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Man City tops Arsenal, opens up 8-point lead

The Associated Press

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, center, shoots wide of Arsenal keeper Petr Cech during Sunday’s game in Manchester.

The Associated Press MANCHESTER (AP) — It’s a sign of Manchester City’s incredible level this season that a 3-1 win over a major rival like Arsenal was met with a “could do better” assessment by manager Pep Guardiola.

“We could have scored five or six today,” Guardiola said. “We just needed to be more clinical.”

Unbeaten. An eight-point lead. Ten wins from 11 games. 38 goals. And still Guardiola isn’t satisfied.

That’s the standard the rest of the Premier League is up against this season.

Playing four days after an energy-sapping 4-2 win at Napoli in the Champions League, City wasn’t as fluent as usual, but still swept past Arsenal at Etihad Stadium to make a statement heading into the international break.

City needed some luck, though, with Kevin De Bruyne’s opening goal in the 19th minute followed by a contentiously awarded penalty, converted by Sergio Aguero after Nacho Monreal nudged Raheem Sterling, and then a third by Gabriel Jesus that should have been ruled out for offside against David Silva in the build-up.

“It will be difficult this season,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, when asked if City could be stopped. “The way they have started, the way they are on a run, the quality they have. If on top of that at home they have decisions like that, they will be unstoppable.”

It’s now a club record-extending 15 straight wins in all competitions for City — a streak that includes a penalty-shootout triumph in the League Cup. A 1-1 draw against Everton, when City played more than a half with 10 men, in mid-August is the only slip-up so far.

City already has three wins over the supposed “Big Six” in the Premier League this season, having already beaten Liverpool and Chelsea. In the whole of last season, City managed two (away to Manchester United and home to Arsenal).

City started Sunday with a lead of five points over second-place Manchester United, which lost 1-0 at Chelsea hours after City’s win.

Real back to winning ways

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid restored order after two straight losses with a comfortable 3-0 win over Las Palmas in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Goals by Casemiro in the first half, and Marco Asensio and Isco in the second, secured Madrid victory at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, keeping it eight points behind leader Barcelona after 11 games.

Barcelona defeated Sevilla 2-1 Saturday to maintain a four-point lead over second-place Valencia, which routed Leganes 3-0 for its seventh straight league win.

Madrid was under pressure after losses at Girona in La Liga and at Tottenham in the Champions League. The team endured a wave of criticism this week, and a convincing home win was needed to ease tensions for the defending champions.

“This win is important to help the team regain its confidence,” Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said.

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