Arsenal’s wait to end a poor away record against the big teams continues after a 1-0 defeat to Man City this evening.

Raheem Sterling scored the decisive goal, although there were chances for Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which saw City keeper Ederson make excellent saves.

Arsenal were in it until the end, but perhaps could have tried to push it a bit earlier than we did, and the decision to play Willian as a kind of False 9 was one which didn’t work for Mikel Arteta.

Read the Man City 1-0 Arsenal match report and see the goal here.

Man City 1-0 Arsenal – Player Ratings

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Jack

I really wanna hear the thinking behind Willian at false 9. He barely had a sniff. All I can think is that it was to trick City but either way it didn’t work

Riku

Arteta and Pep both picked teams and formations, they had never played before. So the other could not second guess them and know the flaws in the system and player picks .

Vaibhav

It was utter waste, we should have started with Laca as CF

Tanned arse

We have no one within the club who plays that position well in the way arteta wants. Willian was a waste. Laca is too and auba is just an out and out goalscorer with so many limitations to his game as well. He’ll score soon and will bag around 20 goals I’m sure but I’ll always have it in my mind that he limits our attacking creativity and chance creation. Arteta has changed so much and for the better but attacking wise we are mostly bland and predictable. That is partly down to the approach but also on the reliance… Read more »

Samgunz

Been saying this since their first season together, laca and auba limit our all round potential as a team. Good stop gaps, maybe auba is a very good, but still not a player to build Arteta ball around.

Fabulous

Haha. You absolute clown. Auba’s consistently finished near the top of the goal scoring charts since he joined – and yes even in his first 1/2 season for us. And you want him moved on? Pete’s sake the game was poor today but have some f*cking sense. What do you suggest? Sell Auba and get Vardy?

Tanned arse

Think you miss the point we’re both making. The best goalscorer doesn’t always equate to being the best for your attack

petermbaave

I have said something like this before closure of the window!

Fabulous

We all have the benefit of hindsight – much easier to talk about should’ve and could’ve really.

One thing’s for sure, Willian substitution / re shuffling of the tactics came way too late.

SB Still

From the starting XI, I assumed Auba was starting in the middle.

Our most prolific scorer is one a single goal this season!

BillyKrystal

Normally I’m ok with Auba on the left, he drifts infield naturally anyway and gets plenty of goals. But now with both Tierney and Saka trying to combine on that side he gets shunted out far too wide. It’s a helpless feeling seeing him collect the ball deep on the touch line with no options ahead of him.

Andy

It must give the opposition a lift when they see him on the wing. I don’t get the logic in that line up at all.

Bergkamp2Wright

Sick of seeing him in the starting line up. At least we didn’t give him a 3 year contract….

goongot

pepe is shit. Joel campbell was a better player then him. many would disagree but i am sure even he doesnt know what he is going to do with the ball once he gets it and is so light-weight.

Andy

I’m coming to the same conclusion I’m afraid. Take away the 72m quid and he looks highly ordinary.

Daveo

Perhaps wait until we have a bit more functional midfield. The gap between the double pivot and forward is alarming. This is a system structured for solidity. We need to move on now we have Partey and get back to a 4-3-3. I think Pepe has a lot to offer, but again there was so little support especially on his side. At least Auba gets Saka coming forward down the left to support. Bellerin was poor going forward and defensively tonight. Pepe was on his own. Was he great? No, but we need a better balance.

Bould's Eyeliner

I think Willian needs to be a winger to find Pepe. He doesn’t really link up with our players well–was used as a bouncing post at Chelsea by Hazard, which suits his athleticism. Needs to produce more creativity under Arteta, so the question remains–will he slot in? The more former Chelsea players we find in the bargain bin, the more I wonder how hard Abramovich is laughing…

Fabulous

Last I check we’re above Chelsea, and have played more against top 6 oppo than they did. Not sure what they’d be happy about

Tanned arse

If pepe continues to operate that wide then he’ll offer very little. Either we utilise him as close to the penalty area as we can or he’s completely wasted and we’d be better off using someone else. It’s just misusing his best talents

Brady’s bunch

I think he gives up a little too easy which is more obvious when everyone else is putting a shift in, hopefully he can turn it around.

Assshavin

He literally won the game for us against sheffield right before the international break. To rate him on a game where so many players were subpar(even Aubameyang, who may be one of the our best strikers of all time), is honestly dumb. And Joel Campbell being better? Please fuck off. What has Joel Campbell done since leaving arsenal? Absolutely nothing.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I agree on Joel Campbell. Proved absolutely nothing nowhere.

omid

an assist from a corner or something once in a blue moon … a goal from a freekick once every 2 blue moons … a goal in play once every 10 blue moons…. that could have been an acceptable rate for a substitute player in tier 2 or 3 that cost the club 500,000$ not for a fucking 72M player that mostly does nothing but existing .. a specialiat in throwing away balls ..

Bould's Eyeliner

No service no striker…

Toni

Sounds like Theodore Walcott to me

Frank Bascombe

Oh, do fuck off.

teddy

Shut the fuck up with your pathetic opinuon.

Pat Rice and Beans

He’s good, just not 72M good. For that amount he should be a world beater.

AFC was scammed by Lille and agents:
https://www.getfootballnewsfrance.com/2019/how-lille-played-the-market-to-get-e80m-for-nicolas-pepe/

Alex

and “Don Raul” was sacked.. oh, sorry, left.

Twatsloch

Are you sure they didn’t just get the price wrong? As in Lille actually wanted 27 million but Don Raul having a slow day misread it as 72 and Lille just pretended as if nothing was wrong. A bit like one does at the supermarket when the lady on the check out has missed charging for the bog roll.

It is what it is1

It was all just a bit meh tbf

Either way let’s move on and make sure we get the points in the games we have to.

RedandWhite

A 6 for Bellerín?! More like a 3 at best. Should have cashed in on him this summer

chimas

Seriously, Almost punched the wall a couple of times while he was supposedly running in field, dragging another player into the position that pepe is trying to run through. Was thoroughly pissed at him at Sheffield and pissed at him here. Xhaka and Auba should have been pulled much earlier. Both were so ineffective.

ElGunnerLoco

Yeep. What a defensive liability he is…

Every game where the opposition has more of the ball than we do, he can’t stand the pressure and cracks at some point costing us a goal.

Tanned arse

He has never learnt to defend. Really basic stuff. His football IQ is low. It’s always been evident. Technically with the ball he’s mostly ok(not great) but the guy can’t think or see things that a natural player does. I think of some individuals who when I heard them speak thought they really aren’t very bright (like rooney Gascoigne Beardsley) but on that football pitch they just saw things and understood things naturally. Bellerin for me, is the opposite. Ball watches switches off picks up bad positions etc. He’s guessing and today in a moment that proved crucial he never… Read more »

It is what it is1

Positive: we looked okay defensively in a 433.

Concern: it didn’t really solve our fluidity issues. Yet

Pieter

Does Blogs have slight conscious/unconscious bias against Luiz and for Tierney. Thought Tierney was ever-so-slightly the weaker of the three centre backs (though they were all pretty good). He gets turned quite easily and isn’t always the strongest in the tackle. I thought Luiz was fairly decent, though Willian should have had that free kick. Would like to see a front three of Saka-Auba-Pepe, wing backs of Maitland-Niles and Bellerin, and Partey and Ceballos in midfield. Lots of games coming up though, so the squad is going to almost have to sort itself out through the sheer relentless treadmill of… Read more »

Jambon

Luiz and Saka best players today , Gabriel next

Tanned arse

Agreed. I’d put all three pretty much at the same level and well above any of the others.

Man Manny

I love that front line. It would SAP the collective energy of many defences.

I think sometimes we forget that whilst blogs is a journalist, he is also a superfan who runs a website covering his favourite team.

I mean surely personal biases are expected on a blog?.

Petit's Handbag

He really didn’t like Walcott towards the end, not many did mind. But blogs really didn’t like him. Maybe it’s because he didn’t know what Arseblog was.

Dave

When Auba did fuck all vs Liverpool he still rated him higher than Laca.

Dark Hei

Player ratings are merely qualitative opinions not hard science.

American Gooner

Two masters playing cat and mouse two teams missing key components to ignite their attacking intent, or just a low drama affair? Maybe a little bit of all of the above. Finding a place for Pepe in this team is a head scratcher, and I am starting to find Willian’s “starter” status up for grabs. Reis-Nelson would have made for an interesting addition, and having Ceballos ahead of Xhaka instead of vice versa feels less stable but more interesting. Otherwise, progress. Not being outplayed for 90% of the game is a nice change. A point would have been nice.

Fledz

I think 6 is a bit harsh for Gabriel. He looks solid.
+1 for fuck VAR. I’m stunned that they didn’t even bother to check that high foot. What’s the point of it?

Vaibhav

He gave away simple balls in our half, was aweful on the ball

DankGunner

I thought at times his passing was suspect, but he was the only one trying to split lines…so I don’t fault him

Tungor_Adams

I am totally with Arteta in how we executed today’s game. We need a few more of our highly gifted attackers to do what Saka does, make a difference by creating dangerous situations, but our tactical spine is looking very strong, credit to arteta and team.

Jambon

Si senor

Vaibhav

This is going to take some time but I agree sportingly shipping less goals is always a positive

thw14

I agree sacrifices have to be made to ship less goals, but I didn’t imagine one of those was going to be a 32 year old former Chelsea midfielder playing false 9.

My childhood. :'(

pound4pound

At the beginning of the season, I would’ve been ok with this gameplan vs this opponent. But now that it’s obvious the league is as wide-open as it’s been in years, and City is utterly vulnerable, why wouldn’t Arteta go for it more (and sooner)? Take the handbrake off a bit and let’s see what happens.

Dave

Like we used to under Wenger? ?

Yeah, genius plan that.

Yellow Ribbon

Arteta has surely got to think about moving to a back four now. I know with the bunch of dodgy defenders that we have got it is a bit difficult but does look like we need to make it a bit more potent with our attacking third. He surely has also got to start thinking about playing Auba up top. Willian is not Sterling. It is just as simple as that. Creativity is going to be huge concern until at least January. How the hell did we miss out on signing James Rodriguez? Everton apparently didn’t have to pay a… Read more »

Tungor_Adams

We did well in transfer window m8, at least on the buying side, no case to complain. James didn’t choose Everton by chance, he desperately needed a manager that believes in him, he new he would get that with Ancelotti. If you are better than arteta in getting the max out of our team, pls apply for the job, else let’s reward him with a bit more faith , hasnt he deserved it by now?

Yellow Ribbon

Ok boomer

Yellow Ribbon

Your spelling gives me a headache reading it by the way.

Tungor_Adams

Get well soon

We missed out Rodriguez because we signed Willian. Rodriguez is an expensive free signing due to a high salary. No Willian = wages for James.

I don’t think we would have been able to sign him though as he already had a working relationship with Ancelotti from Madrid.

edzo

To be fair, Lacca was awful when he came on. He can’t pass. But scores 3 in his first 3 and willan starts at center forward. Lacca is much better at pressing.

Willian played well against Fulham. They are bottom. I can’t wait until a few months pass and arteta sits willian.

Play Auba on the wing if lacca starts but otherwise put him down the center.

Two man midfield isn’t working.

Even when Partey gets going we still don’t have a creative midfielder who can pass through the lines.

Boring stuff.

Vino

Willian does nothing special. He might cross well into the box but we dnt play that game. Another highly paid bench warmer in the making

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

We can thank Edu for that one. We will have not one but two highly paid bench warmers in the making (including Cedric). I wonder how long he’ll last in this job given he was a Raul appointment.

I don’t want the club to become financially hampered by wages the way Juventus is now. Let’s not become Free transfer FC

Vaibhav

I am waiting when that happens. Willian will not be able to cut it with us sorry to say.

Tom

I honestly thought Auba would be playing through the middle, flanked by Willian and Pepe.
About Pepe: it’s obvious he is more suited to open games. City are too compact and happy to use foul play when defending.
Also can we talk about how useless Laca looked when he came on?

Savage

We haven’t yet addressed the concern that we don’t create enough chances

truj

We were second best…

edzo

Ps. We are all in agreement that luiz should stop taking free.kicks. Can willian stop taking corners. Seriously.

Tungor_Adams

Agree on freekicks, but he does really well otherwise, deserves credit for his game Overall today

Kunz

I think it is time we played Auba down the middle and play Saka on the left.

LIAM B

With a little bit of composure and trickery, Saka should’ve scored the chance

Berlingoon

His composure and trickery have made that chance out of nothing. If there’s one player who’s not to blame for the result, it’s surely Bukayo. Has been fantastic again.

Jambon

10 for Thomas first booking. Long may he reign

Fabulous

Undeserved. City players got a total of 2? or 3 yellows at most, and they were fouling the whole game. Partey had one foul and straight away a yellow. Absolute bollocks

Jambon

Missing a player like but not necessarily Ozil

Daveo

His name is Saka, just got to find the right balance.
Bellerin-Luiz/Holding-Gabriel-Tierney
Ceballos-Partey
Pepe-Saka-Willian
Auba

Tungor_Adams

While we need to be careful with asking to much from saka, I agree he looks to have the raw materials for dictating our attacks in final 3rd, the way he gets passed players and almost always makes the right decision is amazing, but lets allow him to evolve without being expected to carry the team

A Different George

The optimistic take: Saka, Tierney, and Bellerin were all very good going forward. Gabriel, despite several really poor (and occasionally dangerous) passes has shown enough since he arrived–including today–to see that he will be a top-class defender in this league. The main negative: we still lack the player(s) who will knit these outside threats with our forwards and our back line with our attack.

Fabulous

Ozil is still there you know. Would’ve not done any worse than Willian today at the least

Berlingoon

He would indeed. Wouldn’t have offered more offensively but wouldn’t have pressed like Willian did so we’d probably have conceded more. Özil is finished and won’t ever play for us again. You can either deal with it or have that discussion after every single game. Outcome will be the same. Hes finished.

Fred Garvin

LOL pressing is for our offensive advantage – it’s not designed to directly prevent us from giving up goals.
We have a stronger back line, along with Partey. If there’s any time to consider plugging Özil into the lineup, it’s now.

Berlingoon

The reason to play Auba from the left is that you got a striker who’s occupying the central defenders to make space for Auba’s runs. If we play without a striker, like we did today, they’re able to concentrate on him and then he’s easily taken out of the game. Strange tactics from the boss today. Think against a team like City, where you hardly have any possession, you really need someone up from who’s able to hold the ball. It also makes no sense to me to take Laca out of the starting 11 after he scored 3 in… Read more »

Vinay Khetia

Aubameyang missing a sitter, you gave Lacazette a 3 against liverpool for missing a sitter despite scoring a fluffed goal (it was still a goal) You were raving over Lacazette before last season and rightly so, he was one of our best players of the season. Now you talk about Lacazette it’s about the fact that we should sell him and he should not be starting. This is all because of a few easy chances that he missed last season. When Lacazette makes a mistake it feels like we are getting closer to the end of the world. You talked… Read more »

Dave

He admitted he had an agenda in a podcast with Amy, in not so many words.

Terence

Aub on the wing doing nothing. William up front doing nothing. Laca on the bench doing nothing. Ozil at home doing nothing. Are we allowed to be critical of Arteta yet?

Usmanov

No.

Not even for Ozil’s sake.

Tungor_Adams

Of course, and he will not everything right every time, but one must a blind not to see the transformation for the better that has occurred since he took over.

GUN

I don’t think Arteta has anything to do with Ozil’s absence. It is definitely board’s decision.

Guns&Gooners

That was one boring game.

Santori

Auba keeps losing the ball. Poor touch. Where’s the legendary pace. Pepe messy with his dribbling. Willian not it for me. not the playmaker some prefer to belief. As I mentioned, a poor and lazy signing bc we lack funds could not be bothered (did not have experience) enough to wait to grab players toward end of window, committed too early and at that a huge chunk of salary for 3 seasons. A lot of people commend us for our business do not understand implications that may haunt us a season down. Very boring game. Not enough gumption and too… Read more »

Charma

Ever since Auba signed a contract he has been useless. This will end up like an Ozil situation. Arteta has limitations and his tactics couldn’t work and usually don’t work in the league with the big boys. Since he came Arsenal play a very slow game which won’t take us anywhere .

David Hilliers Arm Cast

I thought Xhaka and Willian were non existent today. Xhaka was getting rolled constantly and was reaching out to pull city players back regularly. Shocked at blogs rating.

Willian may be out of position but he offered nothing. Everything was slow and not enjoyable.

Santori

Outstanding player for us was Saka. Only player really making things happen. But threat again from our left lobsided with far less productivity on right meaning it was easy for them to shut us down. Too cautious on our part. Insufficient incisiveness of movement and passing final third…plus some of our players keep conspiring to lose the ball. Lose touches all over the place from Pepe to Auba wasteful. Laca came on not much better with poor passes. but for some moments, defense fairly decent . Good to see Partey come on, it will take a bit of time for… Read more »

Walleye

Tierney is great. Is there a better pair of fullbacks in the league?

Pieter

Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, definitely. There’s great potential in Tierney, and Bellerin has his moments, but they’re no better than say Digne and Coleman, or Reguillon and Aurier. I think we have to be objective here. And I still have some question marks about Tierney defensively, although he’ll look better as left back/wing back rather than left CB.

Vonnie

Leno should learn to catch the ball or at least not push it out to the oppositions feet, he was really poor for that goal.

Fred Garvin

It was a powerful close-up shot. He’s not Superman for fucks sake.

Arsenal Oz

Martinez would have caught that – once again Leno hands the ball to the opposition.

Cranky Colin

Var wasn’t a problem in this game.
Check out the Scousers match and tell me they weren’t fucked over

José Martin E Castro

Good performance overall. Yes! There was a penalty not called. VAR? What a joke.

Petit's Handbag

My own opinions, feel free to disagree, bit AMN and Saka should be our starting wing backs in this system. AMN was MOTM against City in the FA Cup and Liverpool in the Community Shield, made of ice. We need him for these away games against the big teams. Bellerin is just a 6/10 sadly. I do like the way he likes trees though.

BillyKrystal

There was a lot to like today despite the result. City were always gonna control the game, but our press looked very dangerous. On another day, or against a lesser team, we would’ve forced a mistake. Saka and Tierney were bright spots and we defended well as a team – a clear theme under Arteta. If Saka scores or we get the pen we’d be coming away content with a point. Another consolation is that we’re getting some tough games out of the way early in the season. If we can get something away at united then well have 3… Read more »

Marje

Partey’s head in real life is massive. Redo his avatar 🙂

Onenil

A lot of people on here saying various players were rubbish. I totally disagree. We were against a top team and every player was decent. 6/10, except Saka who was excellent.
In the PL we have been repeatedly stuffed by City. Today we matched them. We just lacked a bit of creativity – as not ready to move from 3 at the back.

Dave

If not for abject defending by Bellerin and a poor parry by Leno it would’ve been a draw.

epi

for some reason 86.5 seems like exactly what Ceballos is, just generally

Dele

I think we need more of an ozil in the team..

Badger

I thought we did Ok today – Luiz, Gabriel, Ceballos, Saka all looked good, Pepe looked up for it, Auba looked lost….anyway….I digress. My one issue with the way we set up was that we sat very deep and this makes the press hard to execute. City without Bruyne don’t really look in behind and I would’ve liked to have seen us push higher up the field in the second half. We are improving for sure and it’s a process – stick with it.

Karl

I’m still waiting to see why we signed Willian. Apart from his debut, it has been underwhelming. Not a terrible performer, but it just feels like he is blocking the path for others of equal ability after we invested a fortune in him.

BillyKrystal

Exactly, he’s never been prolific in his career. He’s basically Iwobi but a better striker of the ball. Still love Iwobi but he was never going to take us to next level. Neither will Willian. If he’s this average now, can’t imagine in the 3rd year of his contract….yikes.

Meshi

Arteta claiming Willian up front worked is disingenuous. LACA even without the goals up front holds the ball, draws fouls etc, in a game we dont have much possesion this is crucial. just look at Willians heat map didnt even get in the final third. I can get behind him making these decisons and trying something but if it doesn’t work out dont claim it did.

KissmyLeviathanAxe

Their Keeper Ederson was great. Some of the passes he made was almost like he was a central midfielder. That definitely released the pressure we created with our press. We definitely need more dynamic and creative players like Aouar or maybe should’ve got Ziyech before Chelsea did.

Meshi

If you notice pep winning did the first sub gundogan on to kill the game just after saka had that freekick. we brought on laca but we also needed someone to drive up the pitch amd negate gundogan . we should have done a double of laca and partey cos laca/auba/pepe didnt get any service as xhaka kept on backwards passing playing into peps plan. Saka proactivity is what was required of Willian as a false 9. quick turn and feints to release auba/pep tbh id rather saka in that role. Pep out tacticed arteta lol

Headson Shammah

Arsenal’s problems are with creativity and clinicality, if Arteta can just find a solution for those maybe we can get the big resuluts we seek

Vivooty

We are not creating much….And our best player is a poacher who finishes chances created.But his chance creation and overall involvement in the game is not very good.Our attackers and midfielders does not create much chances.They play with their handbrake on…and their combination play is also not good.They play like they had played together only few times and also I am not seeing touch and go playstyle we used to see before…

ASH

The world is so strange today.

Firmino does everything to keep Liverpool together, and makes them a team. But he never scores.
While Auba does nothing for the team, hardly creates, and team feels disjointed with him. But he always scores.

Maybe the days of all-round strikers is over, you can count them on fingers now.

Merlin’s Panini

Why is Thomas Partey’s picture more than just his head and shoulders? Good likeness though. Oh, and the game was disappointing. If ever there was a chance to beat City at the Etihad this was it. Given they had key players missing I was hoping for at least a point but perhaps that indicates how far we’ve come in such a short space of time. Seeing as we were getting trounced in this fixture before a 1-0 loss isn’t terrible. The tight scoreline shows we can compete but we need a lot more from the attack than we’re getting at… Read more »

Cobwebs

I loved how we were solidly in the game for 90 minutes. I loved how we weren’t ripped to shreds. I loved how before the game I didn’t really expect us to get ripped apart.

Shool14

Surely Arteta has to take the blame for this one? I think it was a case of massive overthinking for his own good

What the heck was the logic behind Willian as CF?? Didn’t even bother changing at HT. Should have just played Laca

Really disappointed coz this was a really poor city team. We could have maybe even won

Tony

Got to say team much more solid defensively but my oh my Mikel take the bloody handbrake off. It is said teams are created in their managers own image and MA was a great player who played at a slower pace than say cesc or TR etc end the team are reflective of that. All good an well saying losing 1 0 to City is an improvement but which game apart from Fulham has the team really excited us and got the adrenilene flowing?

KingKolo

Willian as the third midfielder is the obvious choice… move Saka closer to the goal and Auba thru the middle… think Willian has the game to play in as the third midfielder. He’s intelligent, close control… it looks soooo obvious to me!