Manchester City eased past 3-1 Aston Villa at home to cut into Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez were on target for the home side, who now trail the Gunners by just three points for the league’s overall lead with 48.
Knowing of Arsenal’s dropped points, Pep Guardiola’s men started the game with serious intent cheered on by a vociferous crowd who largely booed the Premier League after being charged with over 100 breaches.
Rodri took just 4 minutes to put City ahead, losing his marker on a corner to head past Emiliano Martinez.
The visitors never recovered from the early blow, allowing the hosts to dictate the play at their leisure. City’s dominance paid off once again in the 39th minute when a mixup between Martinez and defender Calum Chambers in the front of the Villa goal allowed Erling Haaland to pounce and find Gundogan for an easy finish.
The job was done in the first minute of added time before the break when City was awarded a soft penalty for a foul on Jack Grealish and Mahrez thumped in the resulting spot-kick to put his side in complete control.
With three points already secured, Manchester City took their foot off the gas, allowing Aston Villa a brief period of dominance which allowed them to cut the deficit through Ollie Watkins in the 61st minute.
The hosts saw out the remainder of the game for a much-needed win.
Manchester City now gets ready to face Arsenal on Thursday (PKT) and can draw themselves level on points with a win.