Manchester City 1 Arsenal 3
Aguero 1, 44, 61, Koscielny 11

Sergio Aguero struck his 14th hat-trick for Manchester City as the hosts saw off Arsenal at the Etihad stadium. The Argentine was on target after just 50 seconds when the Arsenal defence dithered in clearing their lines. Alex Iwobi should have launched the ball into row Z, but having lost possession to Aymeric Laporte, his cross fell right for Aguero to head past Bernd Leno. Despite being under pressure for large parts on the opening exchanges, Arsenal levelled through captain Laurent Koscielny who headed in from Nacho Monreal’s flick on from Lucas Torreira’s corner. If that was a re-working of the famous  old Tony Adams, Steve Bould routine which served the Gunners so well in the recent past. Sadly the modern day defending was a more of a horror show of an affair compared to what these former Gunners legends were used to producing. City re-gained the lead just before the break when Ilkay Gundogan’s floated ball found Raheem Sterling in space. The England man crossed and Aguero had a simple tap in. His hat-trick was completed in fortuitous circumstances, the ball coming off him arm from yet another Sterling cross as it went past the despairing dive and tumble of Bernd Leno and Koscielny respectively.

Denis Suarez’s January loan move from Barcelona re-unites the the Spain midfielder with Unai Emery, the two having worked together at Valencia. However his 66th minute introduction from the bench wasn’t enough to galvanise any kind of Arsenal response. Had it not been for Leno’s further saves from Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Aguero, City could have inflicted another drubbing on the Gunners. Since his summer arrival in N5, Emery has enjoyed the good (22 game unbeaten run early on this season), the bad (The inability to get the best out of Mesut Ozil)  and the ugly ( poor away day losses here and at Liverpool). The frustration is that Arsenal fans would be happy to see a dogged defence against a quality opponent with the aim of countering at pace. How Emery gets that balance right will be key, but Arsenal fans will not settle again for what turned out to be below par performances during the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the Emirates.

Both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette started, but neither were given any semblance of service and often the duo were required to come deep in search of the ball, rather than awaiting crosses which then didn’t materialise. That said Matteo Guendouzi at 19 years of age shows maturity and promise, as does Torreira. Both will continue to shine, all the better for when the performances and the results improve, which no doubt they will. Emery rates Suarez highly, but whether that will be enough to sign him permanently for a reported fee of £18m, and with a dwindling summer transfer budget will be interesting.

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke will need to back his manager, because if Emery is expected to do things economically, then that will continue to see the Gunners drifting away from the Premier League power house clubs like City.

The Gunners next Premier League action sees them travel up to Huddersfield at the week-end.