'We could have scored more' - Pep - City prove too strong for Arsenal
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
It's a sign of Manchester City's incredible level this season that a 3-1 win over a major rival like Arsenal was met with a "could do better" assessment by manager Pep Guardiola.
"We could have scored five or six today," Guardiola said. "We just needed to be more clinical."
Unbeaten. An eight-point lead. Ten wins from 11 games. 38 goals. And still Guardiola isn't satisfied.
That's the standard the rest of the Premier League is up against this season.
Playing four days after an energy-sapping 4-2 win at Napoli in the Champions League, City weren't as fluent as usual but still swept past Arsenal at Etihad Stadium to make another statement heading into the international break.
City needed some luck, though, with Kevin De Bruyne's opening goal in the 19th minute followed by a contentiously awarded penalty, converted by Sergio Aguero, and then a third by Gabriel Jesus that should have been ruled out for offside against David Silva in the build-up.
"It will be difficult this season," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, when asked if City could be stopped. "The way they have started, the way they are on a run, the quality they have. If on top of that at home they have decisions like that, they will be unstoppable."
It's now a club record-extending 15 straight wins in all competitions for City a streak that includes a penalty-shootout triumph in the League Cup. A 1-1 draw against Everton, when City played more than a half with 10 men, in mid-August is the only slip-up so far.
"Two months in a row without a draw: phwoar, it's a lot," Guardiola said. "It shows how strong we are in our mind."
Guardiola said it was his players' mental strength that got them past Arsenal, with City showing signs of fatigue in the second half. Arsenal changed its entire team from its midweek Europa League game and briefly looked more likely to score after substitute Alexandre Lacazette shot through goalkeeper Ederson Moraes' legs for 2-1 in the 65th.
Yet, City regained its two-goal cushion when Fernandinho played in Silva, who was marginally offside. The playmaker cut inside and squared a pass for Jesus to sweep home in the 74th, ending Arsenal's realistic hopes of a comeback.