City equal club record with battling win at Arsenal

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Manchester City Official

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City made it 18 straight wins in all competitions – and equalled our club record 11 consecutive away victories – by beating Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Whereas much of our winning run has been down to our scintillating attacking play, this was built on hard-work and commitment. 

Raheem Sterling headed home from Riyad Mahrez’s inch-perfect cross to give us a dream start inside two minutes. It was an untypical but brilliant Sterling goal and provided City just reward for a lightning-quick opening.

It looked as though it would spark a flurry of City goals, but it turned out to be the winner, with our play thereafter rarely hitting the heights of recent weeks.

Joao Cancelo almost doubled our lead late on with a wonderful outside-of-the-boot right-footed effort that sailed just wide, but with Fernandinho superb in midfield - and City's centre-backs once again in brilliant form - one goal was all we needed to secure a vital three points. 

Dominant City

The numbers tell a clear story: City are in fabulous form.

It’s now 25 matches unbeaten, with our last defeat coming in late November away at Tottenham.

Since then, we’ve won 22 and drawn 3, scoring 59 and conceding just seven.

But perhaps the clearest indicator of our dominance is this: during that run, City have only been behind once, and that was to League Two side Cheltenham in the FA Cup.

It’s been a dazzling period, one which has left our season set up beautifully as we head into the spring still in with a chance of winning all four major trophies.

Vintage Ferna

At 35, he may not be able to play three games a week, but there is no doubting Fernandinho’s enduring quality.

He returned to the base of City’s midfield for this game and was outstanding, with his unerring ability to be in the right place at the right time vital in giving City security and stability. 

He has a superb range of passing, excellent vision and brings dynamism to that area in front of the back four. 

Our captain and leader off the field, he remains a vital element on it, too. 

Stones the centurion

This was John Stones' 100th Premier League appearance for City, all of which have come under Guardiola's management. 

Raheem Sterling (156) and Kyle Walker (110) are the only other two English players to reach a century of Premier League matches under Guardiola.

Well done, John!

Teams

Arsenal

XI: Leno, Bellerin, Holding (David Luiz 83'), Mari, Tierney, Elneny (Ceballos 86'), Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard (Lacazette 73'), Pepe (Smith-Rowe 73'), Aubameyang

Subs: Ryan, Cedric, Gabriel, Willian, Martinelli

City

XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, De Bruyne (Jesus 63'), Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Aguero, Laporte, Rodrigo, Torres, Mendy, Foden

Stat Zone

City have kept 23 clean sheets in all competitions this campaign (from 38 matches), more than any other team in the top five European leagues or the top four tiers of English league football.

For context, we kept 23 competitive clean sheets in the entire 2019/20 season (from 59 matches).

Pep reaction

To follow…

What it means

The win reasserts our 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League, which had been reduced to seven when Leicester City beat Aston Villa in the earlier game.

This was our 13th-successive league win. 

Up next

Our Champions League campaign resumes on Wednesday when we face Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of our last-16 tie. That game will take place in Budapest, with kick-off at 8pm GMT.

We will have full coverage here on ManCity.com, with live text updates from 6pm and our We’re Not Really Here live show kicking off at 7pm. Kevin Horlock and Paul Dickow are our studio guests for that one.

And then next weekend, we host in-form West Ham, whose win over Tottenham earlier on Sunday means they are in the Champions League places. David Moyes’ side have won seven of their last nine league games and are now two points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea and five in front of Liverpool, who sit sixth.

That game kicks off at 12.30pm GMT on Saturday 27 February.