley high into the net.

City strengthened their grip on the game when De Bruyne rounded off a brisk counter-attack with a low ball across the box – via a slight deflection – that Sterling steered home from close range.

De Bruyne curled in City's third from outside the box five minutes before half-time after a smart pass from Phil Foden, on his first league start of the season.

Only a spectacular fingertip save from Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, on the stroke of half-time, denied De Bruyne a first-half hat-trick.

The second half was largely a non-event as City dominated possession and Arsenal, who managed one shot on target in the contest, chased shadows.

Boos and jeers from the home supporters at half-time and near silence at full-time at the Emirates summed up the current mood of the Arsenal fanbase while the visitors chanted De Bruyne's name.

 

What does it mean? City rediscover swagger

Liverpool have been near flawless as the Premier League season closes in on its mid-point while City have stuttered and stumbled in their wake.

On their day, though, Guardiola's side are still capable of some mesmerising football. Against Arsenal they regained some of their swagger as they rebuilt confidence following last weekend's chastening Manchester derby defeat.

City are clinging onto the coattails of Liverpool, and this was a reminder to Jurgen Klopp's side that, despite their strong position, they will need to keep glancing over their shoulder.

Masterful display from majestic De Bruyne

Afforded the freedom of the Emirates, De Bruyne produced a peerless midfield display. He showed superb technique with his right and left feet for his two goals. 

A first Premier League hat-trick was the only thing missing from an individual showing among the best from any player this season.

Ozil among AWOL Arsenal players

The list of pitiful performances by Arsenal's players was a long one: Matteo Guendouzi, Calum Chambers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all dreadful.

However, a traffic cone may have provided more impetus in attack than Mesut Ozil against City, such was his anonymity. He cut an equally unenthusiastically figure as he trudged off the pitch when substituted just before the hour, before kicking his gloves in frustration.

What's next?

Manchester City head to Oxford United in the quarter-final of the EFL Cup on Wednesday before they return to Premier League action with a key home fixture against Leicester on Saturday. Arsenal head to Goodison Park next Saturday in the day's early kick-off.

Related items

  • Milan 4-2 Torino (after extra time): Calhanoglu brings Rossoneri back from the brink Milan 4-2 Torino (after extra time): Calhanoglu brings Rossoneri back from the brink

    Hakan Calhanoglu scored a double off the bench to take Milan from the brink of Coppa Italia elimination and into the semi-finals with a thrilling 4-2 victory after extra time against Torino.

    Milan took the lead when Giacomo Bonaventura converted in the 12th minute, but a brace from defender Bremer looked set to be enough to send Torino into the semi-finals for the first time since 1993-94.

    However, Calhanoglu replaced Rade Krunic in the 82nd minute and his stoppage-time strike from the edge of the box forced an additional half an hour.

    A stunning drive from the same player just 29 seconds into the second half of extra time was followed two minutes later by Zlatan Ibrahimovic's second goal since returning to the club, sending the Rossoneri through to face Juventus in the last four.

    Bonaventura turned Ante Rebic's cross home from six yards to put Milan ahead, but the Croatia international failed to convert a brilliant cross from Samu Castillejo in the 33rd minute to double the lead.

    It proved costly 51 seconds later, with Bremer letting a delightful lofted pass from Simone Verdi bounce before guiding a clever finish underneath the onrushing Gianluigi Donnarumma.

    Ibrahimovic replaced the disappointing Krzysztof Piatek in the 65th minute but Torino moved in front when Ola Aina's cross from the left was nodded in by Bremer.

    Torino were unable to hang on until the final whistle, though, with Calhanoglu's stoppage-time effort from the edge of the box beating Salvatore Sirigu after deflecting off Bremer's replacement Koffi Djidji.

    Ibrahimovic missed a glorious chance to wrap things up in normal time from six yards with the goal gaping, while Theo Hernandez failed to guide the ball beyond Sirigu, who also kept him out the follow up, in the 103rd minute.

    The crucial fifth goal eventually arrived in the second half of extra time, with substitute Franck Kessie releasing Calhanoglu for a fierce effort that had too much power for Sirigu.

    Ibrahimovic squeezed a pass from fellow sub Rafael Leao inside the near post to seal the deal in the 108th minute, ensuring there will be no Turin derby in the semi-finals.

  • Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City (3-2 agg): Trezeguet winner sends Villa to Wembley Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City (3-2 agg): Trezeguet winner sends Villa to Wembley

    Trezeguet thumped home a stoppage-time winner as Aston Villa beat Leicester City 2-1 to reach the EFL Cup final.

    The winger got on the end of Ahmed El Mohamady's superb cross from the right and sent a fine volley across goal and into the right corner.

    It gave Villa a 3-2 aggregate triumph and left Leicester distraught, with the match having looked destined to go to extra time.

    Matt Targett had given Villa a 12th-minute lead, but Leicester deservedly levelled through Kelechi Iheanacho in the 72nd minute.

  • Liverpool's Alisson tops the charts in Stats Perform Goalkeeper Index Liverpool's Alisson tops the charts in Stats Perform Goalkeeper Index

    Liverpool number one Alisson is the best performing goalkeeper in the Premier League according to a metric from Stats Perform.

    Looking at clean sheets, goals conceded and save percentages only provides a limited analysis of a keeper's performances, as the metrics can be biased by team and defensive strengths.

    The expected goals on target (xGOT) model moved things forward and provided a comparison to the performance of an 'average' keeper, but with each of them facing different shots it was difficult to compare the values.

    By taking goals conceded away from the xGOT, Vicente Guaita is the best-performing keeper, preventing 6.6 goals (an xGOT of 29.6 minus the 23 goals he has conceded, excluding own goals), while Alisson has a differential of just 0.3 (an xGOT of 6.3 minus the six goals conceded).

    The Stats Perform Goalkeeper Index, however, builds on the xGOT model, personalising the estimates to each keeper and simulating how they would perform over the exact same sample of shots.

    On top of the start and end location of shots, the index considers a keeper's historic ability to make saves based on factors including shot destination (left, middle or right of the goal) and the angle to the shot trajectory (straight at them, to the left or to the right).

    Premier League keepers have faced 2,108 shots this season and the Goalkeeper Index simulates how many goals every number one would have conceded against that set.

    When looked at on a game-by-game basis, as well as in comparison to the league average, the impact becomes clear.

    At the top of the Goalkeeper Index is Alisson, who is expected to prevent 0.58 more goals per game than the league average – putting him comfortably clear of Manchester City counterpart Ederson (0.27) in the rankings.

    Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris' back-up Paulo Gazzaniga (0.16), Manchester United's David de Gea (0.16) and Bernd Leno (0.13) of Arsenal round out the top five.

    At the other end of the scale for keepers to play in at least 10 games, Southampton keeper Angus Gunn is expected to concede 0.50 more goals per game than the league average.

    Alisson would therefore be expected to prevent 1.08 more goals per game than Gunn.

    The Brazil international has conceded one goal every 214 minutes in the Premier League this season. If he maintains his form, he could break Petr Cech's record for minutes per goal conceded by a keeper in the Premier League (242).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.