*Mkhitaryan stretches Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 16 games
Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit with a convincing 3-1 derby victory over Manchester United at Etihad Stadium yesterday even as Arsenal maintained its unbeaten run this season.
Elsewhere in the Premiership, substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a late equaliser to stretch Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 16 matches and deny Wolverhampton Wanderers a famous win at the Emirates. The fifth-placed Gunners are three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham while Wolves remain 11th in the table.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were seeking the result they needed to go back to the top of the table after Liverpool’s lunchtime win over Fulham at Anfield – and it was rarely in doubt after David Silva bundled home an early goal to give them a narrow interval advantage.
City got the second goal their superiority deserved with Sergio Aguero’s rasping, rising finish past David de Gea three minutes into the second half following an exchange of passes with Riyad Mahrez.
Jose Mourinho’s side, without injured Paul Pogba, barely mounted a serious threat but were given hope of earning an unlikely point just before the hour when Romelu Lukaku was hauled down by Ederson seconds after he had come on as substitute. Anthony Martial sent the Brazilian the wrong way from the spot.
It briefly revived memories of last season’s dramatic derby here when United came from two goals down to win, but City never looked like losing control and wrapped up the win two minutes from time when substitute Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of static United defending to beat De Gea from close range following a 44-pass move.
Manchester City’s answer to Liverpool briefly returning to the head of the Premier League table was emphatic as this win was a comfortable as the scoreline suggests, arguably even more so.
Liverpool and Chelsea remain unbeaten in the Premier League, although Maurizio Sarri’s side slipped as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton.
City are two points clear of Liverpool but have a goal difference of +31 as opposed to +18 and this was another of their most difficult fixtures negotiated with their usual flair.
At the Emirates Stadium, Mkhitaryan denied Wolverhampton Wanderers a famous win.
Ivan Cavaleiro’s close-range finish looked like securing the Black Country club their most eye-catching victory since returning to the Premier League this season.
The visitors pounced on an error by Granit Xhaka, Cavaleiro and Raul Jiminez exchanging passes before the former tapped home.
Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin both went close to equalising while leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post before Mkhitaryan’s 86th minute cross went straight past Rui Patricio.
In a thrilling contest, Wolves almost snatched it in stoppage time when 18-year-old substitute Morgan Gibbs-White hit the bar.
Alex Iwobi, starting a league game for the first time since 28 October, lasted until half-time before he was replaced while Mesut Ozil was also taken off as under-par Arsenal struggled against their vibrant opponents.