It was quite the hat-trick for David Luiz. At fault for the first goal, gave away the penalty for the second goal, and sent-off. Given his contract expires in June, this may well be his farewell appearance for Arsenal. It’s been quite the ride.
Much as it was for Mikel Arteta, returning to the Etihad Stadium for the first time since being prised away from Pep Guardiola’s side.
His old friend greeted him with a hearty pat on the back and then remembered he was supposed to be social distancing. Everyone else got an elbow bump, and then the slap in the chops that usually follows when two teams are as poorly matched as this.
Luiz’s night got worse when he was dismissed shortly after the restart, as he was punished for bringing down Riyad Mahrez when he raced through on goal.
The referee also awarded a penalty for the 33-year-old’s clumsy challenge, which Kevin de Bruyne stepped up to dispatch to double Pep Guardiola’s side’s advantage.
At the interval, Gunners legend Ian Wright criticised Luiz for failing to deal with De Bruyne’s pass through to Sterling, telling DAZN.
“Arsenal had done well to try to hold off a City side that once they got in their groove, they looked dangerous, it was ominous, you could see that something was going to happen.
“When you consider where this has come from, how far [the De Bruyne pass] has come from, it is poor from David Luiz.
“It’s unfortunate because to go in 0-0 would’ve been really good, it would’ve given them a little bit of confidence.
“But that, for me, you’ve got to attack that, we know that it’s raining, it might be a little bit wet.
“But a player of his experience should go and meet that, kick that out, he’s got himself in all sorts of problems and got punished for it.”
Luiz has now committed more errors leading to goals than any other player this year (three), and he is the first player to be red-carded, concede a penalty and make a mistake leading to an opposition goal in a Premier League fixture since Carl Jenkinson for West Ham against Bournemouth in August 2015.
He is also the first player to have given away four penalties in a single top-flight season since Jose Fonte at Southampton in 2016-17, living up to his reputation as one of the most erratic defenders in European football.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson 7.5; Walker 7, Garcia 7.5, Laporte 7 (Fernandinho 70), Mendy 7.5; Silva 7 (Foden 66, 7), Gundogan 7, De Bruyne 8 (Rodri 70, 6); Mahrez 7.5 (B Silva 66, 6), Gabriel Jesus 7 (Aguero 80), Sterling 7
Subs not used: Carson, Otamendi, Sane, Zinchenko
Scorers: Sterling 45+2, De Bruyne pen 51, Foden 90+1
Manager: Pep Guardiola 7
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno 6.5; Bellerin 6.5, Mustafi 6, Mari 6 (Luiz 24, 3), Tierney 7; Guendouzi 6.5 (Maitland-Niles 67), Xhaka (Ceballos 8, 5); Saka 6, Willock 5.5 (Nelson 67, 6), Aubameyang 5; Nketiah 6 (Lacazette 67)
Subs not used: Kolasinac, Martinelli, Martinez, Pepe
Sent off: Luiz
Manager: Mikel Arteta 6.5
Referee: Anthony Taylor 6