Manchester City recorded a second successive 5-0 victory in the Premier League, as they breezed past ten-man Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.
Pep Guardiola unsurprisingly opted for the same side that were comfortable victors over Norwich City last weekend, with Ferran Torres leading the line once again after the club were knocked back in their pursuit of top target Harry Kane, who is set to stay at Tottenham.
All the talk in recent weeks had been about the England captain and the need for a centre-forward addition, yet the champions seem to be coping well without one, racing into an early lead against the Gunners at the Etihad.
Last season’s top scorer and stand-in skipper Ilkay Gundogan arrived unchallenged at the back post to nod home inside just seven minutes, following an excellent ball in from Gabriel Jesus, the Brazilian looking at home in his new right-wing berth.
Just moments later, the visitors’ defence was once again breached, as they simply failed to deal with an innocuous ball into the box, allowing Torres ample space to slot home past a helpless Bernd Leno.
Arteta’s men had shown flashes of quality in an attacking sense and were almost gifted a way back into the game by Ederson, before their task was ultimately made even harder after Granit Xhaka received his marching orders after a rash and reckless two-footed lunge on Joao Cancelo.
With a man advantage, Man City then made their opponents pay just before half-time, summer signing Jack Grealish bursting into the area down the left and teeing up Jesus brilliantly for a simple tap-in.
Into the second-half and it was simply a case of just how many the hosts would get, midfielder Rodri curling in a stunning effort just after the interval to make it four, with the game’s fifth and final goal seeing Torres net a second to rub further salt into Arsenal wounds.
That emphatic victory ensures a fourth successive win for City against the Gunners, with manager Guardiola even admitting his side didn’t even have to play well to get the win.
“We scored a goal that we didn’t deserve. We didn’t play that good to score a goal,” Guardiola told BBC Sport.
“The first time we arrived in the Arsenal half we scored. We had problems in the first 15-20 minutes in our build up. After 2-0 and sending off the game is completely different.”
With the hosts already 3-0 up at half-time against their ten-man opponents, the former Barcelona boss was pleased to see his side ‘respect’ Arteta’s men in the second-half.
“Respect the opponent, be serious in our process and our job. We created chances, we scored two more, the most important thing is that we played with respect to the opponent and not do silly things with the ball.
”We are still in the process of improving. Like I said to the players after the game. It was nice winning today but we have to be better.”
Man City are next in action away at Leicester City on 11 September, following the international break.