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Wenger blasts ref and 'diver' Sterling after Gunners crash

Man City 3-1 Arsenal

By Andy Hampson

Arsene Wenger claimed Raheem Sterling "dives well" after Manchester City benefited from a controversial penalty decision in their 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Gunners boss Wenger also felt the offside flag should have been raised in the build-up to the Premier League leaders' third goal at the Etihad Stadium.

The spot-kick, awarded after Sterling was adjudged to have been bundled over by Nacho Monreal, allowed Sergio Aguero to put City 2-0 ahead early in the second half.

Alexandre Lacazette reduced the deficit but David Silva played in Gabriel Jesus - after both players were ruled onside - to settle the game.

Wenger said: "I believe it was no penalty. It was a provoked penalty by Sterling. We know that he dives well - he does that very well.

"And the third goal was offside. I am very upset because at 2-1 we were in the game and looked like we could score. The third goal was the killer.

"It is unfortunate that the game finished the way it finished. I am disappointed. You can accept it if City win in a normal way, they are a good side, but the way it happened is unacceptable.

"It is the second time in two years. We conceded two goals offside last year and we concede a goal here offside again."

Opposite number Pep Guardiola rebuffed Wenger's complaints by referring to the Gunners' contentious win at Burnley last season.

Guardiola said: "We won in the best way and we deserved by far. The chances we created and the few chances we conceded.

"They tell me it was offside and I don't like to win in that way but sometimes Arsenal win in Burnley, 0-1, 96th minute, with a hand, so sometimes it is like this."

Despite Arsenal's gripes, City were dominant as they extended their club record-winning run to 15 games.

They opened the scoring through Kevin De Bruyne in the 19th minute and created numerous other openings.

With 31 points from a possible 33, Guardiola's men are firm title favourites.

The Arsenal manager said: "Can anyone stop them? It will be difficult.

"The way they have started, the way they are on a run, the quality they have. But you never know.

"If on top of that at home they have decisions like that, they will be unstoppable."

MAN CITY: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D Silva, Sterling (Gundogan, 78 mins), Aguero (Jesus, 62 mins), Sane (B Silva, 87 mins). Unused subs: Bravo, Danilo, Mangala, Toure.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka (Wilshere, 78 mins), Coquelin (Lacazette, 56 mins), Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi (Giroud, 78 mins), Sanchez. Unused subs: Debuchy, Walcott, Elneny, Macey.

Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Michael Oliver

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