Report: Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal (inc. goal)

193

Result: Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 17 October 2020
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Starting lineup: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Saka, Xhaka, Ceballos, Willian, Aubameyang, Pepe.

Subs: Runarsson, Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Partey, Nketiah, Lacazette


Raheem Sterling’s first half strike was enough to condemn Arsenal to a second Premier League defeat of the season as Manchester City ran out 1-0 winners at the Etihad. 

On a night of few chances, the home side did just about enough to take the points against a Gunners side who’ll question why they couldn’t step things up in the second half. 

Pre-game

Mikel Arteta’s decision to leave Eddie Nketiah and Alex Lacazette on the bench meant we set up in attack with an unusual look. Willian appeared to lead the line with Pepe and Aubameyang flanking him. At the back, David Luiz and Gabriel joined Kieran Tierney in a back three. Rob Holding had been selected to start but picked up an issue in the warm-up. Thomas Partey started on the bench meaning Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos anchored the midfield.

First Half

City were quick out of the blocks – Mahrez curling wide and Aguero trying his luck with his head – but by and large, both sides made a conservative start to proceedings. We did well marshalling City away from dangerous areas in the opening 20 minutes but that seemed to be the sum of our ambitions. It was chess-like.

When City did step things up, Sterling scored. On 23 minutes, the England international tucked home on the rebound after Leno had denied Foden following a slick move that had seen the ball worked from the right flank into the box. Our keeper will have been disappointed. Arteta also. (1-0)

After that, we got better. Saka stung Ederson’s palms and Pepe went wide with a diving header. It became more of an end-to-end affair, Mahrez keeping us on our toes by working Saka and firing over. Leno also had to foil Foden.

We started to dominate in the 10 minutes before the break and probably should have equalised. Tierney, Saka and Aubameyang combined to set up Saka whose shot was blocked just wide by Ederson.

Second Half

You sensed Arteta had given his players a bit of a rocket at the break. We were far more positive in the opening 10 minutes after the break and Pepe capped some decent possession with a header that Ederson was forced to save. 

City’s ability to manipulate a football forced us to work incredibly hard. We were pulled, pushed and tugged in every direction trying to close space and to steal the ball. Things remained cagey as the game edged past the hour mark. 

Gradually, we started to improve. Nice interplay down the right nearly freed Pepe, Saka then earned a free kick which Luiz fired over. Guardiola’s players weathered the storm and again put us on the back foot. Cancelo’s dancing feet did Tierney and Luiz nearly diverted the Portugal international’s cross into his own net. It was a hearts in mouths moment for Arsenal fans. 

Pepe’s last involvement was a free-kick that flashed wide. He was soon subbed for Nketiah at the same time as Partey came on for his debut in place of Xhaka. Neither replacement changed the shape of the game. City were comfortable containing us and we seemed strangely reluctant to throw caution to the wind in the final stages. 

guest
193 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Johnny 4 Hats

I know this is totally sour grapes but frankly I don’t give a shit. A fucking team that can find £50m down the back of the couch every time they want to buy another shit CB and they can’t even win a match without constant and massively cynical fouls breaking up every single opportunity with such knowledge of their cheating that they actually rotate the players. Fuck Pep. Can’t win the league with unlimited money. Call it tactical, call it smart or clever but I call it being a bunch of cunts. I wish we could be a bunch of… Read more »

Henkamp

That was a shit performance from us in all honesty. Did you see the way Villa took the game to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago? It’s been long we played fluid football like that.

I think Arteta should ditch the 3 at the back formation and go for games more.

Futsboller

I’m taking some comfort in the “we’re closing the gap” mentality as Arteta rebuilds the squad (something Bergkamp said the club could feel year on year as they inched towards the Invincible season), but with the closing gap come higher expectations and we were flat again today against a team that is porous at the back when you prod around a bit. We are much more defensively organized and sound, but our attack one-dimensional (out wide) and needs life breathed into it. I would have loved to see Arteta take a gamble and bring Partey on at halftime for Xhaka,… Read more »

Non flying Dutchmen

Christ these comparisons to smaller teams giving bigger teams a drobbing are getting tiresome. Villa and Leicester games were fun but they were freak results. In those games Liverpool and City were arrogant and unprepared but they are still in them selves lethal teams that will more often then not be winking games. The way people are going is as though they are the whooping boys. I’ll concede. That I want to see us more front footed against Leicester and to take the game to a Legitimate sly shoddy United but let’s get real Liverpool and City are still to… Read more »

Quentin Quarantino

West ham went to Leicester and thrashed them. We struggled at home to beat a Sheffield United team that lost every game so far and scored zero goals. Sorry, but it’s starting to feel like the Emery era all over again for me.

Futsboller

Arteta has done an excellent job rebuilding the team’s defensive confidence and posture, but he now risks damaging our attacking mindset if he doesn’t begin to give the squad more options going forward. You make a fair comparison with Emery insofar as we seem to be afraid to move the ball up the middle (because there is no one there to receive and progress with it) and, like Arteta’s predecessor, we’re stuck playing it out wide over and over and over and over again. We’re solid at the back, but we can’t generate anything going forward as we have no… Read more »

SB Still

Till we are able to start with Partey we’ll not be able to switch to a back 4.

Partey alone is not the answer to all our midfield problems, he will be very important but against the likes of ManC, Pool we’ll need more.

Non flying Dutchmen

I wonder if that team was a back four until the holding for Luiz change

Laca new signing

We lack a creative mind in our midfield. Wait… There’s one in the fridge for God knows what non footballing reasons… Fuck Croenke! Fuck his KSE and everyone that makes major decisions since the money grabbing wankhog took charge of the club. I miss the 90s, early 00s Arsenal! We’d lose a game but still go home feeling nice from beautiful football!

Nowadays you can’t tell “The Arsenal way” from the “anti football” of teams like Chelsea that we all used to ridicule.

HARRY

CEBALLOS is grossly overrated. I see why they don’t think he’s ready for the highest level as a starting CM in Madrid. It’s clear what his weaknesses are and what his strengths are. Today he was overran in midfield he is our slowest player in Midfield even Xhaka who is also slow is still faster than Ceballos and against big teams he chokes and so does Xhaka. Xhaka you could just tell hes afraid when he plays Liverpool or Man city same with ceballos. And that cause him to pass sideways because he can’t take responsibility everytime you could hear… Read more »

goongot

Damn pepe makes me have so much more respect for gervinho.

Thessaloniki

I don’t see how Reiss is much worse tbh. Forget the price tag, give the kid a chance.

Thierry Bergkamp

To be fair, Willian has done no better apart from against terrible Fulham. Pepe has been useless though.

gooner

A direct team like Leicester would have tested them today. We just can’t get out of our stale game sometimes

G-Man

To be fair their goalie had two great saves against Saka and Auba. Arsenal don’t have luck and it plays a big part. No penalties our way, no major fouls, lucky shoulder from their goalie. Yet they get away with cynicism. Yes, these are excuses but those things are the small margins that make a difference. I just wish Arteta changed things earlier.

sAMa

You can abuse Pep all you want but Mancity won the midfield battle. A situation where our midfielders keep passing the ball back and not making enough runs off the ball to provide passing options for the defenders is pathetic.

Johnny 4 Hats

I agree with that totally. I’m not saying we necessarily deserved anything. But it’s just so frustrating when suddenly things open up and they take turns in hacking down players. It’s particularly annoying as we are so pathetic at set pieces.

And when it comes from the richest club in the world who can pretty much buy any player they want, it’s just doesn’t say much about them as a team or as a club. And for all Pep’s “beautiful football” there’s a hell of a lot of cheating too.

Goo-nerd

100% this. And ppl want Elneny to play more. What’s the point of playing out from the back if you’re gonna boot it down the line anyway? Play down the middle! Play between the lines! Play triangles and attack the spaces!

sAMa

Excellent

Biggles

Yes, City certainly employed spoiling tactics but it’s up to our players (and coaching staff) to work out how to get over that. It was closer than the Liverpool game, but still no points against a top team away from home. The truth is that there’s a lot of work still to do with Arsenal. Not saying it won’t or can’t be done, but we’re certainly nowhere near where we need to be to make a sustained challenge for top honours (unless other results keep going our way across an entire season – highly unlikely). Rather than complain about other… Read more »

Still love Wenger

Yep, a lot of money has been spent, but he only played 10 min bruv.

Tayo

If that’s what it takes to win games like these, then we better start learning how to do it. Every top team that tries to suffocate their opponent with possession must be able to commit those cynical foul, else you’ll be terribly countered. We know they that’s what they do and so does Arteta, it’s left to us to do better.

Non flying Dutchmen

Mate Xhaka gets given a straight red if he pls some of the shit they got away with

Tayo

That’s because Xhaka doesn’t stay on his feet when he does it. We have to learn to break up teams with fouls when in transition before it becomes obvious at which point you get booked.

Thierry Bergkamp

You criticise them for being cunts, but in the next breath wish Arsenal followed suit.

Johnny 4 Hats

Oh golly. I’ve totally contradicted myself. I feel so stupid. You’d think I’d have spotted that…

allezkev

That’s it, we have to be as cynical as them, it’ll take time but we’ll get there.

Maniac

Disappointing result again. We’re offering the opposition way too much respect. Yes, we may not have been embarrassed, but it never really felt like we were properly going for it either.

Man

A little bit the handbrake on

gooner

We were stuck in neutral

Black & blue

Handbrake on since 2015 against top 6 away games

Granit(e) hard!

Yeah, good old Arsene wouldnt have put it any better mate?

Flash

Well said!
Pepe and Willian were sleepwalking all the way. Supersoft, supelightweight…

goonerrah

The whole front 3 were way off it today, even Auba had a bad game

Thessaloniki

Very rare that Auba doesn’t score and has a good game. Source: an unscientific look at Arseblog player ratings.

The Far Post

Yes, cautious to the point of being slow, but frankly our passing quality wasn’t sufficient: the few times we tried to pass through their midfield only resulted in interceptions and immediate pressure on our defense. 🙁

rohit

It’s the system that Arteta deploys. We can’t abandon it from game to game. Unfortunately, we don’t have the type of player who can create chances in this system. So, we should’ve brought someone fitting the profile in the window.

Not sure if Arteta will be happy to eventually set up the team some other way. The moment we set up to attack, I am confident we will start leaking goals again.

Phathisile

We played like that too against Sheffield, yes we wont but I am getting the feeling its not going to change next game. As much as we ‘just’ lost by 1 goal the manager needs to find a way where we try to win games not just survive and hope Auba does the trick when we counter. We cant use the excuse of not having the right players we had the chance to get them and I believe the 3 players he got this transfer window are his right players. Ceballos as much as people like him he is not… Read more »

Vonnie

I definitely think we have a bit of a psychological block, Mikel seems to overthink these games and the players go into their shell. Thankfully the two worst away league games are over for the season. We’ll have a point to prove in the cup and hopefully do better.

Naked Cygan

Saka was only positive today, not a great performance, but not a bad one either.

Zezeta Wa Arsenal

He played so fine…Saka is GOAT

PGunner

Yeah all a bit meh but a couple of positives at least, feels like we’re still making progress even if it is smaller steps than we might all like. Onwards and upwards Arsenal!

yen

Liked Xhaka too. Became much better under pressure & played some good balls to Saka & Auba.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Watch their goal again and you will see Xhaka trying get back to cover but he was too slow and even stopped towards the end. Had he continued he should have been covering Sterling like a proper DM. Watch it again.

Robh

Doubt he’s run more in a match. He was regularly pressing up into their box when Ederson had the ball.

Jambon

Id run loads given the chance #cultofxhaka

Thierry Bergkamp

The youngest player showed the most courage to try and make things happen.

Jambon

Again. Bring back martinelli

Max

He’s injured mate 😉

Jambon

I know, pal. I meant bring on his return

Name*

Even though the performance was better compared to the Liverpool game (that was maybe 5/10, this was 6, I suppose), it is scant comfort. This felt like when we couldn’t beat a David Moyes Manchester United team. It’s no comfort at all. They weren’t so vastly better that a 1-0 defeat would seem like a great result. Under Emery, yes. Under Arteta, no. Willian was irritatingly bad, and our midfield to attack felt very disjointed. A large part is that Arsenal simply aren’t able to withstand pressure much in the opposition half. Without naming the Turkish (German?) elephant in the… Read more »

Stephen

Not a terrible result. Just don’t understand how we spent the last twenty minutes giving the ball away in our own third instead of getting it out. Felt like we didn’t want to risk losing a lead instead of actually being a goal down.

Maniac

“Not a terrible result.”

Sorry, but no. We lost. How is that not a bad result? Yes, we only conceded one goal, but what does that give us? Nothing. If we want to actually challenge with the big boys we need to get rid of this attitude that not getting spanked by a big side is somehow a decent result.

Jeremy

Completely agree.

Granit(e) hard!

Yep!…me too

G-Man

I hear you and agree but at the end of the day, we are in the middle of a transitional period and not the fake one UTD have under Ole… We are actually progressing. It not being a whitewash is progress… Which shows how bad we used to be.

loose_cannon

Agree, this isn’t Pep’s unstoppable City team, they’ve already dropped points to Leicester and Leeds. We played poorly and that’s it.

Nanogunner

Yeah because current team is more than capable to bring down City at Etihad and challenge the title.

Robh

This isn’t a video game, both teams were exhausted by the pace of the first hour. When you press for the first hour, the legs aren’t always there at the end.

parteytime

that’s what subs are for dimwit

ThreadRipper

1. If anyone think Willian is going to fill that creative void, you are dreaming.
2. It’s a torture to watch us rolling the ball between Leno, Luiz and Gabriel time and time again with 7-8 mins left on the clock and a goal down. Some please try to move it forward!
3. I don’t ever understand why Luiz is taking freekicks that close to the box, especially when we have Willian, probably the best league has seen in past few years!

Flash

I can’t agree more on the 2nd point!

Ian

Our current central midfielders constantly stunt forward momentum and pass back, very frustrating. Hopefully Partey can be the difference

jon

By the way exactly the way Arteta played himself.

Robh

We had 11 attempts today, vs 6 and 7 respectively at home vs Sheffield and West Ham and we’re complaining about creativity today? We were away to a top 3 team in Europe and got over 50% more shots than we’ve averaged so far, and only a few were from outside the area.

Gooner1317

What top 3 team in Europe? They got bounced by the 7th best team in Ligue 1 in the UCL knockouts lol. Got hammered by Leicester and beat up by Leeds. Having so much fear/respect for your opposition is the reason we played so cautiously/poorly as we did today. Not to mention they were playing without the best player in the country by a country mile aka KDB

Jack

Saka was the only one providing any sort of creativity

gooner

We just hate to counter attack. Every time we steal it and they are vulnerable we work our hearts out to try and play it back.

I think it’s the playing style more than personal here. Not even an Aouar would create much as we battle to play it to our last defender

gooner

And does anyone have any idea if Luiz scores those free kicks in training? We get a good opportunity and you see him brainstorming with good takers only to launch it into row Z over and over again

Henkamp

I was screaming at the TV for him to not take it. Unfortunately, they didn’t hear me…

I thought I was the only thinking the same thing at the time. Luiz last scored a direct free-kick in the 16/17 season.

Willian scored some only last season. Why did they let Luiz take it? Of course it’s not a guaranteed goal but it’s using common sense.

Qutubkhan

Not a great result but not the end of the world. I feel Arteta got his tactics wrong. Willian as a false 9 didn’t work out at all. Partey wasn’t on for long but he had one surging run and that’s what we need more of. He should have started ahead of Xhaka.
I feel auba should get an extended run at centre forward.

Henkamp

Disappointed to see William playing as a false 9. Whyever did he get the chance to play there with Auba on the field?

Qutubkhan

Exactly my thoughts. The attack towards the end of the sheffield game looked fluid.
Auba striker, pepe right wing, saka and willian interchanging between the left wing and attacking midfield role.

jon

Partey does not fit the defensive style of a two man midfield. With him on the pitch, we’ll probably play 4-3-3.

Nanogunner

Have you ever watch A. Madrid usual defensive play with 442. Also central mid of two. Well, I guess because you are the coach, isn’t it

Lacaubapepe

Passive!!! This is 120% on Arteta!!!

jon

I know it is early, but are people already lining up to chair the “Arteta Out”!-club?

parteytime

this drab effort is clearly on arteta mate

Artitty

Onwards. 1-0 doesn’t feel too bad, all things considered. Aguero is a creep.

The Far Post

Shouldn’t he have gotten at least a warning for grabbing the lineswoman on the shoulder?

G-Man

Yes.

Tom

That was super creepy, my wife immediately turned to me and said “what is that creep doing touching her?”.

What did Aguero do? I missed most of the match

The Far Post

Google Aguero grabs lineswoman, Salibaba. Don’t think I am allowed to provide a link.

thanks

Best of John Lukic

Plenty left to be desired from this, but to look at the positives – we did play some really nice attacking football at times, mostly last 10 mins of first half. Saka looks awesome, Partey seemed promising for the few mins he was on. And importantly, we don’t seem like we’re getting into this crazy stuff our rivals do. 3-3 and 1-6 and what have you. Hard fought, not so sexy, even games every week. If we continue with that, top 4 is very much within our reach (losing away to Liverpool and Man City is as to be expected,… Read more »

I agree to an extent. I didn’t get to watch the match in full but our attempts on goal are looking better. I just wish we could show some of the fearlessness and ingenuity of Leeds against City. Switching play towards less concentrated areas in City’s half.

We can’t replicate Leicester’s win because no referee is giving us 3 penalties in 1 game

ClockEndRider

This. 1 pen would be nice.

Jules

Two things 1) I rate saka SO highly 2) yeah sure we are lacking in creativity etc etc but for christ’s sake how many backwards and sideways passes can we make? why does it feel like that’s all Ceballos and xhaka do? and if we’re going to play it out the back can we at least commit to it? Instead of pass the ball between our defenders before inevitably booting it forward? anyways, not as bad as it could have been, nice to see Thomas, let’s get a win next week

Jules

xhaka and Ceballos (and Arteta!) have done excellently to adapt with a midfield two all these months but really it just isn’t feasible, glad we have partey now and hopefully we can seamlessly transition into a midfield three and stop being overrun in the middle third so often – we need more control, we need more creativity

Ian

Booting it forward or losing it and giving opposition team the ball in a dangerous area

JBF

I thought it was a good performance, we deserved a point but city are a good side and know how to play the game on the limit with their cynical fouling.

Lacked a little bit of creativity but we had our chances. City are title contenders and we gave them a good game, not sure we can ask for much more than that at this point.

Legrande

Showed too much respect against liverpool. Same again today. City have their worse start to a season in a while, I thought we’d have taken the game to them.

Chris

Yep, games like this leave me more frustrated than if we’d lost 3-0 but at least had more attacking intent. It was just so ‘vanilla’

G-Man

Bellerin was the difference. He let Sterling spin him twice and one of those times cost us. We have improved under Arteta, strong and resilient for the 90mins compared to how we used to flake. Transition into the final third is our weakness currently which makes me wonder why Arteta only subbed on the player we bought for that reason until 82mins. Gabriel, Tierney and Luiz good game. Saka penetrative like Freddie. Hopefully training can make this attack and midfield gel before next week.

Funny you mentioned Freddie. There’s an old interview where Saka credits Ljunberg for developing his playing style back when he managed the academy.

I definitely think Freddie has managerial qualities. I’ll be looking out for his next job

A Different George

I thought Bellerin was our best player after Saka. He came closest to animating our attack in the middle. He was indeed beaten by Sterling and Man City’s passing, and since he is the first defender to have that happen to him, he is obviously shit.

Benriz

Pathetic performance

Biggles

Well, closer than the Liverpool game but (still) no cigar. We never looked like winning the game but a draw was certainly possible – but we fall short yet again against a top team away. The statistics about that are just too embarrassing now. Anyway, other results weren’t too bad but we can’t keep relying upon that. Early days still though.

Jeremy

Some observations: 1) I refuse to be happy because it was only 1-0. This is a team who can’t keep a clean sheet, conceded 5 at home to Leicester(!) on the last matchday, was missing their star creator and Aguero hadn’t played since June. This is not ‘progress’. 2) We show the opposition too much respect. And please stop playing pea rollers around at the back with 30 seconds left on the clock. It looked like the Arsenal players were happy with a 1-0 defeat. 3) Play your best players from the start. Partey is the best midfielder at the… Read more »

Alex

5) play Özil.

Qwaliteee

Mate, that’s the equivalent of shouting into a cave inhabited by a colony of rabid vampire bats that have suddenly developed a craving for human flesh.

But, yeah. Play Ozil.

Robh

The pace of the game was insane for the first hour. You’re surprised players were tired at the end? City clearly were hurt by our pressing, but we were hurt by theirs as well.

City are a top 3 club in Europe. They were terrible vs Leicester, but those kind of performances are nowhere near their normal. It is recency bias to expect that.

Qwaliteee

Which is why you a player who can switch it, see a pass that no one else can and make the ball do the work…..

This high pressing business is all very well, but to keep it up for 90+ minutes…? It ain’t gonna happen.

Magneto

I don’t particularly understand why we started the game with our in-form striker (almost a goal per league game) on the bench. Perhaps that was also part of showing City too much respect as well. Or perhaps it was just an example of Arteta trying to be too clever.

Nanogunner

Go support other club if you find it too boring to watch. Agreed on point #1&2 but on Partey, nah don’t this the gaffer want to play him with only one or two trainings he has since arrived. Takes a bit time for fully integration to the Arteta’s idea of playing. Just take the positive and carry on. It is not the end of world

Jeremy DG

Ah the old ‘I don’t agree with you so go support another club’ line. Classic

Olof

Good game by Gunners. Not sure if City is that good or if its us who lack enough technical ability in the center forward position. Probably both. Thats why i would like to test Pepe in that position.

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

It’s definitely the 2nd. City had no Laporte, Mendy or De Bruyne. Their defence had not played together in that formation. The minimum Arsenal should have aimed for was a draw. Close losses don’t get us points

C.B.

I hate us losing against teams from the bottom half of the league.

Arsenalista

Unfortunately because how we have been playing the last few years there are less teams below us than before.

rohit

We have never been this organised in last many years but we have also never been this blunt. This team needs creativity desperately and Arteta has one hell of a problem in his hands because I am not sure we have anyone who can provide that. Top 4 is still a dream if we can’t create chances.

ThreadRipper

I am pretty sure we have someone who can provide that creativity. It’s all about whether the coach want to use him.

Qwaliteee

Yep.

ThatReyesGoal

Yeah, remember when we had Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez to move us up in the mid and final third? I feel we have very little exclusively in that ilk now… all the good teams have players who at least play that role sometimes. We have a few upcoming who could be moulded that way– Saka, Nelson, Smith Rowe (and a few also in the academy) if we stop playing them as pseudo-full backs. Arteta will need to trust them though. My feeling is that his project is too accelerated so we end up with less organic growth. Willian and… Read more »

11 attempts is not the worst we have seen from out starting 11. There might have been low quality chances but chances nonetheless.

Before any signings are made.Pepe has to improve his offensive contribution

What we probably need is a high potential number 8 if Saka is to be played further upfront

And really bad eggs...

Love Auba, and I know he doesn’t enough service but man, he has been playing with a certain lack of energy recently! Maybe it’s just me, but he doesn’t look up for it like he was at the end of last season. A captain needs to put in a shift and rally the troops in these kind of matches. Didn’t see any of that from him. He’s got to be better!

Almunia4Pires

Ozil all over again.

gooner

Most of the time he’s just like us, watching us roll the ball around our box slowly, repeatedly and even when he makes good runs we pick out a neat back pass and slowly roll it over and over again

ThreadRipper

I wouldn’t blame him today. He hardly got any service. And about the captain thing- I don’t think he is the ‘rallying-the-troops’ kinda guy. He was made captain because of that Xhaka circus and I hope Arteta takes that away from him soon.

goonerrah

I agree he hasn’t been a difference maker the last few games. Saka and Gabriel are the only ones to show up every game this season.

ThatReyesGoal

This is just one game (my thought is not really just about just the game) but I am starting to wonder if he is the best fit for Arteta’s system. He scores goals so that’s always what we want. However, this system is naturally one with a striker that can hold up the ball and interplay very well… and then two creative winger types (e.g De Byrne, Sterling, Mahrez, Silva). Auba is not a creative winger type, yet he has been playing in that position and so is less effective especially when we face a lower block. He should be… Read more »

nikoniko

if we didn’t get OAUR why not eat some huge humble pie and play OZIL for just 15 minutes? it pains to lose winnable games like this

Nanogunner

Winnable game? Wow, no wonder such high expectation fans like you didn’t achieve anything in life.

Chippy Brady

There’s the two hardest fixtures of the season out of the way early without making a show of ourselves. Jesus does anyone else feel the refs really have an agenda against us, why do our dodgy VAR decisions never get a second look or a mention by the commentators?

A Different George

Oh cut it out. The supporters of every team think the refs are against them. How do you think Chelsea supporters (not that I give a shit about them) feel when they see Anthony Taylor will be the referee?

Liverpool should have been playing against ten men for most of their derby today, but VAR did not review the horrendous clattering that Pickford gave Van Dijk.

Qwaliteee

Well said. VAR is a fucking nightmare, but it’s a fucking nightmare for everyone, not just us.

Jambon

Christopher Wreh would have made the difference today

Qwaliteee

And thrown in a nice double somersault into the bargain. Man, I loved that guy.

Gatecrasher

Really disappointing. This wasnt a dominant city side. Good, possibly very good but not a giant gulf in quality. We lost a game we really could have won if we went for it. Few things that let us down / puzzle me before. We need to find a way to play Saka further up than left back to leverage his creativity/dribbling. For me that means sacrificing Willian if we’re playing 3 at the back. At times Pepe reminds me very worryingly of Gervinho, someone who managed to repeatedly bamboozle himself with the ball at his feet to the utter bemusement… Read more »

loose_cannon

Very frustrating to lose that, and I’m not sure if that says more about where we are or where City are. We’ve been battered here in years gone by but seeing as Leicester and Leeds were able to get results against them it definitely feels like a missed opportunity. That’s only compounded by some odd tactics. Willian as a false 9 when you have 3 fully fit and available CFs? Why?

Mootilated

We’re winning the games we’re expected to win, and losing the games we’re expected to lose. Nothing more, nothing less. Meh.

And really bad eggs...

Also getting pretty frustrated with Pepe at this point. What does he really do well?? He’s supposed to be this amazing dribbler but it’s rare to see him beat a player 1v1. Poor touches, poor final passes, poor shots! Come on!!!!

Don’t even get me started on Willian!

kinghenrythe14th

Exactly! I’m tired of watching attacks fizzle out whenever Pepe’s in possession. As for Willian, he simply waddles around like a penguin putting in zero effort

Yellow Ribbon

Disappointing to say the least. If there is one place where we really need to improve it is our passing accuracy. Every time we try to pass the ball we seem to pass it to an opponent or we pass simply it backwards. The only player who seems to try and drive forward with the ball is Bellerin. Auba’s lack of goals has also been a bit of a concern.

It is going to be an extremely tough fight to get into the top four and I really hope we improve.

jon

Since starting with the playing out from behind thing under Emery, the players have been bad at it. I suspect many of them hate it. Too often, they stand still, too close to players from the other team. The player leading the ball must have more than one passing option. Teammates must instantly move to a space where they are both playable and visible

Timo

Could have been 10 nil had we cut the breaks phew

Fatgooner

Awful performance. We were solid but we created almost nothing. We never looked like scoring all evening. Why did Aubameyang spend so much of the game on the wing? With no Lacazette he was supposed to be our central striker. Our major problem, as usual, was our midfield: WHERE IS THE CREATIVITY??? How many times did midfield passes go astray? Auba had nothing to feed off. And the two free kicks we won, which were in very good positions, were both wasted by awful attempts. You can only go so far with grit and organisation: we need quality in the… Read more »

Robh

That was among our better performances for attempts and xG in a long time, especially weighted for opposition.

Do people not remember what usually happens when we go to the Etihad? We give up 22 shots, get 3 and lose 3-0 or worse. The shots were 13-11 this match! We haven’t done that to City away for 5 years!

Fatgooner

But we’ve got NOTHING out of this game. Again. Man City are average this season. We could have got something out of this match but we’re awful.

Nanogunner

What do you expect with our current midfield. If you think Partey will provide solutions to our midfield tactically, you dont put high hope. And creativity lacked because somebody doesn’t put enough effort to even trying

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

I was thinking the same thing initially and sort of still do. I guess we have to factor in that City was missing much of their spine today. De Bruyne and Mendy (when he was in favour) created a lot of those chances in a few of those games.

Qwaliteee

Had City had a full house, they would have destroyed us, as usual.

David C

Some people on here are nuts. We played a decent game against a very good team. City’s new defender looks like a good replacement for Kompany.

How come we didn’t win a penalty when Walker kicked Gabriel in the head at the end of the first half? A high boot is still a foul right?

Robh

Yeah, the comments are wild. We just came off games against Wh and SU were we combined for 13 shots and we got 11 at the Etihad and held them to fewer shots than West Ham got against us and we’re upset? It sucks to lose, but what did people expect? This was the most attempts we’ve had away to a top 6 team in years.

Tayo

Sorry but this City team isn’t a great team at least so far this season. we barely attacked them, see what happened to them against Leicester, even Leeds gave them a run for their money. I think Arteta just respected Pep a little too much today.

Arsenalista

I love Arteta and I am completely on board with what he is trying to do but I have to say that the football is complete dross, it’s very boring to watch. All this passing between our defense and goalkeeper is very frustrating to watch. With all the attacking talent we have we should be utilizing it better, I think we needed a creative player with an eye for a pass more than we needed Partey. Hopefully things pick up

Jambon

I agree 100% but after Emery i have faith in Arteta to develop into a better style of play over the next 3 seasons, feels like Arsenal again. I think, so far he has compensated for lack of midfield by bypassing it with the wing back moves but hopefully King Thomas and Danny develop a formidable partnership. Xhaka elneny for cup games. See you next week brother

Chamakhyungpark

got to remember just how bad we were when he took over. it will take time

Robh

You can view this with optimism or pessimism, but that was our best performance of the year. Because of the result, I imagine more people will be pessimistic of this. We had as many attempts today as the home games vs Sheffield and West Ham combined. We played one of the 3-5 best teams in Europe but gave considerably less chances than vs West Ham. Xhaka, Tierney, Bellerin and Saka ran their socks off. We pressed them and tired them out. Saka just didn’t take his chances or it changes the game. We know the way to beat City is… Read more »

Jambon

You are right, lots of reactionary naive comments masquerading as ambitious and aspirational. We are on the way. Xhakas off to the bench where he belongs

Nanogunner

Yeah some people are expecting a wonderful brilliant title winning team after we bought Partey and good result against much lesser team. That’s why they keep crying after a single lost. Plus, keep comparing with Leicester who won at Etihad. Cmon, Leicester got three penalties and they have been good since last year. We are still building our team as Arteta only has one transfer window. Fickle fans nowadays are sick.

Charles

I am officially over the Starting Willian project. What else could he possibly need to show to be dropped?

Qwaliteee

The guy is a busted flush. Don’t get me wrong, Ozil is a far cry from his Real Madrid days, but fucking hell, he could do a better job than Willian.

At the moment, my missus could do a better job than Willian.

sAMa

When I saw that Willian was playing false 9 or whatever that was I knew we were going to have problems. This loss is entirely on Arteta. He could have made changes long enough to change the game but he failed.

Jambon

How he doesn’t start Auba through the middle after last week and the one time he went central today he had a chance…. Very odd

edzo

Garbage. Yes. Boring. Yes. What was willian doing as our striker. No chance of putting pressure on a weak defense. And our best goal threat on the wing when the wing is willians position?

Over thinking.

Every one knew lacca would come on in the 70th minute for willian. Should have happened in the 10th minute.

Not even worth watching if this is how we are going to play.

Once again, no midfield.

Everton look more exciting than us.

We looked like we were playing in cement.

Qwaliteee

I wouldn’t mind, but a good starting XI is staring Arteta in the face.

Leno, Bellerin, Saliba (Holding/Luiz), Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Ozil, Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang. 4-2-1-2-1

Gunner up north

Why the fuck can we not just play Aubameyang down the middle?

Qwaliteee

Yep.

Trust me, James from Gunner Blog is not the only one who shouts a lot about this.

Doghouse

Slightly more positives than negatives, football is like a game of snakes and ladders we landed on 1 snake and no ladders, sub par performances from our strike threat yet we had chances, again we are looking more compact with every game and not rolling over, glass half full still.

Comedian

Think City were there for the taking. Saka’s burst were highlights of the match for us, but in all honesty we were just present there but nothing else. It’s early but Willians contract length just doesn’t make sense.

chuffy

Bottled it. Only showed 1 or 2 glimpses and that was the only 2 players that did anything today and that was Saka and Ceballos. The rest were meh. Sooner or later we have to ditch this ultra negative 3 at the back. If the central defenders are still not good enough, then the recruitment is wrong. If its the central midfield still unable to protect, the players playing in midfield are wrong. We haven’t sorted this out as a club since Unai Emery’s results started to go wrong. Oh and bringing Partey on after 83 minutes felt like a… Read more »

kinghenrythe14th

Willian waddled around like a pensioner all through. Our front 3 lacked the aggression in their press. It all seemed so half hearted. After 30mins I was praying for AMN coming on in the left wing back for Willian with Saka moving to the left of the attack and Auba getting central.

The performance felt so lifeless and drab except when Saka picks up the ball

WalZ14

This might get downvotes depending on the fan base here but i thought that was as well as I’ve ever seen arsenal play at the etihad. Even it city weren’t at their free flowing best. We are becoming a strong defensive unit under Arteta and I know that sacrifices creativity but we don’t yet have the quality to pick out our strikers or create enough chances. I thought pepe and Willian were poor today and both offered little. Saka best player. The defense looked solid. But this team is crying out for creativity and i don’t know it just partey… Read more »

Andy z

You can’t win a game playing in your box
the team at the moment so boring it’s like watching paint dry
we need to play the Arsenal way

Vino

The sideways and backward passes by midfield is ridiculous. How many times we gained possession in middle of park and then passed sideways and backwards. No one is taking risks(except u saka). Only strategy seems to be playing from back, hoping we get out and then hit them hard. Bring in ESR.

Qwaliteee

ESR isn’t ready yet. He needs more time to develop.

Nope. There’s only one man for the job. (This season, anyway).

Man Manny

Arteta got it all wrong with the front three.
Willian as a false nine? Strange one there.
Then he took too long to make changes.

StockholmGooner

Relax, stop being so emotionally reactive. This isnt really a blip and if so not even a considerable one. The Partey will start.. We will take it to Leicester and United. Coyg, arteta won’t be flawless but hopefully Willian will be on the bench next game.. With partey. Onto the next ones which are the games where we truly see what we can do this season. Stay positive. I beleive.

Deano

Losing at Liverpool and Manchester City is no disgrace but I think we have been very reserved on both occasions.