Manchester City are back on top of the Premier League after creating a show of champions at Arsenal.
There had been extensive forecast in the lead up to this – the first league encounter of the two title champions.
Erling Haaland was on target as Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory at Arsenal that could well have a weighty impact on the destination of this season’s title.
The Gunners made a bright outset with Eddie Nketiah heading a good chance wide, but it was the visitors who took the lead on 24th minutes.
Kevin de Bruyne read Takehiro Tomiyasu’s back-pass and raced through to clip a lovely lob beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal responded and after Tomiyasu blazed over an opportunity to redeem himself, the hosts levelled from the spot. Bukayo Saka was coolness personified as he calmly sent Ederson the wrong way just minutes before the break.
The second half was not as eye-catching as a spectacle but it was City who made the major moves, with Pep Guardiola’s side having a penalty award overturned by VAR just shy of the hour after Haaland was judged to be offside in the build-up.
City were not to be denied, however, with Jack Grealish taking advantage of space on the left side of the area to slam a deflected shot past Ramsdale.
Haaland then made sure of the victory when he drilled in De Bruyne’s pass eight minutes from time to snare his 26th league goal of the campaign.
The result means the champions move back to the Premier League summit, ahead of Arsenal on goal difference, although the Gunners still have a game in hand.
Arsenal showed their quality and why they are serious contenders in the first half, but following the break City showcased that big-game know-how to snatch top spot and potentially strike a psychological blow.
There is still so much for football to be played and for all of Arsenal’s early season brilliance and the champions’ much-publicised travails, it still looks like the Citizens may have the edge when it comes to a run-in.
Next up, Man City visit Nottingham Forest on Saturday while Arsenal travel to Aston Villa.