Manchester City booked an EFL Cup semi-final spot and piled more pressure on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with a resounding 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at City before taking charge of the Gunners a year ago, has faced questions over his future after a dismal start to the season has left his side languishing in 15th in the Premier League.
He did not find any respite against his former club, with City – who have won the competition in each of the last three seasons – easing through to the last four after second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte.
Alexandre Lacazette had earlier given the hosts hope of ending a run of three straight home defeats to City when he cancelled out Gabriel Jesus’ early opener, but that proved to be a rare moment of joy in yet another turgid defeat for the beleaguered north London club.
The visitors started in ruthless fashion, taking the lead after just 125 seconds when Jesus headed Oleksandr Zinchenko’s left-wing cross past Runar Alex Runarsson inside the six-yard box, ending a goal drought of 609 minutes for the Brazilian.
Laporte headed wide from a corner before the Gunners pulled level with their first effort on target in the 31st minute, Lacazette heading home Gabriel Martinelli’s cross from six yards out.
City should have restored their lead before the interval, but Runarsson raced off his line to deny Jesus after a smart move on the edge of the penalty area involving Foden.
The Arsenal goalkeeper was entirely at fault for City’s second nine minutes after the interval, though, allowing Mahrez’s free-kick from the edge of the area to squirm through his tepid grasp.
City added a third five minutes later when Foden latched onto Fernandinho’s pass and lofted a delightful finish over Runarsson, although the goal would have been disallowed if VAR had been in use with replays clearly showing the midfielder was offside.
The holders added gloss to an 18th straight victory in the competition in the 73rd minute, Laporte stealing in at the back post to head home Foden’s inviting cross.
MATCH STATS AND RATINGS
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Runarsson 4.5; Mustafi 5.5, Gabriel 6, Kolasinac 6; Soares 5.5, Elneny 6 (Rowe 66, 6), Ceballos 6, Maitland-Niles 6; Willock 6, Lacazette 6.5, Martinelli 7 (Pepe 48).
SUBS: Leno, Tierney, Mari, Nketiah, Balogun.
GOALS: Lacazette 31
BOOKINGS: Elneny, Mustafi
MANAGER: Mikel Arteta 6
MAN CITY (4-3-3): Steffen 6; Cancelo 6, Dias 6, Laporte 6.5, Zinchenko 6.5; Fernandinho 7.5, Rodri 6.5, Foden 8; Mahrez 7, Jesus 7.5 (Aguero 74, 6), Bernardo 6.5 (Torres 70).
SUBS: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Sterling, Gundogan, Aguero.
GOALS: Jesus 3, Mahrez 55, Foden 59, Laporte 73
MANAGER: Pep Guardiola 7
REF: Stuart Atwell 6