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Football Whispers

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Football Whispers

Arsene Wenger deflects as Manchester City roll on

Arsene Wenger called referee Michael Oliver's performance "unacceptable" on Sunday, adding that if City keep "getting decisions like that," they will be "unstoppable." Maybe he was having a bad day after the 3-1 defeat, but his reaction was way over the top.

Yes, the assistant referee (not Oliver) should have flagged for City's third goal as David Silva was quite clearly offside. And sure, maybe Raheem Sterling did allow himself to fall for Sergio Aguero's penalty, but this was far from a clear-cut mistake. Indeed, it's the classic case where when the shoe is on the other foot, you don't hear a peep.

Perhaps it was a way to avoid talking about his obsession with playing a back three even when he doesn't have three central defenders. (Francis Coquelin was drafted in and was awful: Arsenal looked much better when they switched to a back four.) Or maybe it was an attempt to deflect from the fact that his record signing and top goal scorer, Alexandre Lacazette, was left on the bench and has started just nine of Arsenal's 16 games this season. (The France international duly came on and scored.)

Or perhaps he wanted us to ignore the fact that, despite flurries of better play from Arsenal, this was still a hugely one-sided game, as the 1.83 to 0.31 expected goals count shows.

As for City, it's another box ticked in what has been a procession thus far. They've collected 31 of a possible 33 points in the league, have four wins from four games in the Champions' League and boast a freakish goal difference. Last year, they started well and then collapsed. It could happen this season too, although the run has gone on longer than last season's.

You sort of feel that the season could be decided in the space of six days next month: the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, Swansea away and then Tottenham at home. Get through that unscathed and it will be hard to see this title going anywhere but the Etihad.

Click here to read more of Marcotti's thoughts on what occurred in European football over the previous week.


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