Arsenal lost this match, before things started that was the most likely result. In the grand scheme of the season however, today’s loss wasn’t that big of a set back in the ultimate goal of making the top four.
So while Chelsea moved back in front of Arsenal they have a tough schedule still in front of them with trips to Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United while also hosting Sp*rs and Wolves. Plus they still have a League Cup final against Manchester City and the Europa League and the FA Cup to negotiate.
Manchester United don’t have quite as difficult a schedule but it is certainly not as easy as they have had at the start of the Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s reign. They will host Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea while coming to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal on the other hand face just two of the top six over their last 13 matches, with a trip to a possible neutral site to face Sp*rs while hosting United. While it wasn’t much fun crashing out of the FA Cup, it is a reprieve from some fixture congestion.
So the loss today sucks, and it certainly would have been better to see Arsenal put up a better fight in this match but this really wasn’t the match that would make or break Arsenal’s top four fight.
Man City 3-1 Arsenal: By the graphs
xG Shot Map
Shot Placement xG Map
Simulated Match Result
Man City 3-1 Arsenal: By the numbers
0 – Shots on target for Arsenal in the second half, the seventh time this season that Arsenal have gone a full half without a shot on target.
0 – Shots total for Arsenal in the second half, the fewest shots in a half for Arsenal this season. The second lowest was the second half against Brighton in week 19.
4 – Total shots for the match for Arsenal, the fewest shots that Arsenal have had in a match this season. Before this match the previous low was 7 vs Crystal Palace and Brighton.
I am getting used to Unai Emery’s conservative approaches to matches. I don’t like it but it is something that I am starting to expect. This match took Emery’s conservatism, added Manchester City’s technical quality mixed with their desire to hold on to the ball and ended up with Arsenal looking completely toothless. I never imagined when the season started that in a match where both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette started together and played 90 minutes that Arsenal would fail to create this few of shots.
Matteo Guendouzi is a bright spot in dismal day
53 – Passes completed by Guendouzi, led Arsenal and had the 6th most among all players.
91.4% – Guendouzi’s pass completion percentage, led Arsenal and 5th highest among all players.
5 – Final third entry passes completed, led Arsenal
10 – Final third passes completed, led Arsenal
3 – Defensive actions, 1 each of tackles, interception and clearance
9 – Ball Recoveries, led Arsenal
2 – Successful dribbles, led Arsenal
1 – Shot on target, tied for the lead on Arsenal
On a day where Arsenal didn’t play well, it was nice to see that there was at least one bright spot to be able to point out. Guendouzi was Arsenal’s main midfielder for trying to advance the ball, and was also all over the field harassing the Manchester City midfield.
Denis Suárez debuts
0 – Shots
0 – Key passes
1 – Successful dribble
2 – Turnovers (1 time dispossessed, 1 bad touch and 0 off sides)
10 – Passes completed of 11 attempted
0 – Defensive Actions
This won’t be a debut that goes down as one of the greatest in Arsenal’s history. It was a tough match up and Arsenal were down by two goals. When he and Aaron Ramsey came on Arsenal had more of the ball than Manchester City but were unable to do anything with it to hurt City. I sure hope that Emery is able to use Suárez more going forward to be able change games and create offense.