Unai Emery failed to kickstart his managerial tenure with a win as Arsenal suffered a 2:0 defeat against Manchester City in their first game of the season.
Raheem Sterling scored the opener with an impressive finish just after the ten-minute mark before Bernardo Silva doubled City’s lead after half-time.
Arsenal fans will not be happy with the defeat and for obvious reasons. But, before they gear up for their next big match against Chelsea next weekend, here is how the Arsenal players have fared in their defeat to Manchester City.
Petr Cech (7.5/10): Had a pretty nervy game by his standards given the fact that there were numerous moments where his lack of ball-playing qualities was completely exposed. In fact, he was almost on the verge of scoring the most absurd own goal in Premier League. But, his six saves made sure he ended up as Arsenal’s best player on the night as they not only helped the Gunners stay in the contest but also frustrate the Manchester City attackers.
Hector Bellerin (6.5/10): At fault for easily giving away space to Raheem Sterling for Manchester City’s first goal. The Spaniard should have done better in restricting the English forward around the box. Aside from that, he enjoyed a decent outing.
Sokratis (6.5/10): As most of the Borussia Dortmund fans had predicted, Sokratis’ lack of passing qualities were exposed as the Greek international could only muster vertical passes or back passes, which is simply not enough against an opponent as good as Manchester City. He was okay as far as his defensive duties are concerned, though he should have been more clinical with his positioning, at times.
Shkodran Mustafi (6.5/10): Enjoyed a relatively better outing than his defensive partner Sokratis. But, he was beaten all ends up by Sterling for City’s opening goal. He did end up making five tackles and three interceptions.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (6.5/10): Was unfortunate to suffer an injury midway through the first half. Didn’t make much of an impact while he was on, largely thanks to an ineffective Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the far side.
Matteo Guendouzi (7.5/10): A rather impressive outing for the Arsenal newcomer who was given a surprise start by head coach Unai Emery. He was very accurate with his long-passes and was overall clinical in his ball distribution as he attained a pass accuracy of 81%. Also worked tirelessly throughout the game and is definitely a viable candidate to start in the next game against Chelsea.
Granit Xhaka (6/10): An awful performance from the Swiss international, who failed to assert his authority in midfield. He often appeared tentative in possession and could only accumulate one tackle and two blocks. He definitely needs to work harder if he is to keep his place in the starting lineup with Guendouzi looking good.
Mesut Ozil (6/10): Another day, another tentative performance from Mesut Ozil, who was completely ineffective throughout the course of the game. He was dominated by the opposing fullback for the large part of the game and was never seen cutting inside to create goal-scoring chances. Emery could be in huge trouble if this highly talented German playmaker fails to play to his potential this season.
Aaron Ramsey (6/10): Deploying Aaron Ramsey as the number ten turned out to be an awful decision from Emery. He wasn’t sharp at all operating as the playmaker and more often than not, he was isolated in the attacking third. He shockingly mustered only 12 passes before being subbed off later in the second half.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (6/10): Like Ozil, Mkhitaryan also suffered a bad day at the office as he too was completely dominated by the Manchester City fullbacks. One could argue that he was worse than Ozil due to his lack of dynamism in the final third.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6.5/10): He struggled to make an impact for obvious reasons as he was devoid of support from partnering attackers. He did score once with a cheeky finish but it was ruled out because of offside. Arsenal fans will expect him to become much more influential against Chelsea next weekend.
Stephan Lichtsteiner (7.5/10): His Arsenal debut came sooner than expected when he replaced the injured Ainsley Maitland-Niles midway through the first half. And he didn’t disappoint either, despite playing in an unnatural position. He stood to his task of staying resolute and had it not been for him, Mahrez would have enjoyed a much better debut with Manchester City.
Alexandre Lacazette (7/10): Introducing Lacazette in place of an ineffective Aaron Ramsey was a very good decision by Emery in the second half. He added a pinch of dynamism and was always a threat going forward. He definitely deserves to be included in the starting lineup against Chelsea.
Lucas Torreira (7/10): Fans were up on their feet when Torreira came on in the 70th minute. He didn’t disappointing either, making some neat and clinical passes and also providing the pass for the Aubameyang goal which was ruled out due to offside.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored