EPL: Man City routs Arsenal 5-0; Liverpool, Chelsea draw 1-1

Sports

Manchester City’s Rodrigo, right, celebrates after scoring his side’s fourth goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City didn’t need Harry Kane or Cristiano Ronaldo to destroy Arsenal.

With four different scorers in the 5-0 win on Saturday, maybe the attacking options currently available to Pep Guardiola are enough to defend the Premier League title.

Or maybe it’s just a sign of Arsenal’s frailties that City so easily dismantled a side that has now lost all three league games without scoring. And the fact City played against 10 men for 55 minutes after Granit Xhaka was sent off for a two-footed lunge on João Cancelo.

But Arsenal’s defense had already ceded territory easily for Ilkay Gundogan to head in the opener and Ferran Torres to score in the opening 12 minutes. Gabriel Jesus was able to tap in again before halftime and, after the break, Rodri curled in and Torres was on target again with a header.

“That is why we did not need to buy a striker,” Guardiola said. “We tried but it was not possible. It is a fantastic squad. I have to say thank you for the players they have given me.”

It was a great end to a week when City had to give up on its attempt to bring Tottenham striker Harry Kane to the Etihad Stadium and thought it was going to sign Cristiano Ronaldo before Manchester United stepped in.

Having lost its opening game to Tottenham, City was already playing catch-up. But while City moved onto six points, four of the teams with perfect starts dropped points in their third games on Saturday.

Title contenders Liverpool and Chelsea drew 1-1 at Anfield. West Ham was held 2-2 by Crystal Palace and Brighton lost 2-0 to Everton. Only Tottenham is still in the running for a third consecutive win when Kane leads the London club into Sunday’s game against Watford.

It’s not only Arsenal on zero points after three games. Norwich, which lost 2-1 to Leicester, is yet to get off the mark. Newcastle picked up its first point in a 2-2 draw against Southampton. Brentford is on five points in its first-ever Premier League season after drawing 1-1 at Aston Villa.

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