Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City took a massive step towards extending their status as England’s apex club as they brushed league-leaders Arsenal and blew the title race wide open.
Contested at the Etihad, the game unfolded like the blockbuster everyone expected it to be, albeit in a one-sided fashion.
Prior to kick-off, the home support unfurled an incredible banner, which undoubtedly played its part in amping up the players for the game.
Invigorated by the impressive display, the Citizens delivered a 5-star performance on the pitch.
With Pep Guardiola taking a page out of Roberto De Zerbi’s build-up patterns, the home side found it incredibly simple to tear through Arsenal’s formidable press.
City passed their way through the opposition repeatedly and got the ball to Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, with the duo effectively handling the rest.
They linked up superbly on numerous occasions, including the rapid interchange that led to the first goal.
John Stones extended the lead in the final minute of the first half before Kevin De Bruyne scored his eighth goal against Arsenal and made it 3-0 to City during the second 45.
Just as fans were beginning to think that Haaland was drawing a blank, the Norwegian popped up in the final moments of the game and got his goal.
In the end, the Champions walked away with a 4-1 victory, all 3 points in the bag and a foothold in the title race.
Needless to say, the players were at their imperious best, and the same can be said for their adoring fans at the Etihad.
The City faithful are often criticized for failing to make up the numbers and selling out stands home or away, and that’s aside from the ‘plastic’ label usually stapled onto any Sky Blues fan.
However, the reality couldn’t be more of a contrast.
The Citizens have been delivering solid away support throughout the season, and while you can occasionally spot empty seats at the Etihad, the venue is known to get incredibly noisy when it really counts.
Look no further than last season’s final game for evidence; the Etihad played its role as a role fortress and undoubtedly aided City’s incredible comeback, the pitch invasion that followed after full-time also speaks volumes about the home support.
The fans’ efforts last night further our argument, as they flung a massive tifo which covered the width of the main stand.
The stylized tifo had an almost graffiti-like presentation, featuring the colours of City’s kits as the background.
The font style added to the aesthetic, and so did the central positioning of the club crest.
The message sitting at the centre read, ‘I’ll follow you anywhere’, which comes off as a motto or rather a City-themed interpretation of YNWA.
Overall, the tifo, and by extension, the home support was nothing short of top-notch. And we hope to see it make a return during City’s crucial Champions League tie against Real Madrid.
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