Pessimist: Lost To City – Optimist: Lost To City

Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City – Premier League review – 18/19 season opener

 

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Not the best of starts for Senor Emery…..but losing to City is no disgrace

City are the champions, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy.

However, it was a good defeat, if that makes sense.

City were the better team overall, and had more chances to score.

Though I think we looked to get forward, and there were some positive signs.

1st half

We had some half-chances with Aubameyang and Ozil, though City managed to create several strong chances, through Mahrez, Sterling, and Aguero.

Cech almost scored an own goal, as it was apparent we were trying to pass from the back more. It will take time to learn, naturally, but this could have been a monumental gaffe.

City scored via a shot from Sterling, which appeared to go through the legs of several players, after he came in from their left-hand side outside the penalty area.

Aubameyang had a shot go wide, and Bellerin latched onto a through-ball which he hit at Ederson.

Maitland-Niles started brightly, but he was injured after a challenge early in the match.

 

2nd half

Arsenal started brightly again, but City got a second via a good finish from Bernardo Silva. Guendouzi had a stumble near the halfway line, which Aguero latched onto, and Cech redeemed his earlier error with a strong save.

Mustafi, Lacazette, Aubameyang, and Ozil had half-chances, and the team looked to go forward, but overall City was too strong.

Their fans though weren’t as sound as their team – especially with “Arsene Wenger……he left cos you’re shit!” Well, no, he left since he made us shit….there’s a big difference….

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Super finish for their second

 

Impressions/player ratings

We lost, of course. But it’s a tolerable loss. it’s not acceptable to respect losing, in most cases. But then City IS the best team in the league, and were not at full gear nor full strength.

Though it’s key to see what Emery intends to do.

We pressed them well in the midfield, and did well to break up their play often. The strikers were also pressing too, and our counter-attacking was strong. This was in contrast to the latter Wenger era, though it will take time to implement fully.

Cech nearly made a serious error, as we looked to play out of the back a lot. This too to take time to institute, and there needs to be patience involved here. Cech is one of the best PL-era keepers, without question. Though he surely is past his best now, and today showed it.

 

 

Guendouzi had an excellent debut, and was very strong in his pressing competences. Xhaka though is not suited to our style, and his distributive qualities need to be expounded on. He has strong runners in front of him whom he can supply (,e.g. PEA/Mkhi), but overall I thought the performance was a battling one, and it’s wrong to believe things can change all in one game.

It was interesting to see Emery on the touchline, for practically the entire game. I love Wenger a lot, and always will. However, it is true that the great man seldom did this. It’s a positive sign, denoting that the players must be on it at all times.

 

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So I can handle this defeat. It is City after all – the record-breaking champions. Had we played Southampton, Cardiff, Watford, or any other supposed “lesser” team, then I doubt we would have lost. I believe strongly we would have won in these cases. I don’t think City were at their full capacity, and it shows the gap between the respective teams.

It’s on to Chelsea, and whilst it will be a difficult game, they will not be on City’s level. With the proper structure, we can get a decent result there.

 

Cech – 4 – Had he not saved from Kun Aguero in the second half, it would have been far lower.

Bellerin – 5 – An OK game, but did defend well and get forward

Sokratis – 6 – A reasonable full debut, and looked solid throughout

Mustafi – 6 – He looked strong, and the central area at least was well-defended

Maitland-Niles – 5 – Was OK prior to his injury, and he was handling Mahrez competently

Xhaka – 4 – Didn’t distribute much, and was not effective in passing or pressing

Guendouzi – 6 – Had an impressive full debut, and was the most effective in the midfield press

Mkhitaryan – 4 – Was not very probing or penetrative

PEA – 4 – Had a few half-shots, and wasn’t very active

Ozil – 5 – Looked to get forward often, but his final ball wasn’t very well-executed.

Ramsey – 4 – Played in a central role, but didn’t impact the game much. Did well in pressing, but not in getting forward and supporting attacks.

Lacazette – 7 – Once he came on, he pressed from the front well, and managed to create a few chances for himself and others

Lichtsteiner – 7 – Was a present threat down the flank, and handled them well defensively

Torreira – 5 – Didn’t have much time to impact the game, but pressed well when he had the scope to

Emery – 6 – For his debut, and against the champions, losing is no shame. People critiqued the line up, though there is nothing wrong in easing in players. He managed to change the formation slightly once Lacazette came on, and overall we can note his style emerging. I’m positive had this been been a “lower” PL team, we’d have had a comfortable victory.

 

Man of the match

Lacazette – Looked strong when introduced, and pressed well in kind.

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And to end:

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It was Emery’s first game. Anybody who is “#emeryout” – please kindly re-evaluate not only your Arsenal supporterhood (so to speak), but also your life in general…..

 

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