Pep Guardiola's left back experiment is what stands between him and the title

The supporters were streaming towards the exits well before the final whistle.

The action on the field had petered out to such an extent that the 60,000 in the stands were of far more interest than the 22 on the pitch.

Oh and Manchester City had scored

three goals as they eased past Arsenal 3-1 on their way to the top of the table.

But woe betide those who assume that this was a rerun of so many recent meetings between these two.

This was not your slightly older brother's Arsenal vs. Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola might have won again, his side claiming top spot in the Premier League until Saturday lunchtime at least

but this was a contest where his victory did not always seem guaranteed

Last season's loss in this fixture was a January thriller that hit north London like a bolt from the blue.

Rodri's late winner in a 2-1 match did nothing to quell the optimism it engendered.