Second-half goals from Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland helped City to a 3-1 victory over its title-chasing rival at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, though Arsenal does have a game in hand.
Kevin De Bruyne gave the visiting side the lead when he gathered Takehiro Tomiyasu’s errant back-pass and lobbed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal responded near the end of the first half when Bukayo Saka equalized from the penalty spot, but Man City pulled clear in the final 20 minutes of the game through Grealish and Haaland, who now has 26 goals in 22 Premier League games this season.
“It’s a long road. There are plenty more games to play,” said City manager Pep Guardiola. “Coming here and winning against that team, [in the] second half, we were much, much better.”
Many expected Arsenal to falter after its fast start to the season and cracks have duly emerged in Mikel Arteta’s side over the past two weeks with a defeat against Everton and a draw with Brentford.
The Gunners were punished for two sloppy errors against City, first after Tomiyasu’s under-hit pass, then when Gabriel Magalhães lost possession to allow Haaland and İlkay Gündoğan to combine before setting up Grealish.
The result means the Premier League title race now enters a decisive phase with the momentum in City’s favor.
Guardiola’s side is bidding to win a fifth title in six seasons.
“We did a lot of simple things wrong and put ourselves in trouble,” said Arteta.
“Gabriel was out and we played a quick free-kick, and suddenly, we were in trouble. We gave it away in areas that are impossible [to give the ball away] against them if you don’t want your goal to be threatened.”
Arsenal next travels to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday, while Man City plays Nottingham Forest ahead of a Champions League clash against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.