Woeful Arsenal have lost three successive league matches to start the season for the first time since 1954/55 after being thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City on Saturday.
The pressure continues to mount on under-fire Gunners boss Mikel Arteta after a lunchtime horror show at the Etihad Stadium that saw Ilkay Gundogan, Ferran Torres (twice), Gabriel Jesus and Rodri all net for the rampant defending top-flight champions, while Granit Xhaka was sent off in the first half on a truly dismal day for Arsenal on which they sank to the foot of the table.
They have also yet to score a single goal in the league so far this term, with Wednesday’s 6-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of a young West Brom outfit doing seemingly nothing to help provide a spark of confidence.
For City, a second successive 5-0 drubbing has Pep Guardiola’s men firmly back on track following a tough start to the campaign by their usual high standards, helping to lift spirits at the end of a frustrating week on the transfer front in which they missed out on high-profile deals for both Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arsenal actually made a confident start to proceedings in the midday sunshine, but all their early promise instantly evaporated when Calum Chambers allowed man of the match Gundogan to head in Jesus’ deep cross at the back post.
If that defending was not quite bad enough, just five minutes later Bernardo Silva was left free to deliver another ball that somehow evaded three players in red and white before being tapped home by Torres.
The goal stood after a VAR check following an incident between Chambers and fellow defender Aymeric Laporte.
Only a couple of complacent errors from City goalkeeper Ederson looked likely to offer Arsenal a potential route back into the game, with Kieran Tierney’s appeals for a penalty after a tussle with Kyle Walker turned down before any hope of a comeback was firmly extinguished by Xhaka’s red card for a reckless two-footed challenge on Joao Cancelo.
Boosted further by their numerical advantage, City pushed hard for a third goal before the interval and got it when Ederson played a ball straight through the middle to Torres, who had acres of space in which to drive forward and pick out Jack Grealish, who glided into the box before teeing up Jesus for an easy tap-in.
The second half was purely an exercise in attack vs defence, with Bernd Leno denying Bernardo before Rodri made it 4-0 with a magnificent bending strike into the bottom corner from outside the box.
City absolutely dominated possession and only a few solid saves from Leno kept them from further running riot as Guardiola introduced the likes of Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez.
The fifth goal eventually arrived five minutes from time, with Torres breezing through unmarked as he headed home Gundogan’s cross to complete a truly miserable afternoon for Arsenal.