Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva lead second successive dismantling of Arsenal

Time travel may still be fantasy, but Manchester City took us straight back to the weekend with a second successive dismantling of Arsenal, this time in their own stadium. The job was complete after just over half an hour, with a display of attacking prowess that was the footballing equivalent of Picasso, Dostoyevsky, Wordsworth and Mendelsohn. The confidence, precision and power of this City side apparently knows few bounds. So complete was the first-half destruction that a well-earned rest was built into the second half.


Aside from the maintenance of a season's worth of good habits, a glance around the stadium showed a London public who had only managed to turn up in scattered amounts. The bitter weather had taken its toll on the home support. In the away end, however, a full contingent of City fans had braved the elements and travel disruption from the other end of the country. As with the players, a cold snap, blocked motorways and icy stadium approaches were not going to stop them.


Once again, the referee offered little protection to those City players who became the target of Arsenal's frustration. The Silvas, David and Bernardo, came in for particularly tough treatment that Andre Marriner did little to staunch.

Manager Rating out of 10

9 -- Four days after landing his first trophy as City manager and three before he faces Chelsea, Pep Guardiola fielded the strongest team he could muster. Not content with a three-goal lead at half-time, Guardiola could be seen leaving the pitch alongside Ilkay Gundogan, offering the German detailed tactical analysis instead of a contended arm around the shoulder. Obsessed. 100-up for the Catalan.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Ederson, 8 -- Busy night for the recalled Brazilian and he was equal to absolutely everything, saving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 53rd-minute penalty with aplomb. Also had time to take out Nicolas Otamendi in punching away a dangerous cross and produced one collector's item: a directionless, ballooned clearance high into touch. He is human after all.

DF Kyle Walker, 8 -- Kept Mesut Ozil in his pocket for the second time in four days. His competitive spirit and fast tracking up and back held the right side together all night.

DF Vincent Kompany, 8 -- Second all-action game for the captain in four days. Looks completely at home alongside Otamendi and had little difficulty bossing Arsenal's front two of Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck.

DF Nicolas Otamendi, 9 -- Has grown into a phenomenal presence at the back for City. Whoever plays alongside him looks comfortable, while he blocks and shunts everything that comes his way. An eye-watering improvement on last season.

DF Danilo, 8 -- Another terrific performance to add to his League Cup final display. Active and heavily involved in City's exemplary rearguard action in the second half.

MF Ilkay Gundogan, 8 -- Much better from the German, picking up the slack in deep midfield, playing it simple and easing the possession out of the danger area. Played so well that Fernandinho, the constant yardstick for holding midfield brilliance, was not missed in the slightest.

MF Bernardo Silva, 8 -- Waving that magical left foot like a magician's wand, he opened the scoring with another perfect strike coming in from the right. Held onto possession well and has grown into the league, the team and his position within it in fine fashion.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 8 -- As with the big event at the weekend, chose to mingle in and let David Silva do the artistic midfield work. Quick feet to the fore once again and happy to dig, push and fight for midfield space.

MF Leroy Sane, 9 -- Back to his absolute best after the injury layoff. Sparkling slalom set up Bernardo Silva for the first and he repeated the trick with a feint, a change of pace and a change of direction for the second. Just for good measure he walked in the third, as he and City ran riot.

MF David Silva, 8 -- Not well protected by referee Marriner, but nevertheless the fulcrum of City's scintillating first-half showing. Despite being the number one target for rough treatment, always found the spaces and used them well.

FW Sergio Aguero, 8 -- Looked really eager to be part of the team effort. Aggressive and energetic chasing the ball down and showing an excellent touch in the final third. Two good chances to make it 4-0 and net his 200th City goal, but it was not to be on the night.


DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, NR -- Came on for Kyle Walker in the 72nd minute and proceeded to fit in with City's simple management of the later stages.

MF Yaya Toure, NR -- Came on Aguero after 81 minutes and chugged effortlessly around the widening midfield gaps.

FW Gabriel Jesus, NR -- Replaced David Silva on 87 minutes and continued to ease himself back after injury. Another useful run out.