Arsene Wenger admitted his side were low on confidence as Arsenal succumbed to a second 3-0 defeat in four days to Manchester City. The Gunners were torn apart by the Manchester club in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday and could not improve on their losing margin when they faced the Citizens in the league at the Emirates Stadium. The Premier League leaders blew their north London opponents away in a scintillating first-half display which saw them score all three goals.
Bernardo Silva’s beautiful curling effort gave the visitors an early lead before David Silva doubled their advantage after expertly finishing off a free-flowing City attack. Just before the break, Leroy Sane tucked away Kyle Walker’s low cross to all but end the contest. The second-half did not have a huge amount of action but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had his tame penalty saved by Ederson in yet another dismal game for Arsenal this season. This was the first time Arsenal have conceded three first-half goals at home in Premier League history and Wenger suggested his side’s “soft” defending was responsible for the City strikes.
He said: “I think it was a game with a team of top quality and full of confidence against us who were low on confidence. “I knew before the game the first half would be difficult for us after what happened on Sunday and we needed at least to be level at half-time. “They took advantage of our lack of confidence. “I don’t want to take anything away from their individual quality, but it was soft defending on our side. “We’re going through a difficult period, they’re going through a period where all goes well for them.”
Victory sees Pep Guardiola’s side restore their lead at the top of the table to 16 points as they take another step towards the 2017/18 league title. City now have 82 Premier League goals this season and have already surpassed their total of 80 from last season. And the Spaniard was full of praise for his side’s ruthlessness in front of goal. Guardiola said: “It was so important today, so so important. We have another step forward. With every game we win, it (the title) is closer. “Three or four shots on target and we scored three goals.”