Man City 4-1 Arsenal: Why Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland will be key to Treble pursuit

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Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland provided the silk and steel as Manchester City’s seemingly unstoppable momentum consumed faltering Arsenal in their so-called Premier League title decider at Etihad Stadium. There may well be twists and turns ahead but few would bet against City claiming a fifth title in six seasons after they tore apart the league leaders, the one team who have made a contest of this campaign.

City’s 4-1 victory was nowhere near a reflection of their superiority, Pep Guardiola’s side making a mockery of the pre-match billing that this could be a tight affair settled by the finest margins. The margins were vast in all areas – and at the heart of it all was the deadly duo of De Bruyne and Haaland. Guardiola admitted there was a deliberate ploy in this game to use De Bruyne and Haaland to unlock Arsenal. It worked to quite devastating effect.

He said: “We’ve always had an incredible attacking threat but the connection between Erling and Kevin is extraordinary. Here we tried to use it as much as possible. “Kevin is always pushing and feels he can do better but in this shape he moves behind Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey and has more freedom. It’s so dangerous for opponents. The threat with Erling-Kevin, Kevin-Erling is so important.

“I think Kevin is the master of the assist whether or not Erling is playing and Erling scores goals with or without Kevin but together they are so dangerous.”

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