Manchester City produced a scintillating performance to comprehensively beat Arsenal for the second time in five days and extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 16 points.
After beating the Gunners 3-0 in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, City dominated in a toxic atmosphere at a half-full Emirates Stadium.
Bernardo Silva opened the scoring in the 15th minute, beautifully curling in a left-footed strike into the far corner after Leroy Sane’s mazy run.
David Silva finished off a fine team move in the 28th minute for City’s second before Sane did the same five minutes later.
Arsenal had the opportunity to cut the deficit shortly after half-time but Ederson saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty.
The result sees City pull further away from Manchester United at the top of the table and marks Pep Guardiola’s 100th game at the club with a win.
Arsenal, meanwhile, stay sixth, 10 points off the top four.
Sensational City reaffirm gulf in class
City were clinical on Sunday in securing Guardiola’s first trophy at the club, although Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger suggested the game was closer than the 3-0 scoreline suggested.
At the Emirates, particularly in the first half, the City were at their free-flowing best and Wenger could have no complaints.
Sane dribbled past four defenders for the opening goal before Bernardo Silva’s accurate finish and the hosts looked helpless in attempting to prevent the following two goals.
For the second, Sane, Sergio Aguero and David Silva combined brilliantly and the Spaniard calmly fired past Petr Cech.
The third then came at the end of a flowing move with Kyle Walker squaring to German Sane from in behind the left side of Arsenal’s defence.
Guardiola’s side are now 30 points clear of Arsenal and, with their 16-point lead over Manchester United restored, could now win the title in a little over a month when they face their city rivals on 7 April.
If they were to win the title that weekend it would be the earliest the Premier League title has ever been won.
Things only get worse for Wenger
Wenger was prickly in response to questions about his Arsenal future before the game and the result and performance will have done little to silence those questions.
The match was played in front of tens of thousands of empty seats in north London, surely not all as a result of the snowy weather.
Many of those that did attend booed City’s third goal, at half-time, at full-time and when passes went astray, while there were ironic cheers when Cech claimed a catch at one point in the first half.
Nicolas Otamendi’s foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the Gunners slim hope of a comeback in the 53rd minute but the miss from the spot by record-signing Aubameyang ended any chance of a contest.
Arsenal have now lost seven times in 2018 and their only route back into the Champions League looks to be winning the Europa League.
They have have now gone 10 games without keeping a clean sheet in the Premier League, their longest run in the competition since February 2002.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown described it as a “sad evening” for Wenger on BBC Radio 5 live, adding that the Gunners were “outplayed and outfought”.
There were chants of “there’s only one Arsene Wenger” from the stands in the final stages but, to add to the Frenchman’s misery, those appeared to come from the visiting fans.
Classic Pep on landmark night
Guardiola has now won 69 of his 100 games in charge of City and the first-half performance was one of the best he has overseen, although he denied it afterwards.
The football was spectacular but they also showcased their clinical finishing and have scored nine goals from just 13 shots on target against Arsenal this season.
Guardiola has won one trophy this season, has all-but sealed another and will also be eyeing the club’s first Champions League title.
Interestingly the Spaniard’s record after 100 games in Manchester is actually worse than his starts in previous jobs with Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
City have fewer wins, more defeats, have scored fewer goals and have conceded more than Guardiola’s sides in Germany and Spain.
Man of the match – Leroy Sane of Manchester City.