Manchester City made the perfect start to their title defence as they defeated Arsenal 0-2 at Emirates Stadium to ruin Unai Emery’s Premier League bow. Raheem Sterling skipped through two defenders to strike the ball past Peter Cech in the first half and Bernardo Silva finished spectacularly to seal the game for the away side.
Here are 5 key takeaways from the game.
#5 Arsenal are a work in progress
They have a talented squad but not a title challenging squad. Losing to the best team in the league does no harm to their reputation but fans will hope to see a more attacking mentality from the manager.
Playing an extra midfielder in place of Lacazette exhibited a hint of fear in his mind. Players will learn more as the season progresses. They will learn to play with the new faces in the team and adjust to the new style of play under Emery.
#4 What is the role of Xhaka in the midfield?
Granit Xhaka joined Arsenal in 2016 with a lot of hype but after two seasons, no one is sure of what his role is on the pitch. He is not a holding midfielder neither a number 10. He is an incomplete version of both the characters. Even the 19-year old, Mattéo Guendouzi had a better game than him and knew what his role was.
Unai Emery also had the same thoughts when he substituted Xhaka and not Guendouzi in the 70th minute of the game.
The Swiss international had a bad game and needs to pull up his socks or lose his first-team spot to other players in the squad who want a chance to impress the new manager.
#3 Manchester City look like they haven’t been away
Pep Guardiola and co. shrugged off any signs of complacency from the very first minute of the match. The players were full of energy and hunger as they started brightly.
Away to Arsenal, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane on the bench, yet their pace and strength never seemed to decline.
Despite the absence of David Silva and De Bruyne, City dominated Arsenal in the midfield and their forwards got the job done up front. This wasn’t even their strongest lineup, so there’s no telling what Guardiola’s side can achieve this season.
#2 Arsenal’s attack has promise
There were a few chances which could have ended in goal. Nevertheless, the Gunners will take the positives from the match and that was their attack. After Lacazette came off the bench, Arsenal tried to press further up the pitch.
The North London outfit were closing down Manchester City and a goal looked imminent. The Champions scored the second goal at the right time to douse any chances of a comeback.
With Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Mkhitaryan, Arsenal will score goals once they find their rhythm.
#1 The voice of the Emirates stadium is back
“The new chapter” begins with the unity of Arsenal fans. After a very long time, one could hear the noise at Emirates. They were loud and passionate. Every challenge, every interception was met with a cheer from the crowd.
While there is still a lot of bitterness after Stan Kroenke’s complete takeover, the Gooners were still upbeat about a new era under Unai Emery.
Towards the end of the game, there were a few empty seats as the fans lost hope, but it the team can quickly adjust to the new tactics, Emirates could once again become that noisy stadium it once was during the peak days of Wenger ball.