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Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal: Sergio Aguero scores hat-trick as City ease past Gunners

Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring for Manchester City against Arsenal
Aguero's hat-trick is his 10th in the Premier League for Manchester City - only Alan Shearer (11) has more in the competition's history

Sergio Aguero's 14th hat-trick for Manchester City closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to only two points after victory over Arsenal at Etihad Stadium.

Aguero - as he did in Tuesday's shock defeat at Newcastle United - put the reigning champions ahead inside the first minute, but Arsenal swiftly restored equality as Laurent Koscielny escaped poor marking to head home from a corner.

City's nerves were eased by a magnificent second from Aguero just before the break, rounding off a perfectly constructed move between Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling with a simple finish at the far post.

Aguero secured City's win when he bundled in Sterling's cross after 61 minutes as attention now switches to Liverpool's visit to West Ham United on Monday night (20:00 GMT).

Master marksman Aguero strikes again

Aguero may be 30 but he shows no signs of losing any of the natural marksmanship that marks him down as world-class and one of the greatest strikers of the Premier League era.

The Argentine has now scored 157 goals in 227 appearances and he was the man Pep Guardiola was able to count on once more as Manchester City maintained the pressure on Liverpool in the title race.

Aguero's goals were all close range finishes but City could have no-one better at the sharp end of all their brilliant passing and movement and he could easily have had more.

What is often overlooked is Aguero's tireless work ethic, constantly defending from the front - one burst of energy to close down Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno and the Gunners' defence drawing warm applause from both his manager and the City supporters.

City needed to get the show back on the road after that slip on Tyneside and it was Aguero who gave them the perfect start then lifted them again after Arsenal worked their way back into the game.

The standing ovation Aguero received when he was replaced by Gabriel Jesus with 10 minutes left was richly deserved.

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Arsenal need to spend money to compete - Paul Ince

Emery's Arsenal face tough transition

The further Unai Emery goes into his first season at Arsenal after succeeding Arsene Wenger, the clearer it becomes that this is a major work in progress and patience will be required.

Arsenal have sparkled at times this season, especially in home wins against Spurs and Chelsea, but it is clear they still remain way behind the big hitters at the top of the Premier League and have dropped down to sixth in the table after rejuvenated Manchester United's latest win at Leicester City.

Emery now faces a real battle to get into the top four but he still has the Europa League to aim for - a competition that was his speciality at Sevilla - as he tries to get Arsenal into the Champions League.

Matteo Guendouzi again showed his promise, especially in the first half and Lucas Torreira is a quality addition, while in attack Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are a serious threat.

Emery has also seen his defensive resources hit by long-term injuries to the likes of Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin but there is no question serious work needs to be done to strengthen Arsenal's squad.

Arsenal showed occasional flashes in the first half, but looked lightweight and impotent set against City and this was a day when the scale of Emery's task, and the time he will need to try and accomplish it, was exposed.

Man of the match - Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Sergio Aguero (right) celebrates with team-mate Raheem Sterling after scoring for Manchester City against Arsenal
Raheem Sterling was excellent - so too Kevin de Bruyne - but Sergio Aguero's predatory instincts in front of Arsenal's net piles the pressure back on Liverpool in what is developing into a fascinating title race

'Good start to a tough week' - what the managers said

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: "I understand pressure, pressure to win the games. After the game in Newcastle, Liverpool were seven points ahead and now they are two.

"Of course they have to play, they have quality, but West Ham [who Liverpool face on Monday] are a good side.

"Now we have tomorrow to start again and think about Everton and after Chelsea. It is a tough week for us and we go game by game."

Arsenal boss Unai Emery: "We are going to go game by game and thinking 'win the next match' and maybe if we win we can take the opportunity in the near future to be near the other teams and play with this motivation.

"The difference between City and us is like this result. We need to do our work. Not a big frustration at moment, the result is the difference.

"They showed their superiority in 90 minutes. They held their level in 90 minutes and our level in the second half was worse than the first."

Can we play you every week? - the stats

  • Manchester City have won four consecutive top-flight games against Arsenal for the first time since April 1937.
  • Since the start of 2018, only two teams have lost more away games than Arsenal (12) in the Premier League - Brighton (14) and Huddersfield (13).
  • City have won eight of their nine games in all competitions in 2019, scoring 34 goals and conceding four.
  • Sergio Aguero has been directly involved in 27 goals in his past 15 home starts in the Premier League - 22 goals, 5 assists.
  • Aguero has scored both of the two quickest goals in the Premier League this season - 24 seconds v Newcastle and 46 seconds v Arsenal.
  • City's opening goal after 46 seconds was the quickest that Arsenal have conceded in a Premier League game since December 2014.

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Aguero was born with goalscoring talent - Guardiola

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Arsenal need time to improve - Emery

What's next?

Manchester City could be top of the Premier League table by the end of Wednesday. If Liverpool don't beat West Ham on Monday and City win at Everton two days later (19:45 GMT), there will be a new leader. Arsenal will attempt to win away from home in the top-flight for the first time since 25 November when they visit Huddersfield on Saturday (15:00).

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 30Otamendi
  • 14Laporte
  • 17De BruyneSubstituted forMahrezat 88'minutes
  • 8GündoganBooked at 65mins
  • 21Silva
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 81'minutes
  • 7Sterling

Substitutes

  • 3Danilo
  • 5Stones
  • 18Delph
  • 19Sané
  • 26Mahrez
  • 33Gabriel Jesus
  • 49Muric

Arsenal

  • 19Leno
  • 12Lichtsteiner
  • 20MustafiSubstituted forMavropanosat 79'minutes
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forRamseyat 66'minutes
  • 11TorreiraBooked at 40mins
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 31KolasinacSubstituted forD Suárezat 66'minutes
  • 9Lacazette
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 1Cech
  • 4Elneny
  • 8Ramsey
  • 10Özil
  • 22D Suárez
  • 27Mavropanos
  • 49Nketiah
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
54,483

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home19
Away4
Shots on Target
Home12
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 3, Arsenal 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Arsenal 1.

Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by David Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Kevin De Bruyne because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Attempt saved. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus replaces Sergio Agüero.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Konstantinos Mavropanos replaces Shkodran Mustafi because of an injury.

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Silva.

Attempt saved. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Denis Suárez replaces Sead Kolasinac.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey replaces Alex Iwobi.

Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Arsenal 1. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) with an attempt from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Ederson (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Offside, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Kyle Walker is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool24194155144161
2Man City25192466204659
3Tottenham25190651242757
4Chelsea25155545232250
5Man Utd25146549351448
6Arsenal25145651361547
7Wolves2511593332138
8Watford259793334-134
9Everton2596103636033
10Bournemouth25103123744-733
11Leicester2595113031-132
12West Ham2494113037-731
13Brighton2576122736-927
14Crystal Palace2575132633-726
15Newcastle2566132133-1224
16Southampton2559112742-1524
17Burnley2566132646-2024
18Cardiff2564152246-2422
19Fulham2545162555-3017
20Huddersfield2525181346-3311
View full Premier League table

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