Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Unai Emery makes two shock selections for first Arsenal game

Man City team news Man City team news Sergio Aguero will be the main man once again
Kristopher Love | 13 August, 2018, 13:53

It was a serene afternoon on the touchline for Guardiola, just like so much of last season which ended with City setting a series of EPL records, notably by amassing 100 points. Forget the World Cup and everything else, it's a new challenge.

City were playing with the same vibrancy we showed in last weekend's win over Chelsea and were nearly 2-0 up when Aguero brought down just outside box by Sokratis. He did well to prevent a Riyad Mahrez free-kick and then reacted well to stop the follow-up from Aymeric Laporte.

Mahrez was inches away from opening his account three minutes before half time when he curled a left-footed effort just past Cech's far post as City continued to dominate, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's effort nearly brought Arsenal level moments later but his long-distance strike sailed just wide.

Lacazette and Ozil both had late strikes correctly disallowed for offside, and there is enough to suggest that this Arsenal side will improve. Alas, the former Lyon man should have at least hit the target soon after his introduction when he was afforded time and space to let his own touch bounce back down, but his volley drifted well wide of Ederson's goal.

He wasn't made to pay for his miss however, as City doubled their lead just a minute later.

However, despite starting to threaten the City goal, it was the Gunners who would concede again, with Bernardo Silva producing a clinical finish from Benjamin Mendy's second assist of the game.

That Arsenal's performance was somewhat disjointed shouldn't detract from City's display.

"We wanted to build with the ball and break their lines". The game provided a lot of tactical features that stood out.

His goal was topped off a superb performance.

The Frenchman stayed at the helm of the Gunners for the following 22 years, stepping down at the end of last season.

A more aggressive press was in evidence and drew appreciation from the crowd but the tactic of playing out from the back - Cech looking particularly uneasy - played horribly into the hands of a City side who delight in hounding their opponents into mistakes.

I think it'll be a 2-1 loss, which wouldn't be too disheartening, providing we follow it up with a win against Bournemouth next week. City were superior to Arsenal in every department.

Raheem Sterling delighted in sending a message to his World Cup critics after launching Manchester City's title defence with his 50th Premier League goal. This was a sensational victory.

New Zealand's footballers in the English Premier League have made no impression in the opening round as some of the competition heavyweights stamped their mark on the new season with big wins over old foes. "But I am happy with the players because they run and they fight, and also we need [to] continue working tactically".

Guardiola, schooled by Johan Cruyff, craves winning in style.

If they are to match the heights of last season and go that bit further in the Champions League, rediscovering their ruthless edge will be necessary.

"We saw him do well in the training session".