Defending champions Manchester City are back at the top of the table in the English Premier League, also thanks to star striker Erling Haaland. The striker set a record. Meanwhile, there was trouble between Mikel Arteta and Kevin De Bruyne.
Pep Guardiola’s team won the heated top game at Arsenal 3-1 (1-1) and thus overtook the Gunners, who were tied on points. Former Bundesliga star Kevin De Bruyne (24th), Jack Grealish (72nd) and just Haaland (82nd) scored for City, Bukayo Saka (42nd, penalty kick) had equalized in the meantime.
Manchester are top of the table for the first time since the beginning of November thanks to their better goal difference, although Arsenal have played a game less.
A month ago, Arsenal were still eight points ahead of City, but recently the traditional club has been weakening a bit – national players Ilkay Gündogan, Haaland and Co. of course wanted to take advantage of that. Arsenal put up a good fight in an intense game, but the visitors increased the pressure as the game progressed and earned an enormously important victory in the title fight.
Haaland set a club record with his goal: He has already scored 26 goals in the league this season, beating Sergio Agüero’s record from the 2014/15 season. “It was such a positive and happy moment after the game,” he said after the game: “I’m just so happy to win against Arsenal. We needed it a lot. Now we have to start a streak.”
City have been champions four times in the last five years, Arsenal have been waiting for the title since 2004 and conceded their eleventh league defeat against City in a row. “Psychologically it’s a marathon,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. “I said it three months ago and I’m saying it today: it’s always about tomorrow. The most important thing is that we focus on tomorrow because we don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Arteta also caused a stir in association with De Bruyne: When the Belgian wanted to throw in, Arteta played the ball away on the sidelines. As a result, KDB made a small nudge against the opposing manager. The result: After being substituted, De Bruyne was thrown at with bottles and cups.