City to cut Arsenal lead further

Today’s pivotal Premier League match between Arsenal and Manches­ter City could hardly be more ill-timed for the North London side, who are winless in consec­utive league games for the first time this season.

Arsenal are looking to win the league title for the first time in 19 years, yet approaching a game at the Emirates which has such big implications in the midst of their current slump will be undesirable for manager, Mikel Arteta.

His side followed up their unexpected defeat by relega­tion-threatened Everton and with a 1-1 draw with Brentford on Saturday.

The result meant Arsenal slipped to only a three-point ad­vantage over City with a game in hand.

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They had 23 shots to Brent­ford’s nine, but looked uncom­fortable and struggled to make any real progress when faced with the opposition’s steely rearguard performance.

A rare saving grace for the Gunners may be seen in Janu­ary, signing Leandro Trossard’s impressive performance as the second-half substitute pro­vided a much needed goal – a performance which could settle any nerves Arteta may have had about his side’s issues in the final third.

While Arsenal continued to look far from their best, City resumed their ascendency as they appeared unphased by their recent off-pitch troubles to stroll past Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday.

City boss, Pep Guardiola, has lifted the league crown on four occasions since joining the club in 2016 and appears to have led his side to a recovery from a mini slump of their own in recent weeks.

Losses to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in their five matches leading up to Sunday’s victory had blotted their record.

However, they wrapped up the game by halftime in their 3-1 win against Villa and appeared closer to their usual selves. — Reuters

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