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

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Result: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City
Competition: Premier League
Date: 21 February 2021
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang

Subs: Ryan, Cedric, Luiz, Gabriel, Ceballos, Willian, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette


Raheem Sterling’s early header was enough to seal all three points for Manchester City as they beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates.

The visitors went ahead inside two minutes when the England international climbed high unmarked inside the six-yard box and they might have extended their lead on a number of occasions in a thoroughly dominant opening 30 minutes.

While the Gunners weathered the early storm they never really looked like grabbing an equaliser on an afternoon when tired legs seemed to catch up with Mikel Arteta’s men.

Pre-game

Mikel Arteta made five changes from the side that started in Rome against Benfica. Kieran Tierney, who came off the bench on Thursday, made his first start in the league since January’s win over Newcastle in place of Cedric. Alongside him, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari replaced David Luiz and Gabriel. Mohamed Elneny was given a run out in midfield alongside Granit Xhaka – Dani Ceballos dropped to the bench – and Nicolas Pepe took over from Emile Smith Rowe. Explaining his decisions, the boss told Sky Sports before the game, “We have players who have struggled to train the last few days.”

First Half

City have made a habit of fast starts at the Emirates in recent years and this was no different. 

Inside a minute, Sterling missed from close range with a wild swipe at the ball. Inside two, he’d headed Pep Guardiola’s side ahead. Mahrez on the right cut onto his left foot and whipped a dangerous ball to the six-yard box and the England international climbed unmarked between Holding and Bellerin to find the top corner. (1-0)

Sterling should have doubled the lead on 6 minutes. Played through by De Bruyne he dawdled on the ball a little too long allowing Leno to claim at his feet. City kept piling down our left flank and it took a Tierney block to deny Mahrez. 

It took until the 18th minute for the Gunners to create a meaningful attack. Saka and Tierney combined down the left before the former pulled the trigger on a cutback. The shot was flying wide before it hit Aubameyang who was flagged for offside. 

For a solid 35 minutes, we chased shadows. The visitors had a ridiculous amount of the ball. They had no problem reducing the game to walking pace but would then turn up the tempo in an instant. We looked tired and increasingly dejected, especially as we repeatedly squandered possession after working hard to win the ball back. 

It took a while, but bit by bit we started to grow into the game. Saka started to find space between the lines and Tierney was a constant outlet. The Scot tested Edersen’s catching skills with a shot from range and then had three crosses cleared. On the right, Pepe and Bellerin bumbled their way towards goal before the Ivorian dragged a shot into the side netting. 

Second half

Two efforts from De Bruyne inside three minutes – one lashed over, the other a chip that fell just wide – suggested Guardiola had warned his players not to be lured into a false sense of security.

While it wasn’t quite the all-out City dominance of the first half, we were still penned in. Gundogan tried a curler that Leno clawed for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, the ball dropped for De Bruyne who hammered a volley into the stands.

The game drifted into scrappiness, epitomised by a series of bookings for Xhaka, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo. The away side might have had more but for referee Jon Moss turning a blind eye to shows of dissent by Stones and Sterling.

City weren’t quite clicking and we seemed incapable of keeping the ball in the final third. The best we could muster was a rasping long-range shot by Elneny after Edersen had hacked away a looping back pass. It flew wide.

It was no surprise that Arteta decided to change things. Lacazette replaced Odegaard and Smith Rowe took over from Pepe. City still looked more likely to score.

Cancelo, after accidentally clattering Holding’s head, tried a cute curler with the outside of his right foot that went just wide. Our centre-back required extensive treatment and was deemed unfit to continue which meant David Luiz became our first-ever concussion substitute. As that didn’t count towards the standard three changes, it meant Dani Ceballos could also come on. That was about as exciting as things got.

As Gary Neville remarked on Sky Sports, if there had been fans in the ground, they’d have been hollering for urgency from Arsenal. Without them, it just didn’t materialise. Lobbing long balls towards attackers not known for their prowess in the air was desperate rather than smart, all the more so given Stones and Dias looked rock solid.

While a win today was always going to be a bit of a long shot, there’s no hiding that we’re running out of matches to improve our position in the table. We stay in 10th place but with further tough games ahead, qualifying for Europe through the league is starting to look unlikely. The players seem to sense that which makes Thursday’s trip to Athens very important.

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goongot

bellerin – not good enough if we have top 4 ambitions next season. He’s elneny of an RB now and not the world class rb we thought he would be.Sell him and re-invest. Sterling ghosted past him like nothing and only auba eclipses him as the least technical player on the field. Also, the amount of pressure mourinho and lampard found themselves after a dreadful run of form.arteta has to feel very lucky that he’s at arsenal because as soon as any decent opposition comes up against us,we find it very difficult to win against them. Our record against top… Read more »

Comedian

mikel and his subs…the right side looks so weak. I was wondering this is not the kind of game that pepe thrives on, but when saka shifted to the right he hardly got on the ball. Martinelli for pepe and ceballos or esr should have been brought on early for elneny or xhaka. those subs were introduced too late.

Reality check

Xhaka was our best midfielder today, Ode was poor and Elneny was Elneny. Ceballos is not the Zidane we all think he is.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Bellerin seemed like he was thinking about his girlfriend all game long

Don Cazorleone

what does that even mean

Maniac

My guess is that he means that Bellerin’s head was not in the game.

RedHotHornBlower

Thanks for the translation. When did you learn idiotic?

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Your mom is a great teacher

IamaGoober

I feel like I have been living in the movie Groundhog Day when watching Arsenal over these last 10 years in particular. I have seen that performance against top sides like City what feels like a million times now. But it could’ve been any decent side really. We are no way near their level. And I guess the truth is, we are so far removed from ever being a top drawer side again like we used to be in the 90’s and early 00’s. The amount of money we’d need to spend to get back to that level is kinda… Read more »

arseblog

Bobs: Stop that

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Sorry, frustration got the better of me.

Walleye

It is a common enough expression.

Maniac

If I were to describe our performance in two words, it would be sloppy and lethargic. Apart from the first quarter of an hour, City looked pretty off the pace today. Unfortunately, we were even worse. I completely lost count of the number of poor passes and loose touches we had. Not even sure we managed to string two passes together in that first half. Passes were just consistently behind the runner, underhit or either straight out of play or to the opposition, often within our own half. What’s worse, even though City looked like they were there for the… Read more »

TCGNR

Are you surprised? These guys just played 2 days ago in Italy.

davorsuker

Agree with the first part.
I don’t know what’s going on with Bellerin. Not gonna blame him though.
Shitty was world class. But still… Such a spectacular difference between our left and right side’s performance. Would definitely give another opportunity to Cedric as a RB.

ljundbergspinkmohawk

I thought he and elneny were particulary bad. To many give aways, slow pace on the ball, and weak defending/inept pressing. Some of the problem with bellerin is tactical though–he keeps taking up positions that are very central–which might make sense if you had a legit right wing using that space, but pepe isn’t guy. The only real effect of his movement going forward was leaving a hole on the right side of defence.

Flummoxed

Bellerin has been doing that a lot in the current formation. Tucking in and taking almost a midfield role when in the final third. Seems like a glaring hole today though since Sterling was always going to look to exploit the space in behind as a result.

davorsuker

Yes but I want to understand what’s in the background before actually judging a player that is used to be a key member of the squad. And I’m not talking about Elneny of course. He is a decent lad but god, so so limited…

Joe

“the amount of pressure mourinho and lampard found themselves after a dreadful run of form.arteta has to feel very lucky”

He won a trophy in his first year. We have one of the league’s top defenses. He’s working towards getting the offense to click. We lost 1-0 to the best team in the league, a team assembled with hundreds of millions of sovereign wealth.

Moreover, hopping on the managerial treadmill and firing people after short periods in charge is foolish and counterproductive. Show some patience.

Bless gunner

So how is that going for Chelsea since they changed manager

Frank

Not the worst result I suppose, especially given the first half hour, but such a frustrating watch. Arteta really seems to have this thing of never really going all out in a match. Leaves his subs late, doesn’t bring on really direct players when he does make subs and doesn’t get the team pressing forwards at the end of matches, we just seem to meander into a loss or draw. Also really getting worried about how many minutes Sakas being asked to play

Zenithreptile

It was very kind of City not to score again. Not that they ever looked like having to.

Paul Roberts

City were trying to score again make no mistake.

Brian

If we had scored, you can bet they would have scored again.

Paul Roberts

I was hoping to find out.

Alex

You’re right but it may as well have been 10-0 for the points it brought us. This is a results business, Arteta needs to be given a good shake

Henkamp

Arsenal have scored ONLY 2 goals in the last 15 minutes of games ALL FUCKING season! I think your posts explains it all succinctly.

I talked about Arteta’s penchant for making his subs late on Thursday. It repeated itself here again today.

City were 1 up and made a change before we did. It’s frustrating.

Futsboller

I was going to post a long defence of the team today and how losing to City 1-nil is not the end of the world, but I thought, would Saka do that?

No, he’d be looking on to the next game already. Big win coming up on Thursday!

Flummoxed

I like your style.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

When will Martinelli get a game??

Maniac

Agree with you on all the other points, but I hate this attitude of “not the worst result.” Last I checked, we lost. 0 points to City’s 3. The fact that we didn’t get spanked by 3 or 4 is just a consolation, because in the grand scheme of the whole season a loss is the worst result. Would have been much happier feeling we really went for it and conceding again than playing it safe and being content with a 1-0 loss.

Frank

Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with you. I just meant that in the first half hour it really looked like it couldve been a spanking so 1-0 isn’t as bad as it could’ve been. God I wish we had fans back in the stadium to bea ble to push Arteta and the team into going after games like this

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

All those years of 6 nils, 6 one’s, 5 one’s etc have left Arsenal supporters with a small club mentality, and now losing one nil to a top club is seen as an achievement.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

Can’t understand why Auba was left on for the 90. He was poor. Is Arteta reluctant to take off the captain?

Red Arrow

Unfortunately apart from the hattrick the other game he has been poor lately.

Don Cazorleone

It’s ok, Man City are jolly good

Chamakhyungpark

Yeh but holy shit does it annoy me when Arteta waits until the 75th min to bring on a sub.

Henkamp

It’s become a recurring theme that we are all noticing. That’s one area where he needs massive improvement.

Chamakhyungpark

It just seems so bizarre. We are 1 down and very much in the game, we have an in-form player on the bench and Odegaard had obviously run his race by the 60th min. Auba was miles of it and Elneny was finding it tough. Bring on all three subs around 60-65 min and we might have got something. But to change Eleny in 87th min? It’s no different losing by 1 than it is by 2, Mikel.

DialSquareGoon

Wenger used to do the same.

Chamakhyungpark

He sure did. Annoyed me then too

TeeCee

Not quite. Wenger subbed on 70 minutes. You could set your watch by it.

Give youth a chance

Look on the bright side. It wasn’t Willian

Fezec

They didn’t even have to be. We didn’t turn up today and that’s so disappointing after the recent progress. I couldn’t work out what the game plan was. Let city keep punching us until they got tired? In the end it was almost like city felt sorry for us. We brought everyone back for goal kicks to play out from the back, then hit it long. We neither pressed with any consistency or sat and defended deep. Our passing was woeful and slow. We isolated any player in possession by leaving huge gaps between our players. The team selection suggested… Read more »

Atom

We have some promising players, but literally every player they put out today is better than our corresponding one – no exceptions. Very tough to even draw them as evidenced by the fact City have the longest winning streak in the history of English football.

Fezec

That explains losing. It doesn’t explain having no discernible tactics.

karl

I didn’t see a lot to be scared of after we stopped panicking. A lot of keep ball with little for Leno to do.

SB Still

We managed to keep it to just 1 goal and ofcourse could have nicked it as well!

That’s some achievement, how we started and with so many changes.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

This was my point, I expected nothing, so pleased that there were opportunities to get one back.

I think system and structure was there to avoid a defeat but again like against Villa, we only lose because of Individual mistakes. Unless we sort the howlers like Sterling’s header then only we can push on and it is more down to individuals, I hated to see Bellerin struggle so badly throughout the game. I believe it is time he should be let go!

Kostas

Countong the the prons: We should also consider ourselves lucky that we didnt had to endure another Willian show…

Zenithreptile

Did you mean to just type countong the prons?

Maniac

Could have nicked it? We could have played another 3 hours and still not scored a goal the way we played today. 1 shot on target all game, and that was Tierney with a pot shot from about 30 yards out.

viegunner

completely agree with maniac. we looked like nicking absolutely nothing. curious to find out about our xG

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Is it me or Bellerin was kind of indifferent?

Public Elneny

Yes, but who wasn’t today?

RedHotHornBlower

It was you.

karl

Painfully predictable, but it could have been so different after such a nervous start:

– Why was Pepe played right, when his best has been on the left. The same goes for Saka on the other side.

– How can a player like Stones keep pushing Aubameyang off the ball so easily.

– What has Martinelli done to Arteta to not get a look in again when we needed energy so badly.

Jack

Auba’s hold up play at CF was about as good as his 1 on 1s with Stones

Maniac

With all the backing into a defender then falling to the ground, Aubameyang seems to have taken a leaf out of Giroud’s playbook. Absolutely woeful to watch.

Thessaloniki

Olivier can hold up a ball, have some respect.

parteytime

I guess you haven’t been watching. Martinelli has been horrible since he returned from injury. The only impact I recall is his clearance against rashford.

HenryKamp

If it was Luiz on a city player trying to push someone off he would have been sent off. Double standards. Even the commentators were biased in their opinion praising Stones because he’s English. C***s

Henkamp

Exactly! When Stones barged Auba off the ball st the corner flag, they were singing his praises. But when Luiz tried to head the ball and caught Dias one of the twat commentators said “that was poor from Luiz.”

karl

We’re still a soft touch without Gabriel and Partey.

Bryan

Imagine if he had gone to hit his head somewhere n got badly injured.

Dave

Auba is just so poor.

Atom

Hard to be good when we never have the ball especially in the attacking half. City are probably the best team in Europe

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

It’s a bit of both tbh. There were some instances where long flat balls were played to Auba and instead of simply shielding it and passing to an oncoming teammate, he’d try to take on a defender with no support and lose it.

On the other hand, I noticed some scenarios where instead of simply playing a simple through-ball to Auba, Saka, Pepe and Odegaard kept passing to the wings. They never seemed to spot his runs.

As for Auba in general. I think he’s played at LW for too long and it shows in his gameplay.

Naked Cygan

He is poor as the main striker. He can’t hold up the ball or wins freekicks. He is not physical enough as a lone striker. We need him back on the left.

Fezec

Such an odd selection. Especially with the europa game on the horizon.

Lacazette is far from perfect but he’s infinitely better at holding up the ball that Auba. He’s also been pretty good at scrapping lately.

Arteta fucked this one up.

parteytime

Extremely one dimensional player. Unfortunately lacazette doesn’t score enough goals to warrant being a striker so we have no choice but to play to auba’s strength at the moment.

Elgon Views

But Lacazette at least improves the link up play with those around him…and this season Auba hasn’t really been scoring spree

thw14

Think he’s our best striker, but bad game. Needed to do much better with hold up play in tight spaces, which can make the difference against such quality opposition.

Jack

Ceballos for Elneny in the 86th min? Only about 25 minutes too late…

parteytime

well at least it wasn’t willian.

Fabulous

Haha. I saw Willian warming up and instantly I thought “here we f*cking go again.”

Santori

Yeah agreed. Could be a bit more positive. So little time for impact makes zero sense.

With 15 minutes to go either way you lose by a goal or 3 makes no difference now might as well go for it since margin at one goal deficit is so slim.

A point nicked today would have been a decent result.

0o2Be

😴😴😴

Kostas

Our players almost celebrated that it was only one 🙁

Baichung Bhutia

I think lot of the fans are also satisfied that it’s only one nil. This summer is so important, based on this we could be competing for top four in a couple of seasons or become a mid table club.

Jean Ralphio

Why not start Pepe on the left when he was doing so well there? Anyway, hoping we beat Benfica to get momentum going

Santori

There’s no reason within a match that Saka and Pepe cannot switch sides. This is not an excuse and not a problem IMO.

ESR and Ceballos in midfield would have been a stronger team as would Auba left with Laca up top.

But we are likely rotating for Benfica and throwing a bit of a gamble out there today bc we don’t expect to get the result against City. Picking the fights now is important.

Alex

We have to wake up at the start of games. Literally watched this happen with Villa two weeks ago. No one on pitch to tell people to do their bloody jobs. It’s so Arsenal to lose to City from a header from the tiniest man in the league. He’s literally 2 inches shorter than my wife and I’m 6’4” – no way a header should ever be happening. Totally on Rob Holding for me there.

Arteta makes subs way way too late. What’s the plan? Fluke it? Get your best players on and make pressure on them.

Thessaloniki

If I got this right, you’re 6’4”, but your wife is 5′ 9″—2 inches taller than Sterling, who is 5′ 7″. Holding is 6′ 2″, however. Meaning the difference in height between you and your wife is the same as that between Sterling and Holding. So when you mark your wife on corners, can you say with confidence that with such a height disparity she never wins headers against you?

Dave

We need to cut out the indiscipline. Red cards, pens, early goals all have cost us so much this season.

karl

I’m not convinced all of them have been at all fair. I’d say we need to get the luck of other teams with officials.

Dave

No, we know we won’t get the rub of the green and have to take that out of the equation by playing better and more disciplined.

Man Manny

Done. Next game.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

I had low expectations and am happy to say that Arsenal really could have tied this one up.

Long way to go, but hats off to City, they never had to get out of second gear. It was 1-0 but it was much more comfortable than that.

Santori

Completely agree.

City had several gears to go.

Every time I see Mahrez I get upset bc we SHOULD and COULD have got him but we brought in Mhkitaryan instead.

and compounded that over subsequent years with more poor choices from Pepe (for 72m) to currently Willian.

Its a good stroke of fortune we found a gem in Saka from the Academy.

yen

Couple of random thoughts: – Mari is as cool as you like on the ball – Holding was caught sleeping early on again – same against Villa – happy we brought on the experience of David Luiz to elbow the heck out of Dias’ ribs – because why we play the ball when we’re chasing the result – the subs came late, Elneny should had been off at HT – will be interesting to see what happens re: strikers in the summer – Xhaka good – Ceballos reminds of the temp (Ryan) on The Office (US one) All in all,… Read more »

Santori

All spot on. Agreed.

This clearly not the strongest set up for us bc Arteta (rightly/hopefully) one eye on Benfica.

Too much rotation equals issues in attack as well, but all said, this match clearly not one we should be expecting to get anything out of. They are lightyears ahead of us.

We can’t even keep up with the chasing pack with far more humble outfits like Everton, West Ham, Villa not to mention Leicester.

Too many people make excuses about lack of players on hand for Arteta.

Ancelotti turned Everton around very quickly.

TCGNR

Have you watched Everton? They are over-performing and pretty mediocre. I wouldn’t trade managers any day of the week. Be patient. W

Kareem Mohamed

Xhaka good?
For the last 10 minutes of the first half maybe.

Elneny was much better.

Greg in Seattle

I thought Elneny was fine as the possession tempo guy with his engine being a part of why they didn’t have too many dangerous chances, but obviously at the expense of attack. TBH that’s ok with me but he should have been off at 55. Xhaka was good, agree.

Kareem Mohamed

Yea.
Time to take him off in the second half and chasing the game.

But I think Xhaka was exposed (once again) in a game against such high quality opposition.
I think the issue is his (lack of) mobility.
I don’t think his incisive passing is worth him being caught on the ball and mistiming challenges.

Would love to get an upgrade, but I’m not sure we can afford one this summer.

goonshow

Agree other than Xhaka – I’ve said on here a number of times that his ‘renaissance’ has been welcome but he is still a limited player who WILL be exposed by the better teams/managers. That is just what happened yesterday – he was pressured into the reversing passing once again, lunged in too often for needless free-kicks and yet another first-half yellow to put him on eggshells, and then there’s the ease with which good players can bypass him when he’s higher up the field and they have space to run into… Like many in this team – he’s decent… Read more »

Glen Helders left foot

We never looked like scoring, powder puff in front of goal. With the exception of his hatrick against leeds Auba has been atrocious most of the season and Luiz at the end of the game proving once again what a clown he is. At least we didn’t get hammered but are we really making any progress?

Santori

I honestly hope we do not renew on Luiz.

Granted Holding messy today, Mari working back in, we need to build with a constant unit for the future and Luiz should not even be a factor.

Joe

“are we really making any progress?”

We’re on track to allow a goal per match this season. In prior 3 years we allowed 48, 51, and 51, with everyone complaining that we were too easy to open up.

Of course no one can accept incremental change and no one can remember what they were upset about 18 months ago, so this progress with respect to the defense is ignored.

Glen Helders left foot

I agree we’re better at the back but I think we’re worse going forward and our midfield is very poor also we’re loosing alot of games which seems to be pushed under the carpet

Grumbleduke

In the old days they used to rub a piece of ginger on a horses arsehole to make sure it was raring to go from the off. Perhaps our defenders need that.

Don Cazorleone

Roger that

Kanu Believe It

I’d rather not.

goonshow

What? The horse, the defender or the ginger?

Santori

They set up zonal is part of the problem. You have to defend in zones with City unpredictable and with fluid positioning…but you also have to be aware of the gaps. Sterling stood off between players and Holding caught napping.

Naked Cygan

Another game playing Auba as the main striker with no end result. Apart from the Leeds he has been missing in every game playing central. Just play him left where he is at his best, play Laca in the middle he gives us so much more. How many more games are we going to do this????

Nick

This is not true. He wasn’t missing at all against Benfica, he had clear chances that everyone is aware of.

Naked Cygan

how many did he score against Benfica? or in the last 8 -10 games he played centrally. I know the answer, do you?

Nick

You’re confusing ‘going missing’ and ‘scoring’. If he’s getting chances, he’s not missing.

Naked Cygan

I am not confused. You just don’t get it.

Public Elneny

It just doesn’t play to his strengths! It worked against Leeds because they are so open, he had time and space to receive the ball. But how many teams play like Leeds?

Lacazette sometimes can play lone striker, but tires quickly so can’t play game in game out. Which is why we should have given Balogun a chance to rotate with him!

Either way we need a new 1st choice CF who is good at linking play this summer

Santori

I think there is reason for Arteta to have started Auba up top bc we were likely to have to play on the break. but the flip side is he is not any better than playing Laca bc he does not hold or compete for the ball well/loses possession easy or gets pushed off too easy. There is reason to play him in tandem with Laca bc they have some level of understanding with each other. or to throw in a spanner in the works with Martinelli with his speed and aggression. but none of the options are terribly much… Read more »

Greg in Seattle

The problem is we have four players that have shown better as left wingers recently than Auba in Pepe, Saka, Martinelli, and ESR. It works with him as a lone striker when there is movement and he drifts wide, swapping dynamically with the others. It just doesn’t work when he’s asked to grind out some holdup play against good CB’s.

Dave

Here’s a better idea, sell him. He can’t perform in this system.

Qwaliteee

Which is why he scored a hatrick last week…

And which proven international, given our budget, would you replace him with…..?

Paul Roberts

He is a bit shit though for the last couple of months?

goonshow

HFB for a snip from Chelski and use the balance on a top def mid.

Heisenbird

The worst thing about that game, other than how dreadfully conservative we were even with 15 minutes to go, was Hector Bellerin offering nothing going forward and getting beaten on almost every occasion by a City player. I love the guy, he’s been at the club for ages and is a decent human being, but we have to face facts and admit that he’s just not good enough. If we are to have serious ambitions of challenging again then we need to be ruthless and ship him out. Would much rather have had Cedric playing. As for the game, well… Read more »

Bob's Mexican Cousin

We had Lee Dixon this side of the pond. Far better than those idiots Im sure.

Flummoxed

Particularly loved his comment after the a garbage foul called on xhaka against gundogan in the second half; “What? Is he supposed to just let him do what he wants?”

Alex

So true about Sky commentary. Someone should ask them:

Do you believe financial doping is a thing?
Do you believe City are performing to expectations, given their budget?

A very boring loss, I understand Man City is a very tough team to beat right now but 1 shot on target in 90 minutes is quite poor. I think more passes need to start being played centrally in between opposition CBs to improve our shot attempts. There were some instances were Saka and Odegaard kept passing to Tierney when it would have better to just slide Auba in on goal. The goal came from an easy cross and poor marking, almost a repeat of the Aston Villa game. I hope Saka is rested against Leicester. I really don’t know… Read more »

jfmgunner

Not to single out any one player because he did try hard but every time Elneny stopped our momentum or showed his limitations I wondered how Partey could have impacted the game from that CM position. I just think we got close a few times to making it through their press and he might have really been key. Overall I think we saw the good and the bad here. The potential and the fight but the technical limitations as well. With a few more windows to build this squad I think Mikel is on the right path though. And no… Read more »

Kareem Mohamed

I wish we had Partey instead of Xhaka not Elneny.

Elneny was head and shoulders above Xhaka.

Old Bloke.

Well that could have turned out a lot worse. Let’s move onto Thursday and a win and then get something from the Leicester game.

Public Elneny

Bellerin, Holding, perhaps Mari, Elneny and Xhaka to varying degrees just aren’t at the level we need

2 or 3 (Holding and Mari) can be kept as decent backup. But when you start several of the above together our whole game regresses to their level. A midtable side playing safety first

Our forward players weren’t good either, but when it takes such an age to get the ball forward, they weren’t receiving the ball in situations they could possibly create from

Chris

Xhaka? Really? He was our best player today, maybe with Saka ,and has been remarkably consistent the last few weeks

Public Elneny

If you’ve watched Xhaka over the past 4 1/2 years and are still happy for him to line up in our preferred starting xi… He’s had these ‘consistent’ spells before, where his limitations are still very much on display, but they always fade after a couple of months

Not sure what either Xhaka or Saka contributed to be considered our best player today, but can’t think of any other candidates tbf. Game was a total non-event

Fatgooner

Pathetic rubbish.

We didn’t create a single decent chance all evening and got what we deserved. Arteta far too negative with his selection. Rubbish defending for the goal: holding or Leno should have dealt with the cross. But after we defended well.

Pepe shit again. At least Willian didn’t come on. We could have gone above Spuds today: we didn’t deserve to. An awful performance.

karl

Not Pepe’s fault he was played on the side he offers nothing.

Greg in Seattle

Saka our best player, Pepe not shit and more lively than most but faded badly in second half. Don’t know why you shift Pepe to the right after a good stretch playing inverted on the left. Auba was so meh and Odegaard wasn’t able to find anything, though he was trying. Holding was so horrible on that goal. There was no player in front of him to mark. He only had to stay touch-tight with Sterling. Bellerin had to mind Bernardo but I feel that Cedric would have read the cross faster and bumped Sterling enough to disrupt the header.… Read more »

HenryKamp

Leeds play better football than us. Doesn’t matter how many they concede or score. They’d always go full gas until the final whistle. Arteta wouldn’t instill such mentality. Talks a lot about winning with no progress. No pressing, there’s no hunger to win the ball back when a wrong pass is made or when the ball is lost.

Santori

Not unexpected. we weren’t pushing with that line up. As I mentioned before the match, one eye (if not two) should be firmly on midweek coming up. Playing Mari and Tierney coming back in from lay off already indication of intent (Plus Elneny and Odegaard) That said, (and how low we have fallen), one goal deficit loss and 45% possession like a victory these days…almost. Does not change position in table 10th. As mentioned since the break, we have not improved physically where it counts for all the talk about “improvements” with Arteta. not that this match is a barometer… Read more »

Paul Roberts

I was impressed with the way we coped against the best team in Europe having gone a goal down in two minutes. COYG!

Chris

Hope Holding is alright, that looked a nasty knock to the head.

Jordan Tan

I just want to say, maybe we can be less critical of the boys tonight. Yes, we lost. But it’s only 0-1 to City. These are the guys who are on a form that pretty much destroyed all those before them for a good while now. The league table doesn’t lie. Yes, some of our players got found out. That is always going to happen when you play against superior opponents. Likewise, even our usual best players makes uncharacteristic mistakes ie poor control etc. Let’s take the positives. That this is a learning curve for the players, the manager &… Read more »

Baichung Bhutia

I don’t think we are smashing anyone. We have Leicester, Burnley, Spurs, West Ham and Liverpool in the league – will be an achievement if we manage to stay 10th after these round of fixtures.

Jordan Tan

I’d rather face them than Man City. Especially Liverpool, at their current form.

TCGNR

Hey, you’re being way too positive and level-headed about all this. You are supposed to be trashing players and moaning about Arteta, after losing 0-1 (2 days after playing in Italy) to literally the best team on the planet who have 2 first teams that are better than most other teams and a blank check handed to them every transfer window – oh, and the best manager in the world. Please stop being sensible and mature about your analysis and give us some hot takes about how bad Arsenal are and how dumb Arteta is.

Jordan Tan

Hahahaha thanks lol I come from an era where we had Almunia as GK and every corner is heart stopping. I’ve seen darker days .. ha

TCGNR

The negativity on this site (and others) is more depressing than the results for me. Everything has to be instant for everybody, nobody takes the long view on anything anymore. I have a friend who’s a die-hard Everton fan, and even though he’s enjoying their results, he literally has said he can tell that Arsenal are better than them and in the long run will be better off. My buddy who is a SPURS fan – Spurs who are ahead of us and seem to consistently beat us – has told me at the end of the day, they are… Read more »

Jordan Tan

Very well said!

RobC

Lost 11 games out of 25. this a sacking record.

Arsepedant

In the preview this morning, Blogs wrote “At the very least though it’d be good to see a performance which makes this a test for them.” I think we just about did that. For all that City created against us, apart from the first two minutes we successfully held them at bay. Not terrible against arguably the best team in the world right now. City’s record for the last 18 matches is 18-0-0, 47-6. They’ve battered teams much higher in the standings than us. Despite going down early, we kept our heads and kept working hard. If we can put… Read more »

Biggles

Could have been worse – a lot worse I guess – but poor defending (for the City goal) and a pretty toothless second half were enough for a City side who did “just enough” – as good sides do from time to time. Glad Tierney came through unscathed though. I have real doubts now that we will be able to move up the PL to an EL place. We haven’t closed on the sides above us and most still have a game in hand – and, inexorably, we’re running out of opportunities to do so. We could get into Europe… Read more »

Arsepedant

Fortunately for us, the games in hand are all against each other for the most part. Villa’s two games in hand are against Everton and Spurms. There’s a good chance all three of those teams will drop points. So it’s not as bad as it looks.

Santori

Too many fans still think we are the dog’s bollocks but reality check when we play City. They were it felt in second gear the whole time and in control. We have many teams now around us looking hungry and performing well. I’m not sure I agree with popular sentiment that Arteta will take us back into top 4 anytime soon. As mentioned when appointed, Ancelotti came in to Everton at the same time and despite far more meagre assets, look where they are at, never mind Villa and West ham this season…or Leicester. Too many people prepared to make… Read more »

DialSquareGoon

Have to caveat it cos he’s a darling, but Marhez had Tierney on toast for the first 5 mins of the game. To my mind, KT’s just as culpable for the goal.

Public Elneny

Saka should have been backing him up too

Qwekumalhi

I can’t for the life of me understand why we can’t string a pass or hold the ball whenever we play Man City. What sort of inferior complex is this? If the strategy was to counter attack, of what use is that when you can’t hold the ball or make an incisive pass for heaven’s sake.

karl

That complex lead to the panic at the start when we conceded. There was not a lot else to fear

John

Man City just have much, much, much better players than we do which is inevitable comparing their budget and ours. The real test is what we do against Leicester, West Ham, Spurs and Chelsea with whom we can probably compete for 90 minutes. The result, if not the score, was already done before a ball was kicked. The only question was how many, and limiting it to just one is as good as it gets between Arsenal and Man City at the moment.

Steven brown

Abject performance no passion no nothing bellerin looks like. He’s never played football city might as well took their goalkeeper off that’s as much as we loooked like scoring

Keep it Real

First time alex Scott has not talked sense after the game – she sounds like redknapp

Elgon Views

Need a couple solid midfielders to partner Partey/Smith Rowe….Xhaka and Elneny give their best but cannot dribble past a single opposition player, cannot receive the ball in tight situation and maneuver out of it. Midfield is the engine, cannot be out weakest part!

Bryan

With respect to al playas ,i still think some playas arent mesnt to play this kind of match .its just a waste n unfortunately auba,bellerin etc falls in this category .u ned a playa like matinelli ,saka ,laca rowe who can pres to play this kinda match

Paul Roberts

Please don’t say “playas” or “playa” again mate?

Kiran

Why persist with Pepe on the right when it is clear as day both he and Bellerin have zero chemistry whatsoever. Keep Saka on the right where he’s been effective play Pepe on the left where up until he was dropped from starting 11 he was doing rather well. I am really starting to question these little things which make me question is Arteta the right manager going forward. Plus he’s running Saka into the ground that’s not good player management. On another note shocking from Jon Moss how can he give Sterling and Stones a pass from what were… Read more »

Walleye

Subs should have been made at 55-60. Esr,Danny, laca? Or maybe Martin? For mo,Pepe, aba?
a loss is a loss. 30 minutes to go down 1, go for it.