Arsenal v Man City: Pictures
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Kevin De Bruyne has made his thoughts on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal clear after his heated exchange with the Spaniard on Wednesday. The midfield maestro shoved Arteta during Manchester City’s 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium, sending them top of the Premier League on goal difference.
De Bruyne played a starring role in a memorable win in north London, scoring the opener and assisting Erling Haaland’s third.
Pep Guardiola triumphed over his apprentice for the second time in as many games this season to regain top spot from the Gunners after a lengthy chase.
Tensions were palpable during the high-stakes encounter, with Arteta no stranger to getting emotional on the touchline.
But De Bruyne let emotions get the better of him early in the second half, pushing his former coach after he kicked the ball away at a throw-in to slow the game down.
The Belgium international has only had good things to say about Arteta’s Arsenal since the clash, though, labelling City’s title rivals ‘exceptional’.
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He said: “I think every year gets tougher because of the quality of the teams.
“Everyone does such good business and gets so much quality in it. It’s hard to play against every team.
“Doing what we did in the last years… when we come up against every team, they want to beat us.
“We know that, so to keep doing what we do is great, but we need to keep going.
“Arsenal are exceptional. They play such good football, and it is hard to play against them.
“They have such energy, young guys. They do what they need to do.
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“For me, the first half they were better, and the second half we were better. In the right moment, we had that quality where it matters.”
City and Arsenal sit on 51 points, but Guardiola’s 36-goal difference is superior to the Londoners’ 26.
However, the latter have one game in hand, meaning the title is still in their hands if they avoid defeat against Everton on March 1.
Tensions will be just as high when Arsenal travel to the Etihad Stadium for the reverse fixture against City later this season.
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