Arsenal secured their first league win over Manchester City since 2015 thanks to a late deflected strike from substitute Gabriel Martinelli.
The first half was a nervy affair, particularly from an Arsenal perspective, as misplaced passes from David Raya unnerved both himself and those ahead of him. Had it not been for an excellent goal-line clearance from Declan Rice, Pep Guardiola’s side would have gone into the break a goal to the good.
However, the introduction of Martinelli at half-time sparked the Gunners into life, and after a much-improved display, they finally got the goal their performance deserved, albeit in fortunate circumstances.
Here are 3 positives and negatives from the match…
3 positives and negatives from huge Manchester City win
Positive #1: Declan Rice
Rice was arguably our best player in the match and demonstrated exactly why the club were happy to spend upwards of £100m on the midfielder in the summer. Interceptions, tackles, desire, and most impressively, his excellent goal-line clearance to keep the score level in the first half.
That is now two big games this season, against both Manchester clubs, in which the 24-year-old has excelled and helped drive the side to an important victory. Rice’s Arsenal career is still in its infancy, but he has certainly hit the ground running.
Negative #1: Nervy start
Rather than single out Raya individually for his first-half performance, as he did improve in the second half, I am going to focus on the nervy start from the team as a whole in the early stages.
Raya’s passing was not to his usual standard, nor was his cross-collection, however, those ahead of him did him no favours by repeatedly playing the ball back to the Spaniard. We struggled for control of the game, and in parts, certainly displayed some of the immaturity that underpinned our end-of-season collapse last campaign.
Fortunately, City were not at their free-flowing best and we managed to ride the storm and improve after the break.
Continued on the next slide…