Searching questions were being asked of Manchester City after their recent Champions League elimination and first Premier League defeat to Chelsea but they were answered in comprehensive fashion against Arsenal on Sunday.
Against a Gunners side who had won seven of their last eight Premier League games, City prevailed in one of the stellar matches of the season so far.
It was David Silva's 53rd minute goal which settled it, but Roberto Mancini's men could have scored five on another day, such was their profligacy in front of goal.
The outstanding Sergio Aguero should have scored twice in the first-half after engineering chances inside the Arsenal box.
After Silva had put the league leaders ahead, poor decision making from Samir Nasri, who impressed in fits and starts against his former club, and a shot inches wide from Aguero spared Arsenal a more brutal defeat.
The Gunners, though, confirmed that their early season problems are well behind them with a spirited performance in this heavyweight clash. They would have registered themselves were it not for the exceptional Joe Hart who denied Gervinho in the first-half, and Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen in the second.
Here were two of the Premier League's true entertainers leaving it all out on the field at the Etihad Stadium in a high octane Premier League encounter. Despite defeat Arsene Wenger would have been encouraged by the way his side acquitted themselves away to title favorites; Van Persie, Mikel Arteta and Laurent Koscielny showing the virtues of experience with assured displays.
Nasri was, perhaps a little mischiefly, awarded City's official Man of the Match award when Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Aguero far outshone the Frenchman, showing that the club has retained its sense of humor despite the transformation of recent years.
The caliber of this display suggests they are favorites to have the last laugh come May.
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