4 ways Arsenal have evolved into Manchester City and can now take them down

Arsenal have followed a similar plan to Manchester City in recent years

The Gunners now arguably represent the Champions' greatest threat

Mikel Arteta is well placed to end his mentor's domestic dominance this season

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next

2. A defence worthy of titles

Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba
Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

It might have caught your attention that Guardiola likes to spend big on defenders, and Arteta has exhibited a similar, costly preoccupation during his Arsenal tenure.

From his very first signing (Pablo Marí) to the arrival of Jurrien Timber last July, the boss has invested just over £194m in the backline since January 2020 to complement his newfound pragmatism, and our defensive numbers suggest he is now being fully vindicated.

The Gunners’ record of 22 goals conceded currently ranks best in the Premier League, while we also lead the way for clean sheets (9) and have conceded the fewest xG (Expected Goals) per 90 out of all top-flight sides (0.87)- figures which are contributing greatly to the present title challenge.

By adopting the Guardiola model, Arsenal has formed a backline that can shine in any game state, helps sustain attacks, and limits opponents to few chances- something which has inspired a dramatic upturn in defensive data to rival the very best.

Continued on next slide...