EPL title race thrown wide open after Arsenal was knocked off the top last night

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Manchester City climbed back to the summit of the English Premier League after a scintillating 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in North London.

Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland scored the second-half goals that proved the difference in an entertaining top-of-the-table clash. Kevin De Bruyne’s opportunistic finish midway through the first half had opened the scoring before Arsenal levelled through a controversial penalty shortly before the break.

The reigning champions responded in the best possible manner to put a marker down in this year’s title race. They now have 51 points from 23 matches and a positive goal difference of 36 with Arsenal on the same points tally and a goal difference of 26 having played one game fewer.

Ruben Dias was pivotal in the opening exchanges, twice stepping in front of Eddie Nketiah shots to deny the young striker.

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City’s first opening of the night came in the 16th minute as Erling Haaland latched on to a sumptuous Riyad Mahrez cross. However, the Norwegian was caught between finding a team-mate and attempting to score himself.

Nketiah, who was introduced to this Arsenal team earlier this season following Gabriel Jesus’ injury, had his third chance of the night when he met Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross with a glancing header that went wide of Ederson’s post.

For all of City’s careful passing in the face of intense Arsenal pressing, it was a long Ederson ball that created the chaos that led to Kevin De Bruyne’s opener midway through the first half.

Takehiro Tomiyasu, forced to sprint back towards his own goal under pressure from Jack Grealish, played the ball in the direction of Aaron Ramsdale but it didn’t have the necessary power to reach the Arsenal goalkeeper.

De Bruyne spotted the narrowest of windows and with one stroke of his left boot cleared Ramsdale and curled the ball inside the near post.

Tomiyasu had the chance to make amends for the home side almost immediately but his left-footed volley went over Ederson’s goal.

Arsenal were back on level terms in the 42nd minute after referee Anthony Taylor awarded the hosts a penalty for a collision between Nketiah and Ederson following a shot from the Arsenal striker.

England winger Bukayo Saka completed the job from the spot, sending our goalkeeper the wrong way.

That wasn’t the final chance of the half, with Rodrigo heading a free-kick on to Nathan Ake’s toe that deflected up on to Arsenal’s crossbar.

After the match, Arteta said: “Psychologically there is a marathon still out there. So psychologically [the title] is very far. I said it three months ago and I said it today, it’s about tomorrow. The most important thing is how we are tomorrow and focus on that because the rest of the things, we don’t know what is going to happen.

Arsenal Coach Michael Arteta hugs his Manchester City counterpart Pep Gurdiola after the match

“We have to pick [up] the points, because the performances are there for sure. What we’ve done today against this team, believe me that wasn’t the game that they wanted to play.

“But we wanted the points and we didn’t get them and at the end the games are decided in the boxes and we have given too much away today and weren’t ruthless enough to convert our chances. That’s what we have to improve.”

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