(AP) MANCHESTER, England – Manchester City did not require the services of Harry Kane or Cristiano Ronaldo in order to defeat Arsenal.
With four different scorers in the 5-0 triumph on Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s attacking options may be sufficient to protect the Premier League championship.
Or maybe City’s easy dismantling of a team that has now lost all three league games without scoring is just a symptom of Arsenal’s flaws. And there came the 55-minute period when City were reduced to ten men after Granit Xhaka was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Joo Cancelo.
In the first 12 minutes, Arsenal’s defense had already given up enough territory for Ilkay Gundogan to head in the opener and Ferran Torres to score. Before halfway, Gabriel Jesus was able to tap in again, and after the interval, Rodri looped in and Torres scored with a header.
“We didn’t need to buy a striker because of that,” Guardiola explained. “We tried but were unable to achieve our goal. It’s a terrific group of people. I’d like to express my gratitude for the players they’ve provided me with.”
It was a fitting climax to a week in which City had to abandon its bid to recruit Tottenham striker Harry Kane and had hoped to sign Cristiano Ronaldo before Manchester United intervened.
City was already playing catch-up after losing their first game against Tottenham. However, while City increased its lead to six points, four of the five teams that had started the season with a pristine record dropped points in their third games on Saturday.
Liverpool and Chelsea, both title contenders, drew 1-1 at Anfield. Crystal Palace held West Ham to a 2-2 draw, but Brighton fell to Everton 2-0. Only Tottenham is still in contention for a third consecutive victory when Kane leads the London club against Watford on Sunday.
Arsenal isn’t the only team with no points after three games. Norwich is failed to win a game after losing 2-1 to Leicester. In a 2-2 draw with Southampton, Newcastle earned its first point. Brentford has five points after a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in its maiden Premier League season.