Report: Man City 3-1 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Result: Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 3rd February 2019
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Starting XI: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Torreira, Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Subs: Cech, Mavropanos, Elneny, Ramsey, Ozil, Suarez, Nketiah


Arsenal endured another chastening defeat on the road as Manchester City won 3-1 at the Etihad courtesy of Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick.

The Argentina international needed less than a minute to open the scoring and although Laurent Koscielny got the Gunners level, Unai Emery’s men never really looked in control.

Raheem Sterling laid on a brace of assists either side of the break as Aguero ruthlessly ensured our dreadful away record against the top six sides continued.

Having risen to fourth in the table in midweek, the result sees us drop to sixth, a point behind Manchester United and three shy of Chelsea.

First half

In light of our injury crisis, the big question pre-game was how Unai Emery would set up the defence. Given the personnel selected it looked as though we’d line up with a back three, but in fact, the boss went for a 4-4-2 formation with Kolasinac and Iwobi playing on the flanks in front of Monreal and Lichsteiner.

In the absence of Granit Xhaka, ruled out with a tight groin, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira were asked to marshal midfield while Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both started. New boy Denis Suarez was kept in reserve alongside Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.

Bruised by Tuesday’s defeat to Newcastle, Pep Guardiola’s were always going to be quick out of the blocks. The question was whether we could hold tight and grow into the game. The answer came immediately. No.

Penned into our own box, we failed to clear the ball a couple of times before Iwobi attempted to dribble it away from danger. On the right edge of the box, he was tackled by Laporte who quickly crossed for Aguero to head home at the near post. 48 seconds were on the clock. (1-0)

City went for the kill, piling on the pressure. They should have had a penalty when Mustafi pulled down Aguero in the 3rd minute, Sterling forced Leno into a save with an effort curled from 25-yards and Laporte put the ball in the back of the net only to be flagged offside.

Out of nowhere, we got level. With our first attack we panicked City into conceding a corner and from it, Koscielny, courtesy of a great flick on by Monreal, headed home from two yards out. It was old-school Arsenal, worthy of Adams and Bould. (1-1)

The game settled into a pattern of regular City probing and hurried, slightly desperate Arsenal clearances. On the odd occasion, we managed to put a couple of passes together, we were quite happy to slow things down. Half chances came and went for De Bruyne and Kolasinac.

Eager to help out defensively, Lacazette and Aubameyang dropped so deep that by the half hour mark they were effectively playing alongside Torreira and Guendouzi. The latter was in fine fettle, winning challenges, carrying the ball with confidence and making passes when others failed. A neat ball for Kolasinac allowed the Bosnian to sting Edison’s palms.

Having done well to quell the early onslaught it was so frustrating to concede again just before half time. A dinked ball by Gundogan over our defence saw Sterling escape Lichtsteiner and with all the time to pick out a blue shirt he rolled a first time pass to Aguero to tap in at the back post. (2-1)

Second half

The opening ten minutes of the second period boiled down to a duel between Leno and De Bruyne with the City midfielder three times testing the German. Our keeper stood firm but the fact the Belgian was able to so regularly get on the ball in and around our box was a real concern.

Only one side looked like scoring and on the hour mark, City duly delivered the killer blow. Albeit in controversial circumstances. Again Aguero converted a Sterling cross, although this time the ball seemed to come off the Argentine’s arm as he slid to the turf. Leno tried to claw the ball clear as it dribbled over the line but referee Atkinson signalled for the goal. Our complaints fell on deaf ears. (3-1)

Emery’s response was to bring on Suarez and Ramsey for Kolasinac and Iwobi. The debutant, facing his old club, lost the ball with his first touch. City broke, Bernado Silva shot, Leno saved.

For a ten minutes spell we briefly had more of the ball, but that was more symptomatic of City’s willingness to take a breather than a newfound sense of Arsenal urgency. We didn’t actually do anything going forward. In fact, we didn’t muster a single shot on target after the break, something we’ve not done in four years.

Back came City. Leno stopped Aguero from getting a fourth before Guardiola put us out of our misery by taking him off. An injury to Mustafi allowed Mavropanos to make his first start of the season. On a day of few highlights, the return of the Greek is at least a positive going into the final third of the season.

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rohit
rohit

I am really behind Emery in everything but I’ve had enough of his problems with Ozil. It’s not like I love Ozil but for god’s sake, is he really so bad that Emery thinks a new guy who has never played with us, has no chemistry with the players around him, and is going to play his first match in a new league is a better choice than him for a match against the current champions? It’s quite clear that we have no creativity on the pitch right now. I understand everyone’s argument that Ozil doesn’t defend but let’s not behave like all the goals we concede are because of him. How many points has his lack of defensive work actually cost us? Can someone please tell me how many goals that we conceded in the last two years are on him? He might not be world class but he is definitely not as bad as Emery and many of the supporters are making him out to be. At the very least, he is good, maybe not perfect but he deserved to be on the pitch over or alongside Suarez today.

rohit
rohit

Well, sorry for the rant there. Was just pissed off with the way we played. Not disappointed in the players because most of them clearly worked hard. It’s the plan and the strategy that failed us.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

the strategy work for the first half. but it’s all useless if a player who goes and shake his legs in front of the box and give them a free goal after 40 seconds. making a game that’s already very hard an impossibility.
and then once you get lucky and score, your sunday league right back forgets all about playing football.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

ridiculous. madness.
even in defeat we have to hear about Ozil this and that. A player that would have changed nothing today.
the whole squad is a disaster.

Assshavin
Assshavin

To be fair, i dont think either player could have made much of a difference today. Maybe Emery didnt believe we could get a result and just wanted to give some minutes to players that needed them?

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

We might as well drop to the Championship [email protected]

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

I believe it’s the club’s way of pushing Ozil out. They want his contract out of the way…

Adams9802
Adams9802

Which is insane. We have Completely lost our way in less than 10 months. No wonder everyone on the management side has fucked off.

David C
David C

I know what you mean, you get the sense that club would do a free transfer of Ozil just to clear up his wages. They don’t seem to care that they are driving his value down by not playing him….

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

The truth is, when you’re against a team that dominates the ball the way City do, playing Ozil is almost like being down to 10 men. He’s never going to be great at winning the ball back, tucking in, putting opponents under pressure. For better or worse it’s simply not his style, and maybe it never has been. Even Mourinho recognised that at Madrid and often left him out of the line up for big games. This simply wasn’t the game for him.

Futsboller
Futsboller

But with the ball at his feet, which did happen every now and again for our guys, he can spot a pass and find a man the way no one else can. Surely that might have given us a glimpse of goal towards the end of the game?

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

But how long will it take for him to get the ball to his feet? And how many chances will he get? Towards the end of the game, when City are pulling back and consolidating their lead, and we have more of the ball, then sure. He’ll have enough time on the ball to do his stuff, and I was surprised Emery went with Suarez over him.

But from the start of the game, when he has to chase the ball and help frustrate the City attack? Nah, he’s not up to it.

Futsboller
Futsboller

If the team is set up to maximize Ozil’s game, he can be incredibly effective. Granted, this is a game against a team that is far better and more accomplished than ours, so we have to focus on defending first. But at 3-1 in the second half, why not bring on Ozil? He’d be up for it.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Set the team up to maximize Ozil’s game.

I’d argue that we’ve been doing that since he arrived up until Emery joined, and the results in games like this against the top sides have been the same. The reality is we need a new way of playing, a more modern way, and I think that’s what Emery is looking for. But we just don’t have the personnel for it, and unfortunately Ozil is part of that.

Agree he could and perhaps should have come on later in the game, but at the same time I’m not convinced he’d have made a difference considering our energy levels at the time. He needs movement around him to be effective, he’s not the kind of player to do things on his own or grab a game by the scruff of its neck, and tbh I’m a little disheartened that we’re even talking about him at all!

rohit
rohit

Correct me if I am wrong, please. If my memory serves me right, the last time we drew with city and the last time we defeated them, we had Ozil in the squad and he did all those things pretty well. Last year when he extended his contract, almost all the fans were happy. And this year suddenly almost everyone has bought into this idea that he is useless. He doesn’t do defensive work regularly; it’s known. But there have been enough number of matches and performances to suggest that he can curtail his game and do the dirty work every once in a while.
When you have a Ferrari, you’ve got to get it out at least sometimes. You can’t say that its high maintenance, so I will just keep it locked in my garage till it learns to give me better mileage. That is what Maureen does and I haven’t seen it working even once.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

was ozil around when we lost to them 3-0 twice in one week last season ???
where was all the creativity then huh???
what do think is happening here exactly ?? if you can’t keep a clean sheet for 1 minute, I repeat 1 minute from the whistle how do you think or anyone could change that against man city away !!!

Deano

Yeah clearly both results were just down to him too, every time his name is mentioned you ought to change your name to cloudy grey-sky of misery.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

i engage in many discussions around here, not just this one.
only the ozil issue is repeated none stop, hence more comments for me about it…
what can i say, i don’t like delusions.

Sir Henry Norris' Brown Envelope
Sir Henry Norris' Brown Envelope

Not only conceding within one minute of the start, whenever we score a goal against one of the big shots like Manure or LoserPool we concedetwo within a minute of doing so. I think our opponents ALLOW us to score because it means that they will get two.

Papa's Got a Brand New Leg
Papa's Got a Brand New Leg

You wouldn’t take the Ferrari, if it’s not going to get you to your destination.

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

The Ferrari might not be as helpful when there is so much extra baggage coming along.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

You’re probably right about the last time we got a result against City but we’ve lost the last 4 games against them, not including this one, and Ozil started them all. I’m not really interested in the criticisms and negativity surrounding him this season, I’m just trying to make two points:

(1) Ozil isn’t an effective player when you don’t have much of the ball
(2) Playing Ozil would in no way close the gap between us and City.

What could close the gap, however, would be a better game plan. And 4-4-2 with Liechtensteiner at the back is not it, chief.

Edzo
Edzo

playing ozil puts us down
to 10 men? lich is like playing with 9.5 men amd iwobi is awful. trying tricks in his own box and not helping out lich on defense?

God only knows what the manager is thinking playing a new signing who has just arrived over ozil.

If you don’t like ozil get rid of him. he’s a liability on defense? so is lich, iwobi, kolesmiac mustafi, sokratis, etc

Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

The whole team is pathetic, Man City played a back 3!!! Not 3 center backs, 3 defenders! Pathetic idiots, we are the joke club in the league. We don’t deserve any better than 6th. I’d even say a team like wolves deserves that spot ahead of us. We have no strategy, no game plan nothing. We are a fucking joke.

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

And yet there are 14 other teams that would swap with us!!

Reality check
Reality check

And yet there are 14 other teams that would swap with us!

14 other teams don’t have the wage bill or even the tranfer kitty that we have..

Alex
Alex

Özil is world class… check his trophies and best creator of the PL History (min/assist).. 3 tackles against Cardiff. But ya wanted to see your new toy, uncle Unai marvel boy? So what are you complaining about?

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

Football these days is about team pressing. It’s about every player being able to do their bit in order to keep the ball away from our goal, and wherever possible win it back.

It’s never going to be the case that Ozil is directly responsible for a goal. But there are so many occasions during a match, any match, where Ozil will be near an opposition player and do next to nothing to slow him down. And yeah, hardly any of those directly lead to a goal. Instead they lead to the opposition retaining possession, having a breather, gaining confidence, going again. While whatever trap we set for them has failed, so we fall back into a passive deep defense rather than a proactive high one because for as long as you’re relying on players like Ozil to press for you, there are always going to be gaps in that net.

You could see it today in the first half. This is a bloody good City team, sure they’ve had blips but they are still one of the best on the planet and they won the league at a canter last season. Yet for a good chunk of the first half we had them rattled. Because Guendouzi, Torreira, Iwobi, Lacazette, Kolasinac and even Aubameyang are the kinds of player who are willing and able to get stuck in to the nitty gritty of just getting the ball away from our goal, disrupting the momentum – the type of shit the best teams are built upon, that City are built upon.

Yeah, it didn’t last. We conceded to a couple of very good goals from some very good creative players. But I guarantee you that if any one of those creative players wasn’t getting stuck in for the good of the team, then no matter how good they are, no matter what their assist statistics might be, Guardiola wouldn’t be keeping them around. Look what he did to Aguero, threatening to freeze him out. Because he understands that a solid and functional defense requires the efforts of THE WHOLE TEAM. And Ozil does not do that.

Football’s a complex game. You can be talented and flawed at the same time. Emery’s made it very clear that Ozil’s flaws outweigh his talents. Suarez will come in, and I bet he will work hard, and if he doesn’t then I bet he won’t play. But I am tired of people acting like Ozil is some sort of Messiah. He’s not. He won’t make things better. We’re in a fucking state, and Emery is going about solving it the right way. This was a heartening performance, a blueprint for the future, and I look forward to how we build on it.

Grammar nasty
Grammar nasty

spot on.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Agree with all of that apart from, well, I didn’t think the performance was that heartening! There’s good bits to take away from it, but it also laid bare the deficiencies in the squad and I feel like it’s going to take a couple of windows, and a decent amount of investment, to get us sorted out.

Mpls
Mpls

A lot of words there, and some I agree with – in particular having to do with the first half. Hell, up until the substitutions.

But Ramsey and a totally untested Suarez did fuck all that would suggest they should be on the pitch ahead of Ozil. Ozil tracked, defended, and tackled better in his last two outings than either of them did here, and he created chances while he was at it. Sure, different opposition, but hard work is hard work.

And I’m sorry to disagree, but we could have replaced either Iwobi or Aubamayang with Ozil for this match and it would not have harmed us a bit and may have helped us with counter and creative play based on their impact today. Not that we would, but to single him as this perceived weakness is feeble in relation to performances across the pitch.

If I were Ozil I would not have nearly the professionalism and composure he has in dealing with this frankly insulting situation.

Look, I’ve said it before, if he’s not a fit he’s not a fit. So be it. But when we objectively view it in reference to the alternatives that ARE getting playing time in these matches, and particularly this one, it’s a pale criticism.

This is why I agree with the OP comment.

GunneRon

You fucking bring on Ozil when you are chasing a game 3-1 down. Otherwise why have him on the bench if you’re not going to use him. And the less we talk about the abject Stephen fucking Lichsteiner, the better. What a fucking terrible performance he put in. And while we’re at it, fuck off Stan Kroenke !!

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

Abject performance by Licht, yet no worse than Iwobi. Which is the real worry here.

Redemma1
Redemma1

Absolutely spiteful management, to put on a player who’s been with us for but a few days, and who understandably looked completely lost in this team on the pitch, instead of playing Ozil. Especially when chasing the game. This is not good man management, in my opinion, but a terrible use of resources. And should be questioned more than it has been.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

The buck stops at Unai’s [email protected] Redemma 1.

Adrian
Adrian

Be honest. I don’t think so Ozil would have made much difference. I also want Emry to play Ozil but let’s be real, most of us were expecting same result, with or without Ozil. It is not like we did not lose when Ozil was playing. This team need major haul. I don’t see us finishing in top 4.

GuendouziBallonD'Or
GuendouziBallonD'Or

Ozil In, Emery Out!

A P
A P

Fuck Emery.

Drew Dewsall

In a half that we didn’t manage a shot, why not bring on a player who can create something?

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

The only good thing about this afternoon was “Anyone but Liverpool” .

I wanted us to win. I thought up to the 2nd goal we had a plan albeit not a great one but 2nd half we were garbage hence the first paragraph.

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

For what Ozil has shown that he can do and for what he’s being paid, he should be starting every match. I mean, what have we got to lose at this point by giving him a run of games?

Reality check
Reality check

This has nothing to do with Ozil’s ability. The club just want to get rid of a 350k a week player..

Mpls
Mpls

I think unfortunately this is the case. Unfortunately because that’s a shit way of going about your business.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Maybe it’s unpleasant way, but we did hear that they suggested it’s better for him to leave and he decided to stay and ‘fight’ .

Mpls
Mpls

If he wants to fight for it, wouldn’t it make sense to use that energy while you’ve got it? He put it out there the last two matches, which is more than we can say for Ramsey and Suarez today.

AusDrexler
AusDrexler

The team was screaming for someone who could maybe make a killer pass to put a forward through. Ozil was that man, and I thought 2nd half he would get the nod as the team needed an equaliser. Clearly, Ozil and Emery are at loggerheads and Emery is just making him show up for the sake of it to ensure he doesnt stay home playing Fortnite. Rediculous situation.

cygan'sbaldspot
cygan'sbaldspot

Desperately need an Iwobi replacement. Such an annoying and pointless player

Red Arrow
Red Arrow

Agree completely. I really don’t see how Iwobi gets in the team. He’s a championship level player at best.

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

Don’t worry guys, we’re continuing our proces, we want big performance from every player, every player is important.

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

*process

Koscielny and Leno were our best players on the pitch, and we lost 3-1, that says a lot.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Leno wasn’t great, he parried a lot of shots to City Players (Silva I think good a good chance from this in the second half) which Cech was absolutely crucified for after Martial’s goal vs United.

Cechmate
Cechmate

I think you missed the memo on how we are supposed to play down all of Leno’s mistakes and blow up Cech’s mistakes and associate his age with every one of them.

I thought Leno could have done better for the third goal, once Raheem ran into the channel he only had 2 choices – a cross versus a cutback. Leno should have anticipated the cross or at least made an attempt to palm it or kick it away like De Gea does. But he just stood there & watched and this is not the first time this has happened, a cross right across our goal happens almost every other match and sometimes more than once. His reaction time seems a bit long.

Arsene's Coat
Arsene's Coat

Thought Guendouzi was our best player

Papa's Got a Brand New Leg
Papa's Got a Brand New Leg

Had a great first half!

Dog
Dog

Boring

Unnecessarilystupid
Unnecessarilystupid

What the actual fuck were the first 20 mins of the 2nd half about? Leno to kos, to Leno, to mustafi, to Lichts who hoofs it upfield, out, or into sterling. All so fucking painfully slow, predictable and just maddening. If we have improved this season, it’s by a margin so small it may as well not exist.

Bob
Bob

We’ve changed, not improved. At least before we tried to have a style though. I feel for Emery as our squad isn’t full of world beaters, but any premier league quality side can do well with the right instruction. And we have yet to find out how to get the most from this group of players, although with Laca and Auba up front, we should be doing a damn sight more than we currently are.

A P
A P

What style? Is that the Emery style?

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

Not a bad strategy when you’re playing with the lead. Too bad we were behind at the time.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

What else were we expecting?
Well, did notice one thing…Suarez is no winger! Newsflash!!

Yas
Yas

and you got to that conclusion in 25 mins he has played on his debut? in a completely new league

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Yes, I did. It is all I needed to formulate that assessment.
A winger is a winger. He is no winger. It was painfully obvious. If anything, he’s more a carbon copy of Ramsey. And we all know how Ramsey is on the wing…

Papa's Got a Brand New Leg
Papa's Got a Brand New Leg

Did you see their movement, it was near identical at times. It was like watching the game with double vision. He’s the Spanish Ramsey!

And yes he drifted into the center.

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

He’s a poor man’s Ramsey

Mpls
Mpls

Or a cheap bastard’s Ramsey, in this case.

A P
A P

He is Emery’s Ramsey. Emery is cutting the nose to spite his face, just to satisfy his ego.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Özil on the bench and Iwobi running around like a headless chicken. Great decision making

GuendouziBallonD'Or
GuendouziBallonD'Or

Denis “backwards pass” Suarez. Wingers are supposed to provide width and help move forward. Suarez just laid balls back to Guendouzi and Torriera, as well as lacking any sort of ambition and losing the ball constantly. Suarez 0/10, Emery 0/10.

Milo
Milo

He looked like a worse version of Ozil I thought

Mpls
Mpls

Nope, not a winger. 100% purpose is to keep Ozil marginalized and drive him out. Phase I of that plan initiated today.

Maniac

Completely lacklustre performance. No shots in the second half says it all.

Flash
Flash

Fear, despondency, inferiority-complex…

da Don
da Don

Perfectly sums it up.

Cechmate
Cechmate

Even when we had possession we were scared of taking the attack to them and were passing near our own D for a while when we were 3-1 down. I forgot who had the lead then and I was like, just have your winger run down the line and shoot the ball over the top to him, it’s okay to lose the ball in their half!

Taking Kola off completely killed us off. They had better players, better stamina, desire and out played us almost everywhere on the pitch and off it too, in terms of strategy – if we had one.

COYG1001
COYG1001

Arsenal is much more defensively sound — and creative — when Özil doesn’t play. We should freeze him out for the rest of the year!

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

We set the team up like chickens and we played like chickens. Seen too many times this season already.

Under Wenger we could at least enjoy in our attacking play and combination…

James
James

We hers teams were pretty dire to watch in his last two seasons. Don’t wear the rose tinted glasses all ready that we were some super attacking force towards the end of his tenure.

His last season we couldn’t attack or defend

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

‘member the 3-0s ??

Sean
Sean

If ‘the process’ Emery’s been referring to all year is countless dm’s/fullbacks and a couple of mediocre link players to share creative responsibility, then Jesus Christ I’ve not got a good feeling about this era at all. Goodbye Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey, hello Ever Banega :/

GraeB
GraeB

Sorry COYG1001, I gave you a down before realising the irony in your note.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Men v boys.

Leno was MOTM not Aguero.

Pathetic second half.

We don’t belong in the Champions League.

3 more goals conceded by rubbish defence.

We’ll finish 6th

Fuck off Stan: I hope you get stuffed tonight.

cygan'sbaldspot
cygan'sbaldspot

I didn’t know Stan was gay.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

His NFL team play the final tonight.

Deano

Reckon he is on about one of his home franchises which apparently he doesn’t give much of a fuck about either.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We played well. At 38 mins at the home of the champions after coming back from an early goal I was proud. With where we are now in the circumstances we find ourselves in I remain proud.

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Eh, Newcastle beat them…..fecking Newcastle

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Are you proud of no shots on goal in the second half? Despite being 3-1 down for most of it?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Fats, we are playing an oil rich country at their place, what do you expect from a team in transition? We didn’t drop our heads after conceding early in fact we equalised! We have injuries and I repeat we are a new team with a new manager…fs what do you want mate??? #kidintoyshop

HamiltonGunner
HamiltonGunner

Ummm is it too much to ask for something that looks like an identity? Something that looks like we are ironing out the mistakes our team makes over and over and over again? We look terrible and I have had it with Emry and the “he needs his type of players” excuse. We all knew we weren’t going to go out and buy a new team and that he needed to work with the players he had. I don’t see much of a change and I don’t see anything that warrants us giving him money to go buy players. I didn’t expect him to come in and change things overnight but I expected some sort of new direction and I don’t see it. How many times do we have to see Mustafi make a mistake, cost us a goal and then watch him turn around and point fingers at his team mates. Why isn’t the coach telling him to cut that shit out or he sits? We will whine about Ozil and his situation but won’t call out the fact that our team whinges every time some shit happens and our coach does nothing about it? We’ll applaud him for holding tough on one of our better players but won’t do anything to the dross he keeps throwing out on the field (Lichtsteiner, Iwobi). Also, can we stop the love in for Guendozi. The guy is good at running alot. He is also good at dwelling on the ball, slowing down our play and losing possession or passing to no one.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

I think we are improving under Emery but there is a lot of work to do. I think a poor defence is one of the reasons we can’t play Ozil and use more creative players. A lot of players looked tired out there. Not our worst performance though. Having a tactician as manager is good for many reasons but we are missing fluidity and rhythm going forward. Having watched the united game today and with Chelsea also not at their best, there is still hope.

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

What tactician?

I’m sick of people thinking that if you chop and change a lot you’re a mastermind. What if we could finally at least once control the match from start to finish without having to change the system and entire 11 during half-time.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

what tactician?
the kind of tacticians that beats superior and balanced squads of Chelsea and Spurs, convincingly.

Deano

He’s picking enough defenders including holding midfielders in the match as Laca and Auba were playing central midfield for the majority of the game.

Bob
Bob

The “tactics” we saw tonight were terrible though. Sticking a bunch of defenders on the pitch doesn’t make us better at defending! 4-5 mediocre defenders with proper instruction would have done better than most of the line up being defensive and clueless.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Bollocks. I believe that Emery should be given more time, but today his “tactics “ were hopeless.

This was a Wenger performance at his worst.

Buteo
Buteo

Agree, and this time he even did the late subs thing that Wenger used to do. Like when the game was already lost….

Papa's Got a Brand New Leg
Papa's Got a Brand New Leg

We fought in the first half. Then we got tired. Then we lost the width because the subs drifted around without a purpose.

Adams9802
Adams9802

I find it odd we decided to go with 2 strikers away to Man City. Our away record is horrendous. This was beyond reckless, this must fall on the manager.

GraeB
GraeB

I’m sorry, I can’t handle all these “our poor defence prevents us playing Ozil” comments. Does that mean we shouldn’t play Auba and Laca too? In fact, let’s just put out 11 defenders.

I’d prefer to play defenders who do what they’re told and defend – just what Lichtsteiner doesn’t. (All 3 goals came down his side) Kola loves to attack but is woeful at getting back, standing there bemoaning his bad luck.

We have plenty of skill going forward but, if the opposition are already ahead, their defenders can just sit back and pick us off. We chase the game and they attack us 3 or 4 on 2 – Citeh could have had at least 3 more goals today.

Other teams don’t have better players, they just do their jobs better (repeating myself as for last decade).

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

The scenario I’m most afraid about is that Emery will get rid of players like Ramsey and Ozil, bring in some average players and then after a couple of years of struggle we will sack Emery as well.

Futsboller
Futsboller

That is a legitimate fear …

Atom
Atom

Aren’t we mr positivity. Ozil would have changed nothing today as his style of play effectively would have left us down to 10 men without the ball. Every has been here for 1/2 a season after 20 years of Wenger running literally every aspect of the club. It’s comments like this are truly ridiculous – you have to give emery time to succeed or fail

Flash
Flash

Do you think Ozil would be worse defensively than Iwobi tonight?
…and Ozil had more than 3 key passes per game in the last 5 years. Today our whole team had 4.
That’s why our strikers (both of them amongst the best in Europe) were basically invisible today…

Atom
Atom

Ozil is becoming the new Campbell or Perez. He’s the answer to literally every poor game. He doesn’t put in the defensive work iowibi did -thinking in particular of iowibi sprinting back to cover for Lichtensteiner.

Flash
Flash

No he isn’t. But if we are trying to create danger with only 3 attacking players in the team – I guess it woud be a good idea to employ one of the best creator in Europe.
…and as far as Iwobi concern: sprinting back to cover is the minimum I think. Not to mention his quasi assist befor the first City goal. I think he was a disaster today.

atom
atom

@flash- his stats say he really hasn’t consistently been one of the best creators in Europe in several years- particularly as he is virtually the only #10 in Europe who doesn’t have defensive duties/ score a lot himself

Mpls
Mpls

Context. Look at the ones above him and what the quality of the team surrounding them is. It becomes clear as day.

Monzo
Monzo

It’s ridiculous that you feel that Ozil would of made it feel like we were playing with 10 men, yet we still lost 3 goals.
So….. maybe Ozil wouldn’t of changed the fact that City would score 3 or more, but I’m sure we would of been able to create more and maybe even score a few ourselves with him on the pitch.
I mean we conceded 3 without him, are you telling me it would of been 6 if he was on from the start!!

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Spot on Atom (and that rhymes so there).

Mpls
Mpls

Yeah, Ramsey and Suarez sure flipped the game on its head for us.

Ealing
Ealing

Could have been worst

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

This whole Ozil situation is fucking ridiculous now. In our biggest games we need our best players on the pitch for 90 mins. He isn’t injured so can only assume Emery does not like/rate him. No doubt he will say it was a *tactical* reason but from where I am sitting I have know fucking clue what his tactics are …
Well 6th place is about the level we should be

Deano

Had zero confidence before kick off, had a feeling someone would stay on the bench and despair at our defensive lineups not getting clean sheets.

They never really got going and yet they completely outplayed us. So far behind them we need a telescope to see them!

pakgooner
pakgooner

I don’t like berating players, but Lichsteiner looked like he just woke up. His reactions are slow & lethargic. At 1-1, even at 2-1, I thought we still could muster a draw at the most. 19 shots for City to 4 shots for us.
Also, Denis Suarez is a good player and is beneficial for the team if Unai thinks that way, but it makes you think why we did not go for a single defender in the Jan window with the scarce options we have left. It only makes sense

NairobiCannon
NairobiCannon

Play your best team from the very beginning Unai, please.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Call me crazy, but why don’t we play Mustafi at Right Back? That’s where he played in Germany’s World Cup win, he’s faster and fitter than Lichtensteiner and it makes his brain farts less damaging than in the centre.
Mustafi-Sokratis-Koscielny-Kolasinac isn’t world class, but it’s better than what we have now imo.

Jack
Jack

Did he even plat any games that world cup?

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Yes – played the first two games at RB, was rested for the third then played the last 16 at RB again before getting injured and missing the rest of the tournament

GraeB
GraeB

Again, it doesn’t matter who – just how!

Martin
Martin

Our first team is crap, our squad is crap and our manager is crap. We are closer to Wolves than we are Tottenham who haven’t signed anyone since electricity was invented. That performance as abject as you can get. Didn’t even get in Citys penalty box in the second half never mind have a bloody shot. I know City are good but they didn’t get out neutral and still made us look like school boys. I hope Kroenke has a great time tonight at the Super Bowl and the rams put in the level of performance we put in today.

Buteo
Buteo

Embarrassing second half!

LenoCech
LenoCech

Disappointed to see Suarez was picked ahead of Ozil. He didn’t do much tracking back/defend/create. I believe Ozil would have created more than he did.

Yas
Yas

Shout out to Genduzi and Torreira they where immense! not to mention Leno. Sadly we just do not have the squad depth. Starting Stephan and you knew city would use that. the 3rd goal killed us!

what we lacked today was any cutting edge (no 10/8 or 7) or ozil of 2014/15. Emery needs to let him go or just start him in these matches….not having a single shot in second half is shocking

Ball
Ball

I hate to bring this up again, but whatever Ozil did or said to Unai must have really pissed him off. Surely, there is no way he is worse than Iwobi. Surely. I mean seriously!!

If Emery Ozil is just being left out coz Emerg doesn’t ‘trust’ him or he’s ‘not his type of player’, then I’d like to see what his type of player is.

I feel really bad for him. Going from the team’s best player to perennial benchwarmer in less than a season must hurt.

Bob
Bob

Well, it went better than the first minute suggested it would! Not a high bar, but great to see the captain score at least 🙂 Honestly though, how in the hell can Emery think that a brand new loan signing can impact the game more than Ozil? We had no creativity and both players will be with us til at least the summer so use your best assets ffs!

I know Ozil doesn’t really defend, but apparently half our team can’t anyway so let’s at least get our best attackers on the field, right? Suarez isn’t exactly more sturdy and Ozil has sure as hell done more in attack for our club over the years. And that’s not to bash Suarez, he could turn out to be a tidy signing for us, but like for like, right now, Ozil is obviously got a better chance to add something to the game. It’s fucking negligent to not use him. We’re already paying his wages!

Penfield
Penfield

It’s quite simple really.

Ozil doesn’t suit how he wants the team to play. He’s been told he can leave but wants to stay so what should Emery do?

He’s trying to make him feel unwelcome.

And as much as i love Ozil, if he doesn’t fit into the coaches plans or the way he wants us to set up, I’d rather he leave and take his massive wages with him so we can afford to get in a player of his world class calibre who does fit so we can win.

Its a process.

Bob
Bob

Don’t really agree with his thinking though. The manager should first and foremost want the team to play well and therefore get good results. So far, Emery has done fairly poorly with the first part of that (but did manage a string of good results, but tellingly not performances).

It’s all well and good having a philosophy (not that we have even seen one over the last 6 months!), but the first step should always be to get the best players playing well and all harmoniously on the pitch. Victory through harmony lads, that’s our way.

A good manager takes the pieces of his team and makes them more than the sum of their parts, regardless of the parts. I’d ask, have we actually seen that at any point in this season?

Nordin
Nordin

Do all the Özil haters really believe that we have improved without him playing? Do all Emery lovers really believe that we have improved since he took over? What is he actually trying to do? With the way we are playing now… the only way forward is down and more down!!
So depressing, especially the second half. The manager has to take blame 100% and no more excuses. The solution is not just “working more” “working hard”….and if that is Emery only solution, we are FUCKING DOOMED!!!

kas
kas

So what’s the answer then? Get rid of Emery & bring Arsene back on his white charger, to make Ozil decent again? Or bite the bullet & pay Ozil off get rid once for all as we can’t give him away. Agree though, we are fighting Wolves for the 6th place trophy!

Iyi
Iyi

After 25 league games, it is safe to say that Emery is not the coach to take Arsenal to the promise land. No defined style of play, always adapting to the opposition. Obvious he did not believe he could win this match with the way the team was set up. Not a good man manager, even Mourinho was able to get the best out of Ozil.

Adams9803
Adams9803

I lot count how many times Lichtsteiner got absolutely roasted. For a manager who seems to be tactically aware I found it baffling we didn’t throw on a midfielder at half time. Maybe we could have given our striker some service.

Jht
Jht

Is there still wenger there in disguise? If there was attacking system at all today, it was the worst ever. Here comes the simple question:if you have 2 strikers, 3 defenders and supposedly 5 other outfield players, how can it be possible that you have no support from the midfield throughout the game? These tactics are disgraceful and mental strenght seems next to none. Christ.

Tim
Tim

Auba didn’t do shit! Not even a single tackle to regain possession!!!! Is he chronically tired or something? Looked like Ozil sometimes!!!! That liechstesteiner guy makes mistake after mistake: and always talking to other teammates how to play….. it’s just embarrassing
Not a single ball to on the two 50 million strikers we have …. it’s fucking annoying. But that’s makes sense if you don’t play an Ozil / Ramsey or Suarez as a 10.
Mustafi get rid of him ASAP.
Also that Leno play to build up from the back makes me sick….

We have to win the Europa League now if not were FUCKED!

Goo-nerd
Goo-nerd

Lichtsteiner will be the obvious target for criticism (rightfully so), but Torreira looks a shadow of the player we saw in the first half of the season.

Absolutely no width and no willingness to play on the counter in the second half. What’s the point of playing with 11 in our own half with two fresh players if you don’t try to hit them when we win the ball back? We just slowed it down, waited for City to set up, and then tried a few cute flicks through the middle.

Don’t get me started on Atkinson. I must’ve missed the part of the rulebook where every decision has to go for the home team in English football. Handball goal? Torreira and Guendouzi getting man-handled in the middle of the park?

Koscielny yukking it up with Laporte at the end of the game was the cherry on top. Never liked all the smiling and laughing after getting spanked, even if you are best mates. Have some empathy for disappointed fans and save it for the tunnel.

A lot of work to do at this club.

SLC Gooner
SLC Gooner

I didn’t have high expectations, and would gladly have settled for a draw. But the gulf in class in this match and the Liverpool one was huge and obvious. City could easily have had several more goals, and Arsenal never really looked like scoring.
I will stay behind Emery for the rest of this season the summer and into next, as he’s had issues to deal with, both on the transfer front and injuries.
But he looks tactically clueless, with little idea of the best lineup, and the Ozil situation has to be dragging the team down.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Does Wenger have a job?

The_Kolkata_Gooner
The_Kolkata_Gooner

Its clear that it will take several years for an Arsenal side to turn up away against a team like Man City, and not play like a league two side. We are levels below them, and its frustrating to watch such spineless performances over and over again. It was clear long before the end, that these players had given up trying. We had two of our best strikers playing up front, and not a single chance created in that second half…its as if the team had a collective realization that being professional footballers was a wrong career choice. A player of Torreira’s caliber obviously belongs to another team.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

That was a really poor performance. I expected the result but expected us to give them more of a game than that. Still have Sp*rs and United to play and we have to turn up against them. Other than those games it “should” be all winnable. We must see commitment and drive from every player consistently for the rest of the season.

Iyi
Iyi

Arsenal did not attempt any shots in the 2nd half. No creativity in that team at the moment. Really poor set up by the coach

Stephen
Stephen

I was optimistic we could sneak a draw. Then I saw Lichsteiner as RWB. What the hell is that?! I mean he may as well not be on the field – that position is literally designed for some of the fastest players on a team! I couldn’t believe how bad the selection was. I braved myself for a surprise, maybe they worked something out in training? But alas, my hunch was correct. A wreck of a performance by Mustafi and Lichsteiner.

In all truth, they play relegation level defense. If it wasn’t for our forwards bagging all the goals (when we actually play players who can get them the ball) we’d be in the bottom half.

Am I naïf to hope that the Ramsey and Ozil lunacy is to ensure we have money to build a defense? What if we don’t buy big in the summer and our best remaining talent tries to jump ship? This summer is MASSIVE for the future.

Chuffy
Chuffy

That was the worst second half effort I think I’ve seen. Man City are not the team they were last season, they’ve been beaten by relegation fighting teams and we couldn’t muster a shot in 45 minutes. Arsenal have no style of play. They press with one or two players and the rest hold position, only against Chelsea did they press effectively so surely this was the prototype here as well.

We have a massive problem at right-back, Lichtsteiner is just awful, slow, leaves his man, terrible crossing and rarely gets forward. Maitland-Niles is also not good enough positional wise and his end product isn’t good enough. Jenkinson is clearly not required at the club so we have nothing until next season at right back – This was an appalling decision by the club not to recognise this and we will pay for it.

I still don’t know how Emery wants Arsenal to play. He keeps chopping and changing players and playing 3 at the back 4 at the back 5 at the back, asking the defenders and full backs to keep changing the way they have to defend must be a nightmare, but I don’t the players are good enough anyway. Mustafi is dross and Monreal and Koscielny are 33 and coming to the end of their time with us.

I wonder what the situation is with Xhaka, still I don’t rate him either, he’s not suitable for the Premier League, certainly not for one supposedly challenging at the top. Sadly I think those days are long gone, because we’re not competitive or competent enough in the transfer market. Yes Torreira looks good, Guendouzi is a prospect, but is overused in my opinion. We didn’t need both Lacazette and Aubayeyang, one would have been enough and the money spent on a quality centre back. I won’t criticise the Ozil situation because I still think he is our most technical player, but Emery just see him in his system, but like I said I don’t know what the system is and surely you find a way for Ozil, even if it means compensating something.

Emery still has time to change this because I don’t think board really care about the fans frustration, as they are never present. All they will care about is if Arsenal start losing money or fall away big time. The club is paralysed because of poor transfer decisions under the latter Wenger/Gazidas years. Honestly don’t know how they can improve in the coming years because they need an major overhaul and not enough will be done about it under this leadership.

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

So, 3-1 down, bringing Suarez (not being personal to him) who clearly looks like he is not yet up to speed, while our best no 10 is sitting on the bench. Is Emery making this personal or what? Did Ozil nutmegged him in the training? Or he does not know how to play with a classic no 10?

I’m all about giving Emery times, but some of his decisions are ridiculous.

LenoCech
LenoCech

No shots on target in 2nd half and you would thought he would be sending out our best chance creator to do something…. and we got a newbie instead.

UpNorth
UpNorth

As expected Lichtsteiner was piss poor, but in all fairness not his fault, but the manager picking him.
How bad must Jenkinson be when Lichtsteiner is picked before him?
The most disappointing however is the lack of effort the last 15 minutes. When 3-1 down we should put a last effort in , do or die, but we looked satisfied with «only» losing 3-1. The youngest and newest guys ( Genduozi and Torreira) wanted to win, Lacazette to, the rest not. I blame Koz and Monreal, as senior players they should give lead in a last time effort, they didn’t. Ozil / not Ozil ? Personally I think we should building the team around him in an offensive role with Auba/Laca in front of him and tve rest of the team running their socks of.

ramgooner
ramgooner

With players like Ozil, Laca and Auba we should be challenging for the league and champions league.

As far as Ozil is concerned we should keep him for the length of his contract. He is fundamental to the way we play at the emirates. We’ve been destroying teams at home because of him/the rhythm he sets.
Let him sit out difficult away games.
What we need one or two more players like Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Auba and Lacazette.

Gone are the days when top players start week in week out. They get paid well these days. We need more quality players and we should keep it competitive. Doesn’t matter who gets benched next season. 3 points means 3 points.

We’d be stupid not to spend and support guys like Ozil, Auba and Lacazette.
We are wasting our time and their careers.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

“we should be challenging for the league and champions league.”

I’ll have what you have. sounds soothing.

Goonerink

Take out any front 3 in europe and replace them with those 3 and they would still be a European powerhouse.
They are technically our most world class players.
Are they the best in the world? No but they all come in and around top 10 in their main positions.

Grumbleduke
Grumbleduke

Too many choffers in the team like mustafi and lichsteiner.

Johnny Bud
Johnny Bud

As bad as Lichtsteiner is, I’d play 11 of him over Iwobi. He is as bad a player as I have seen in an Arsenal shirt. He might as well have kicked their first goal into the net himself. Özil Suarez and Ramsey sit and he starts this clown

Mickylane
Mickylane

Seriously Iwobi is far from our biggest problem. He’s a good lad. You can’t say he is the worst arsenal player ever, that’s bang out of order and nonsense. Stop finding a scapegoat, there are problems with the team, not one individual player.

jon

In my opinion, Iwobi was Arsenal’s best player in the victory over Chelsea. This is a sad comment about a real gooner. He has played for Arsenal since he was eight.

GuendouziBallonD'Or
GuendouziBallonD'Or

Emery needs to take some time and look at himself in the mirror. Whatever game he is playing with Ozil is beyond pathetic. We don’t create anything, and we rely on moments of brilliance from Laca and Auba to get us through games. Chelsea was a great result, but now I’m beginning to wonder if that was more down to our performance or Chelsea’s terrible formation and tactics. We make beating teams like Cardiff look extremely difficult. Suarez was absolutely dreadful today as well, don’t want to throw the kid under the bus just yet, but my word that was bad. Emery 0/10 today.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Really surprised by the way we set out, a flat 4-4-2 against City at home seemed like suicide. In fairness it could have worked if we were used to playing that way and had the players for it, but that’s clearly not the case. I can see what Emery was going for, energetic wingers to track City’s full backs and support the attack. But that left KdB and Silva free to run in the midfield spaces and tear us apart. Our hapless back 4 didn’t help either obviously, especially our full backs that couldn’t come out at all.

The front 4’s dip in energy levels after the first half was predictable, you can’t cover that much ground over 90 mins without more support. Lacazette’s performance was especially commendable but he needed more help. Torreira and Guendouzi, Arsenal’s future if not our present, did as well as they could but they also would normally have a player holding between them, to allow them to play their normal game.

And a lot of people will be talking about Ozil but he’s played in our lost 4 games against City and we’ve lost them all. Let’s be honest, there’s no chance he makes a difference on his own, City are simply on another level to us atm.

jon

Before the match, I pondered what I would have done in Emery’s shoes, and short of attempting an all-out desperate attack, which would have seen Arsenal lose 5-2, albeit in a much more entertaining match, I landed on 4-4-2. In that formation, you can play two straight defensive lines which are very hard to penetrate. You also have two “free” attackers, which with luck could run up and score.

But Emery has no counter-attacking play. I see people here complain about Iwobi, whom I think was MOM home against Chelsea. But what kind of creativity would let you penetrate an established Manchester City-defense? I think that is too much to demand. Creativity is worthless without speed.

Des
Des

So what did we learn today, Emery still can’t beat pep. Defense still hopeless. Creatively non existent especially in the second half with 0 shots on target.

Issues with ozil which won’t be resolved until end of the season. If we don’t buy big next season it will be the same outcome.

Buy buy buy buy……….and buy.

ramgooner
ramgooner

It takes a Xavi to unlock Iniesta and vice-versa and it takes a Messi to unlock them both.
We need to find THE player who can unlock Ozil, Laca and Aubameyang next season. Let’s hope Ramsey is being let go because we have a big target in mind.
I wish we had a fit Santi Cazorla playing alongside Ozil, Auba, Laca, Mkhitaryan and Bellerin.

Wut
Wut

Iwobi is crap. Please get rid of him.

Ealing
Ealing

Worst performance : Iwobi, Lich and Mustafi

Runzac
Runzac

Everything went down their left side – our right side. Coincidence? Mad bollocks playing Lichts in RB. jenkinson has about 120 appearances in the PL – it would have been impossible to do any worse than this bullshit I watched on the right side of our defence.

Adams9802
Adams9802

Beyond madnes! Plus he has iwobi in front of him. He got pulled every which way and can’t make it up with his pace. He really can’t play for us again

Jack
Jack

All 3 goals came down our right hand side… To be fair that would be the area I’d highlight if I was the opposition manager. We have no pace there at all. Combine that with Mustafi’s extremely poor positioning and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Hector is a big miss. Hopefully we can go on a run in our next 3 pl games!

Vonnie
Vonnie

With Sokratis, Hector and Mesut on the pitch we could have won that, City are not as good as a lot of people think they are, the injuries have cost us badly. That said the team selection was very poor, I don’t think Lichtsteiner should have been anywhere near the pitch, he’s awful, and Iwobi did absolutely nothing and should have been taken off at half-time. Unai Emery is obviously trying to humiliate Mesut and turn everyone against him. When our strikers are playing as midfielders because there’s nobody linking play then it is clear that Emery is prepared to cut off his nose to spite his face. I thought Matteo and Lucas Torreira were excellent, Laca and Auba worked their socks off, and the manager got it wrong again.

Irrational Gunner

Yes. He is starting to look like a hard case. What did he expect playing Lichtsteiner? This might sound silly, but why can all of us see he is a liability, and the manager keeps playing him? (Glad Sane had the day off!) Would have been better off with Monreal out there wrong footed, and Elneny in the middle. And the Ozil thing is gotten beyond rational. But, I guess he know his players and what he wants to do??!!

Gordy
Gordy

So many mistakes by the whole management team. Why was a decent right back not bought after Bellerin was injured? going back a long way when Cazorla was injured we were top of the league. Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil really worked and when the Spanish maestro was lost for the season another creative Spanish midfielder would have been available. But Wenger was stubborn and now we have an equally stubborn manager who has created a team that doesn’t create chances. God knows what Laca and Auba must think. They came to a creative team that had one of the best number 10s in Europe and now they’re up there with rubbish not getting the ball to them. Guendouzi will be really good but he hasn’t created anything in the final third, Iwobi is Iwobi, we haven’t got a right back. I will keep coming but I really miss the beautiful football we used to play and City played today. By playing their most creative players.