Manchester City are back top of the Premier League table and you wouldn’t put it past them now storming to their fifth title in six seasons. Victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage proved why Pep Guardiola’s side are dominant over nearest rivals Arsenal and every other team in the league.
City knew that victory would take them above Arsenal at the top of the table after last Wednesday’s 4-1 win at the Etihad. And they got off to the perfect start through Erling Haaland in just the third minute.
Julian Alvarez won a penalty and Haaland stepped up to score his 50th in all competitions this season. The Norwegian normally dominates the headlines but it was Alvarez who went on to be the star of the show.
After good work to win the spot kick, he then came up with the goods with a goal himself later in the half when City needed him. Fulham had equalised through Carlos Vinicius but Alvarez put them back in front with a goal out of nothing.
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Alvarez curled an unstoppable effort over Bernd Leno from 20 yards out. The 23-year-old has had to settle for being a back-up striker for most of the season but would arguably start for any other team in the league.
And City’s supremacy over Arsenal is shown in the comparison between Alvarez and Gabriel Jesus. Arsenal signed Jesus from City last summer and it was a signing many supporters were excited about.
The Brazilian has had a successful first season at the Emirates, despite missing three months with a knee injury picked up at the World Cup. But comparing Arsenal’s first-choice striker to City’s second makes for interesting reading.
Jesus has scored nine goals in 21 Premier League matches this season. Nineteen of those have been as a starter and he averages a goal every 182.33 minutes of being on the pitch.
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Alvarez netted his eighth league strike of the campaign at Fulham. It was just his eighth start to go with 17 substitute appearances.
The forward averages a goal every 123.37 minutes in the top flight, considerably better than Jesus’ record. So City not only have a striker who is breaking all records in Haaland but also a second-choice one outperforming Arsenal’s main centre-forward.
Alvarez has also scored seven goals in 16 cup matches for City this season to take his overall tally to 15 in all competitions. Jesus did not score in his seven games across the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
Arsenal have exceeded all expectations to challenge for the title this season. But when City have back-up players of that quality, no other team can compete with them.
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