MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Kevin de Bruyne scored twice as Manchester City beat first-place Arsenal 4-1 on Wednesday to take control of the Premier League title race.
While the defending champions remain second in the standings, Arsenal’s lead was cut to two points, with City having two games in hand.
A third league title in as many years is now in sight for manager Pep Guardiola, whose team is in contention for a treble of trophies including the Champions League and FA Cup.
Arsenal proved no match for City in a game that always looked likely to have a major say in determining who would be crowned champions.
Mikel Arteta’s team has led the way for much of the season but never recovered from De Bruyne’s seventh minute opener at Etihad Stadium.
Aaron Ramsdale produced a string of fine saves to keep Arsenal in the game until John Stones headed in a second for City in first-half stoppage time.
Any hopes of an unlikely comeback were ended nine minutes into the second half when De Bruyne scored his second of the match.
Rob Holding pulled one back for Arsenal in the 86th, but it was too late to change the outcome.
Erling Haaland completed the rout to make it 4-1 in stoppage time.
It is the third time City has beaten Arsenal this season, including victory in the FA Cup, and extends its winning sequence against the Londoners to eight games.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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