Arsenal vs Manchester City, though being a 2-0 deficit, could be excused as a warm-up result as it was Unai’s first official Premier League game in charge. His line-up is still a work in progress situation and it wasn’t the winning start Gooners hoped for.
Sterling’s 14th minute outside of the box strike came by dribbling as he made his way through from the left flank towards the centre only to be find a narrow crevice between 3 Arsenal men who were in front of him which only blocked the keeper’s vision. 1-0 City.
City doubled the lead with a brillant finish from Bernardo Silva,this time from inside the box. The ball being slowly dispatched at the penalty spot from the left flank by Mendy; Silva saw this opportunity to take the team home with an exuberant shot aiming at the left top corner to which Cech had no answer to it.
💬 @HectorBellerin: "It's a new era for us and it's about learning with the new coach, learning the new system and I'm sure we'll get better"
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 12, 2018
Here are three interesting facts About Season Opener vs City:-
Lack of Awareness in Final-Third
Only 9 shots were attempted out of which only 3 of them were on target.7 offside faults were committed by Arsenal in contrast to only 2 committed by City players.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) August 12, 2018
Aubameyang and Ozil also had two chances at which they could amend the score to level with each other. But the assistant referee was quick to notice the offside and saw to it that Arsenal couldn’t match up to the class of Manchester City’s players.
They were caught aback many times during the match; Aguero also missed a one on one chance against Cech although De Bruyne was awaiting for a clear pass on the left flank of the goal as Cech had left his stance off the goal,which could have made 3-0 for City.
More Defensive Woes
With Maitland-Niles adding to the injury woes of Arsenal after only 35 minutes of gameplay vs Manchester City, the defence seems to have been the major concern with Maitland-Niles being torn apart like a piece of paper by the City’s attack.
While Xhaka was hardly seen during the course of the game, he restrains himself from playing his own natural game when he tends to be cornered by players. Committing fouls and losing possession have currently defined his status in the team right now.
This calls for Torreira to shine with Xhaka spectating his Arsenal career from the bench which did eventually happen when he was substituted after halftime.
Signs Of Promises But Plently To Do
Arsenal fans would have unlikely thought of grabbing the three points versus City.Although Emery’s side was outclassed by a City team trained by arguably the best coach in the world right now,there were signs of promise. Early and necessary substitutions,high pressing and a much improved work rate were some of those signs.
Thank you so much for your great support in our first day at home. Today we look ahead and push ourselves to work harder. And doing it together, for you to enjoy. Go @Arsenal ! pic.twitter.com/UFRpxPZsMe
— Unai Emery (@UnaiEmery_) August 13, 2018
Guendouzi’s selection ahead of Eleneny and Torriera was a bit of a surprise for most of the fans. Although he made some big mistakes against Manchester City,he never looked back and played some brilliant diagonal passes across the field and looked very energetic. For a 19 year-old player who was playing against last season’s champions,he showed character and courage and did not hide from his mistakes.
As for the players in the attacking position,early introduction of Lacazette by Emery caused City a lot of trouble and the French International looked sharp,although missed some chances to score which needs to be improved and Emery will surely take that into consideration for the next match.
Yesterday’s game versus City was nothing but a stepping stone for the Gunners who played a competitive league fixture for the first time with a different manager in 22 years and it will surely take Arsenal some time to learn the Emery Way. Arsenal travel to Stanford Bridge next Saturday to face Chelsea in what will prove another big challenge for Emery.