After defeating the league’s leading team, Arsenal, 4-1, Manchester City dealt the English Premier League’s race for the championship a significant blow.
The contest encapsulated the divisions between the two sides and revealed where each is at in their individual evolution.
The home team took control of the game right away and took the lead after just seven minutes on a spectacular strike from beyond the box by Kevin De Bruyne.
Prior to John Stones scoring off a De Bruyne freekick just before halftime, Manchester City then wasted significant chances to extend its lead.
Erling Haaland scored his 33rd Premier League goal of the season in stoppage time to seal City’s convincing victory after De Bruyne added a third goal in the second half and Rob Holding had cut the lead.
With two games remaining, Pep Guardiola’s team has Manchester City within two points of the Gunners after the victory. De Bruyne didn’t say whether City was now on track to win the Premier League for a third time in a row, though.
De Bruyne told BT Sport, “We know what people would say whomever wins this game, but I think it’s so hard and a lot of things can happen.
“There are still seven games left; that’s a lot of points, and although we have two games left, we are still behind them despite having two games in hand. Even though some people will predict that we will win the championship right away, I know this team well enough to know that we won’t give up until it is mathematically possible.
Guardiola discussed the mentality his team has maintained throughout their impressive run as City has won its past seven Premier League games.
“We are back-to-back Premier League winners so in September, October, November, when you lose a game, I said: ‘We have time, we have time,’ and Arsenal in the beginning was completely the opposite – so every game is like a final,” the 52-year-old Guardiola remarked to BT Sport.Mikel Arteta, Guardiola’s rival, was candid in his assessment of his team’s performance and the position of Arsenal in the title battle.
The better team definitely defeated us, according to Arteta. “They were outstanding today, and when that’s the case, it’s really challenging to match that level.
There are still five games left in the league, so everything is possible. We are not going to quit up.
This weekend, Manchester City will travel to London to play Fulham, while Arsenal’s next Premier League matchup is against London rivals Chelsea.
The victory on Wednesday also gave Manchester City more momentum in their quest for the Triple Crown.
On May 9 and 17, City will play Real Madrid, a 14-time champion of the European Cup, over two legs in the semifinals of the Champions League.
The defending champion will be a significant challenge to City, but after defeating Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals, Guardiola’s squad will be full of confidence.
The FA Cup final between Manchester United and City will follow on June 3. One week before the scheduled date of the Champions League final in Istanbul, City may complete a Triple by winning the first-ever Manchester Derby at this stage of the knockout cup competition.