David Luiz had an error-strewn performance and was at fault for two goals as Manchester City roundly trounced Arsenal behind closed doors on the first night of the Premier League’s return.
Luiz, who came on as a first-half substitute, was at fault for Raheem Sterling’s opener just before half-time when he failed to clear the ball.
The defender was then red-carded for a foul on Riyad Mahrez in the second half to give away a penalty, which Kevin de Bruyne dispatched for City’s second.
Substitute Phil Foden added a third for the defending champions, capitalising on a rebound from Sergio Aguero’s strike.
Arsenal were poor throughout and never looked close to laying a glove on City although Pierre Aubemayang came close to scoring in added time.
Aguero missed a chance to add a fourth but City will be pleased with a good night’s work after they inflicted a first defeat of 2020 on Arsenal.
There was a moment of concern when City goalie Ederson clattered into teammate Eric Garcia in an attempt to clear the ball leading to a lengthy stop in play and the player being stretched off.
The delay necessitated 11-minutes of added time with City having to match their opponent’s 10-men with Pep Guardiola having made all five substitutions.
Victory for Guardiola’s side means league leaders Liverpool remain two wins away from winning the title – writing off any potential celebrations in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
Just like in the early kickoff between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, players from both clubs used their platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality.
All players and staff took a knee immediately before kick-off and the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ replaced players’ names at the back of their jerseys.
Arsenal’s loss means their 40 points leaves them eight off the Champions League and continues a woeful record that has seen them fail to win at the home of a “big six” club in five years.
Beyond the disappointment of defeat, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta who used to be Guardiola’s assistant will be alarmed by injuries to Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka who both left the pitch in the first half.
Luiz’s red card further complicates issues for the Gunners who might be hard-pressed for personnel in their upcoming games.