The Unai Emery era at Arsenal got off to the worst possible start, after the Gunners lost their opening game of the season against the defending champions Manchester City.
The opening match day concluded earlier tonight with the big match of the night at Emirates. For the first time in 22 years, Arsene Wenger was not in the Reserve Bench for The Gunners. There was a lot of hype regarding the match, and it was not short of excitement to say the least.
Manchester City started at exactly the same place they left off last season. They proved to be a little too good for Arsenal. Arsenal started the match brightly going on the attack in the beginning, but failed to make anything out of that.
The Cityzens responded and in no time took control of the game. They started to lash out attacks after attacks on the Arsenal defence. It took quite a few good saves from the Arsenal custodian Petr Cech to thwart the attacks. He pulled off a few brilliant saves in the opening half.
But it took the champions only 14 minutes to open their accounts. Former Liverpool man Raheem Sterling superbly dribbled passed the Arsenal defence before curling in a right footer. Petr Cech was guilty of ball watching on this occasion as the ball went in.
Pert Cech again had to be alert on many a occasions when he stopped Aguero and co. from further extending the lead. He was successful in doing so up until the hour mark. City doubled their lead and put some daylight between them and Arsenal in the 64th minute. Benjamin Mendy’s pass from the left wing was expertly tucked in by Bernardo Silva.
Arsenal in the mean time had their chances but they lacked lethality in front of the goal. On many a occasions, the Arsenal forward line failed to pull the trigger at the last moment. City goalkeeper Ederson also made a few good saves to ensure City held a clean sheet on the opening day.
Despite the win, the match showed that City are also not without their weaknesses. They looked vulnerable many times. Arsenal looked fair, and on another with a little more help from their forward line, could have got more out of the match.
Riyad Mahrez made the debut for Manchester City and put up a fair performance. He came very close to scoring once in the first half, but his effort went just wide.
For Arsenal, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matteo Guendouzi debuted in the starting XI with Stephan Lichsteiner and Lucas Torreira making their debuts off the bench.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Line-Ups:
Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Stephan Lichsteiner ’35), Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka (Lucas Torreira ’70), Hernrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey (Alexandre Lacazette ’54), Mesut Özil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Ederson Morales, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez (Kevin De Bruyne ’60), Raheem Sterling (Leroy Sane ’87), Sergio Agüero (Gabriel Jesus ’79).
Arsenal vs Manchester City Highlights:
Arsenal vs Manchester City Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||9(3)||17(8)|