In what was an extremely hyped top of the table clash at the Etihad Stadium, it is Mikel Arteta's Arsenal who remain closest to current leading leaders Liverpool.

There wasn't much to write home about in an encounter that has already been labelled as a 'borefest' by many on social media.

12 shots from the home side in comparison to Arsenal's six with Pep's side dominating proceedings on the ball but neither side managed to produce any clear cut chances. 

Mateo Kovacic came close in early stages of second half with a curled attempt which would've made for an exquisite opener had it nestled its way in. 

Man City pressed for a winner late on, however failed to score in front of their fans for the first time in 58 home games in all competitions. 

Here are four things we learnt from today's clash.

  • Gvardiol's performance shows why City paid the big bucks

City fans have had to endure a fair amount of speculation into the acquisition of Josko Gvardiol who was signed for around £80m last summer. 

However the classy defender on the big stage, today showed a true glimpse as to why he is highly regarded in world football.

Composure, calmness and ability on the ball makes for an ideal Guardiola centre-half and boy did he show that against an Arsenal side that were pressing high in moments throughout the game. 

The Croatian recorded an 87% passing accuracy whilst providing width down the left-flank. 22 years of age yet possesses such technical and physical ability, he was arguably City's MOTM today as he barely put a foot wrong throughout the full 90'. 

The defender still had to provide attacking threat and did so in moments, with 5 crosses and 1 key pass into opp. final third.

  •  Bernardo's calmness and elegance should never be underestimated 

Another one of few who was in with a shout for MOTM - the Portuguese time and time again shows his class. 

The quality City fans have been used to seeing from a player who *only* cost the club £44m back in 2017 is stupendous, considering the numerous expensive flops seen in the Premier League over the years. 

Technical elegance, ability to bait pressure in tight spaces and navigate his way from defence to attack - Bernardo Silva possesses not just the quality but consistency too in big games that Pep Guardiola will always heap praise for. 

A magician but a grafter and today showed his worth again as he had to deal with physical threats from all areas in Arteta's side. Picked up the ball and took control of the game whether it was to calm the tempo or to increase pressure. 

We don't see much praise on such a versatile player, who again showed his experience in such a high-stake encounter. Flawless.

  •  Arteta's dominant spine is made to win titles

To come away from the Etihad having not conceded a goal is a feat that is not only incredibly rare to achieve but complimentary of the spine that Arteta has built within his time at the club so far.

William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Benjamin White and Declan Rice is a spine that has been slowly built over Arteta's tenure and again, truly showed their ability to get stuck in when needs must. 

Whether it was defending set pieces or aerial/ground duels, the side didn't fail to come up trumps, up against such a dominant side in Manchester City who will always cut their way through sides eventually. 

They had to be patient, certainly. But they made it hard for City to play through them. Extremely hard. Erling Haaland found it hard up against Gabriel who was ever-towering and dominant throughout, as well as Rice who imposed himself and covered so much ground.

Such high-stake encounters between two quality sides will always call for 'grit' and this is something that Arteta's spine proved again, today. 

This is a spine that has competed against Europe's elite and has the ability to win trophies. Credit due to Mikel Arteta who has overseen the transition from a poorly-knit core to one that dominates in all facets of the game.

  • Manchester City are struggling to find their usual rhythm at key stage in season

It wouldn't be crazy to state that such a well oiled machine over the years has struggled this season at times. 

Chelsea at home where they failed to come out on top against a poor Pochettino side. Away at Liverpool - albeit they don't hold a positive record at Anfield.

However, we've all seen how Pep's side have the ability and know-how to go on an unbeaten run towards the latter stage of season. Five time Premier League winners which is a stat that laughably speaks for itself. Although will it turn out to be the same story this season where they turn it up gears and finish top?

Time will tell but it certainly wouldn't be ridiculous to suggest that this is a City side that's lacking that 'little something'.

A late Raheem Sterling winner or a Ilkay Gundogan clutch moment from what we've seen over the years but they will need that something *extra* if they are to top the league this time around against such juggernaut whilst competing in multiple competitions.