Match ends, Manchester City 6, Arsenal 3.
Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal
Manchester City delivered an ominous message to their Premier League title rivals as leaders Arsenal were thrashed.
Manuel Pellegrini's side closed the gap on the Gunners to three points with another in a growing list of devastating attacking displays at home this season.
And they have piled on the agony for North London's two contenders as Arsenal suffered following City's recent 6-0 demolition of Tottenham.
The visitors may point to some questionable offside calls and a rejected penalty claim - but in reality they were ultimately blown away by the sheer firepower of a City side who have now scored 35 league goals at home this season and in 58 consecutive games at Etihad Stadium.
City are not simply beating teams at home, they are dismantling them and if they can replicate part of this form away from home they must surely be title favourites.
Sergio Aguero's early goal was cancelled out by Theo Walcott but Alvaro Negredo put City back in front before half-time.
City's potency was not reduced by a calf injury to Aguero, with Fernandinho extending their lead before Walcott's second restored some optimism for Arsene Wenger's side.
But the hosts were coming at Arsenal from all angles, with David Silva and Fernandinho again finding the target before Per Mertesacker's header made it 5-3 in stoppage time.
City's brilliance deserved the final word - and so it proved as Yaya Toure's penalty gave them another six goals in what is become a catalogue of virtuoso performances at home.
As expected, City manager Pellegrini restored Costel Pantilimon in goal, despite Joe Hart playing his part in the midweek Champions League win against holders Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena.
Aguero has been City's spearhead and he was at it again after only 13 minutes, showing perfect technique once more to sweep in a right-foot volley after Martin Demichelis had flicked on Samir Nasri's corner.
Negredo has proved a potent partner for Aguero and he should have added a second from Vincent Kompany's pass but could only find the side-netting.
Arsenal got some encouragement when a poor punch from Pantilimon landed at the feet of Mesut Ozil but the German could not take advantage.
It was a short reprieve for City as Arsenal were level just after the half-hour. Toure was guilty of conceding possession to Aaron Ramsey and then Ozil crossed for Walcott to side-foot past Pantilimon from the edge of the area.
Arsenal were only on equal terms for seven minutes, though, before Negredo made no mistake with a sliding near-post finish from Pablo Zabaleta, who had crossed after being found by Toure's perfect pass.
There was further bad news for Arsenal in the aftermath of the goal with defender Laurent Koscielny sustaining a deep laceration to his knee trying to stop Negredo and being taken off on a stretcher.
City suffered a setback of their own early in the second half when Aguero, who seemed to be holding the back of his calf, limped off to be replaced by Jesus Navas.
Pellegrini's side, however, have a rich variety of scoring sources and Fernandinho showed his threat five minutes after the break when he took aim and curled a low 25-yard shot out of the reach of the stretching Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal were not giving up and had a penalty claim rejected for handball against Zabaleta from Jack Wilshere's through-ball - with Olivier Giroud also glancing a header wide from Bacary Sagna's cross.
And their continuing threat was confirmed when Walcott got his second to give the Gunners hope again, another curling drive that flew into the top corner.
However, Arsenal's problem was they had no answer to City's pace, power and skill on the attack and Silva opened up the two-goal gap again after 66 minutes, giving Szczesny no chance from Navas's cross.
Pantilimon had endured a mixed game but illustrated why Pellegrini has placed his faith in him with a flying one-handed stop from Wilshere.
But City looked unstoppable going forward and more pressure was rewarded late on when Fernandinho slipped through some flimsy Arsenal defending to score the fifth.
Mertesacker's injury-time header provided nothing in the way of consolation as there was still time for City to score again, Toure beating Szczesny from the spot after the keeper brought down substitute James Milner.
See a photo gallery of all the action from Saturday's Premier League matches on the BBC Sport Facebook site.
- 4KompanyBooked at 80mins
- 8NasriSubstituted forJavi Garcíaat 90'minutes
- 42Y Touré
- 16AgüeroSubstituted forJesús Navasat 50'minutes
- 21SilvaBooked at 49minsSubstituted forMilnerat 71'minutes
- 14Javi García
- 15Jesús Navas
- 1SzczesnyBooked at 90mins
- 20FlaminiSubstituted forGnabryat 72'minutes
- 6KoscielnySubstituted forVermaelenat 42'minutes
- 12GiroudSubstituted forBendtnerat 76'minutes
- Martin Atkinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Manchester City 6, Arsenal 3.
Goal! Manchester City 6, Arsenal 3. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Penalty Manchester City. James Milner draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) after a foul in the penalty area.
Goal! Manchester City 5, Arsenal 3. Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bacary Sagna with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Costel Pantilimon.
Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nicklas Bendtner with a through ball.
Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Serge Gnabry.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Álvaro Negredo.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Costel Pantilimon.
Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Manchester City. Javi García replaces Samir Nasri.
Offside, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal tries a through ball, but Nicklas Bendtner is caught offside.
Goal! Manchester City 5, Arsenal 2. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Samir Nasri.
Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by James Milner.
Foul by Samir Nasri (Manchester City).
Serge Gnabry (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Wojciech Szczesny.
Attempt saved. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Samir Nasri.
Attempt blocked. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Yaya Touré.
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).
Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Samir Nasri with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.
Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Samir Nasri.
Substitution, Arsenal. Nicklas Bendtner replaces Olivier Giroud.
Offside, Manchester City. James Milner tries a through ball, but Álvaro Negredo is caught offside.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Nacho Monreal.
Attempt missed. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Samir Nasri with a through ball.
Foul by Serge Gnabry (Arsenal).
Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Arsenal. Serge Gnabry replaces Mathieu Flamini.
Substitution, Manchester City. James Milner replaces David Silva.