Manchester City moved closer to the Premier League title as Raheem Sterling’s early goal gave the runaway leaders a 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side have won 18 successive victories in all competitions, thanks to Sterling’s second-minute header at Emirates Stadium. With 13 games to go, City are 10 points ahead of second-placed Leicester City, who had narrowed the lead to seven with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa earlier on Sunday. City equaled the club’s record of 11 successive away wins in all competitions, from May to November 2017. They are the first top team to win their first 11 league games in a calendar year.
On their way to a third title in four seasons, City have won 13 consecutive league games and are unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions, since losing to Tottenham in November.
Incredibly, this was the last time they were left behind in a league game.
Guardiola’s men weren’t even at their best when they returned to north London, but they still had enough in the record to give Arsenal a third loss in their last four league games.
Borussia Mönchengladbach have the next chance to stop City’s incredible winning streak in the Champions League final first leg on Wednesday.
If anyone had the secret to stopping City’s march to the title, it might be Gunners chief Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard served as Guardiola’s assistant before taking over Arsenal last season.
But Arteta had to make changes as several of his players were tired after their midweek Europa League draw at Benfica.
City ruthlessly jumped at the uncertainty in Arsenal’s revamped lineup as they took the lead after just 80 seconds.
Ruben Dias played a superb long pass to Riyad Mahrez and the Algerian winger threw a cross into the penalty area, where Sterling challenged his small stature by passing over Rob Holding to head for the far corner. .
Sterling’s 13th club goal of the season was his sixth in his last nine appearances.
He should have had another moment later when Kevin De Bruyne’s pass split Arsenal’s defense, but this time Sterling delayed his shot and Bernd Leno was able to save at the striker’s feet.
Mahrez tormented Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney as he danced in front of him for a shot that deflected widely.
City’s De Bruyne was making his first start in more than a month following a hamstring injury.
The Belgian midfielder, coming off the bench in the midweek victory at Everton, tried to spot Ilkay Gundogan but his stray pass betrayed the rust a bit.
City had monopolized possession but couldn’t deliver the final blow.
They almost conceded against the run of play when Tierney’s volley forced a good save from Ederson.
As Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe shot into the side net, Guardiola’s frustrated voice could be heard urging his players to press harder.
City regained their momentum early in the second half and De Bruyne was just wide with a daring chip from the edge of the box.
Leno had to save Gundogan’s 20 yards before De Bruyne’s volley went wide.
De Bruyne, not quite at his best after the injury, was pulled out after 63 minutes.
Joao Cancelo came close to giving Arsenal an equalizer when his high back pass was stolen directly from Mohamed Elneny by Ederson, but the midfielder blazed right next to it.
Adding to Arsenal’s problems, Holding was forced into a potential concussion in the playoffs.
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