Manchester City moved closer to the Premier League title as Raheem Sterling’s early goal gave the fugitive leaders a 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side have won 18 successive victories in all competitions thanks to Sterling’s second-minute header at Emirates Stadium.
With 13 games to go, City are 10 points ahead of second-placed Leicester, who had narrowed the lead to seven with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa earlier on Sunday.
City equaled the club’s record of 11 successive away wins in all competitions, set from May to November 2017.
They are the first top-tier team to win their first 11 league games in a calendar year.
On their way to a third title in four seasons, City have won 13 consecutive league games and are unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions since losing to Tottenham in November.
Incredibly, this was the last time they were left behind in a league game.
Guardiola’s men weren’t even at their best when they returned to north London, but they still had enough in the locker to give Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal a third loss in their last four league games.
“It was tough as we expected. We have suffered a lot. It’s difficult to play against Arsenal and Mikel. That’s why I give the players incredible credit for this victory, ”said Guardiola.
“People look at our winning streak and think it’s so easy. I did not expect that. I’m more than thankful to these players for what they do, but winning these games 1-0 is what we need to do.
“The last 10 to 15 minutes have been great. We know what we want to do. We want to take a big step forward. ”
Borussia Mönchengladbach have the next chance to stop City’s incredible winning streak in the Champions League round of 16 first leg on Wednesday.
If anyone had the secret to stopping City’s march to the title, it might have been Gunners boss Arteta.
The Spaniard was Guardiola’s assistant for City before taking charge of Arsenal last season.
But Arteta had to make changes as several of his players were tired after their midweek Europa League draw against Benfica.
“When we conceded the first goal, it put us in a difficult situation. It was hard. With the roster and the players they use, they’re really comfortable, ”said Arteta.
“After that the team reacted really well, were on top of the game and created chances, but we lacked the quality in those situations to score the goal.
City ruthlessly jumped at the uncertainty in Arsenal’s revamped lineup as they took the lead after just 80 seconds.
Ruben Dias played a superb long pass to Riyad Mahrez and the Algerian winger threw a cross into the penalty area, where Sterling challenged his small stature by passing over Rob Holding to head for the far corner. .
Sterling’s 13th club goal of the season was his sixth in his last nine appearances.
He should have had another moment later when Kevin De Bruyne’s pass split Arsenal’s defense, but this time Sterling delayed his shot and Bernd Leno was able to save at the striker’s feet.
Mahrez tormented Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney and he danced past him for a shot that deflected widely.
City’s De Bruyne was making his first start in more than a month following a hamstring injury.
The Belgian midfielder, coming off the bench in the victory at Everton in midweek, tried to spot Ilkay Gundogan but his errant pass betrayed the rust a bit.
City almost conceded against the run of play when Tierney’s volley forced a good save from Ederson.
They regained their momentum early in the second half and De Bruyne was just wide with a daring chip from the edge of the box.
Leno must have saved Gundogan’s 20 yards before De Bruyne’s volley hit the mark.
Joao Cancelo came close to giving Arsenal an equalizer when his high back pass was stolen directly from Mohamed Elneny by Ederson, but the midfielder blazed right next to it.
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