Manchester City marked their first home game in almost four months with a commanding 3-0 win over Arsenal last night, their sixth successive Premier League victory over the Gunners.
The reigning champions had to wait until just before half-time to break the deadlock through Raheem Sterling but two key moments early in the second half effectively decided the game.
David Luiz was sent off for a professional foul from which he gave away a penalty that Kevin De Bruyne converted and Man City duly dominated thereafter, Phil Foden putting the gloss on their victory with a stoppage time goal. [via Sky Sports]
De Bruyne was named Sky Sports‘ Man of the Match following yet another highly influential display, although the contribution of midfield colleague Ilkay Gundogan was also worthy of recognition.
The German got through his fair share of defensive work in the middle of the park, winning two tackles along with making three interceptions and one clearance (as per SofaScore).
However, it was his incredibly efficient use of the ball which made the 29-year-old’s performance particularly impressive. He completed four of his five attempted dribbles and contributed two key passes, while all nine long balls he played found a team-mate (as per SofaScore).
Of the 82 passes in total that Gundogan attempted, 79 were accurate, giving him a 96.3% passing success rate. Only Aymeric Laporte had a higher total of successful passes with 80, just one more than the German midfielder.
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De Bruyne and Sterling may have grabbed the headlines with their goals but Gundogan’s fine display was given due recognition by several reporters. Simon Bajkowski of Manchester Evening News wrote that he gave “another quietly effective performance from the holding role” and “showed off his distribution skills in the opposition half once the two-goal lead was established”.
In the Daily Express, Bruce Archer said that he “pulled the strings in the middle of the park” for City, while the 29-year-old received a seven in The Independent‘s player ratings for “a commanding performance in midfield”.
There were two midfielders on the scoresheet for Pep Guardiola’s team last night and, while Gundogan wasn’t one of them, he kept things purring very nicely in the middle of the pitch for Manchester City as they tightened their grip on second place.
Man City fans, how good did you think Gundogan was against Arsenal? Comment below with your views!
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