Manchester City scored their 18th consecutive victory, and they easily defeated Arsenal in north London 1-0.
Manchester City wasted very little time striding forward at Emiraes Stadium and scored the winning goal within two minutes of the opening ceremony.
Guardiola’s boys had already noticed their intentions in the opening 60 seconds, but Raheem Sterling kicked by mistake when the opportunity appeared.
But the England star made no mistake for the second time, ascending to the exact cross of Riad Mahrez and nodding, and found that he was only six yards away from the target.
Manchester City looks like they are now playing a different game with their Premier League opponents. They dominated and controlled the game within the first 20 minutes of the game. During this time, they created an opportunity to double their advantage but lacked the killer touch. .
Gradually, Arsenal returned to contention, but failed to test Ederson before the break.
Kevin de Bruyne, who returned to Belgium, went home almost in the second half with justifiable bargaining chips, thus doubling the lead. This was only due to the Belgian’s efforts to transfer Bernard. Bernd Leno’s effort on the wrong side of his left hand.
However, while Manchester City continued to provide more threats, their performance level dropped significantly in the second stage, with midfield spins and passes not as sharp as before. This is too sloppy and makes Arsenal more convinced that they can prevent Manchester City from winning.
Emile Smith Rowe and Alexandre Lacazette entered the game with 17 minutes remaining, replacing the quiet Martin Odegaard and Nicolas Pepe (Nicolas). Pepe), Arteta turned to the bench for more punches and cuts.
But Manchester City kept their distance and eventually won another victory.
The champion is elected and keeps moving forward. These are the six key points of Emirates…
1. Arteta’s pragmatic actions
In the Europa League game on Thursday night, Mikel Arteta made five changes to Arsenal, scoring 1-1 against Benfica in Rome.
They met with Portugal in the second leg of the Last-32 match this week in Athens. Although he did not admit it, the changes here show that more winable encounters have played a role in his changes.
And, in fact, the quality and form of the city-who personally responded to the changes before returning to Europe this week-can you blame Altai Tower for taking a more pragmatic approach?
Arsenal scored 11 points in the first four games. Yes, they hope to return to the Champions League as soon as possible, but maybe the Europa League is their best choice.
2. Among all Arsenal defenders that need to be used, Manchester City heads to Tierney
When you watch Arsenal and Kieran Tierney starting from left back, opponents will usually focus their offense on their right. Since coming to Scotland from the Celtics in 2019, this has been the situation for the Scots (when appropriate), because both sides like Hector Bellerin very much.
Manchester City did not do this here, but came to Tierney from outside.
Four times in the opening five minutes, the slanted diagonal line runs from left to right all the way to Mahrez. Every time, the Algerian could bring it down and rush towards his man, one of which resulted in Sterling’s kick-off goal.
Tierney is a bit like an old-fashioned central defender on defense. As the game develops, his center is screened on the blind side of the opposing central defender.
It seems that Manchester City has noticed this, and since he may be overcompensating and too close to Pablo Marie, Mahrez can maintain his width (he does a good job) and can stand freely in space to accept the transition of the game.
After the recent injury, perhaps Tierney has not fully mastered the latest technology. Perhaps that period as part of the last three points had an unprecedented impact on his position.
Maybe no one except Pepi Guardiola can see this effect.
3. De Bruyne’s back
no others. No need for witty words. It is great to see him come back to do what he does best: playing football.
After his comeback, he walked steadily for 63 minutes.
4. Changes in the arsenal lead to familiar problems
I wrote an article in early January about Arteta’s solution to Arsenal’s creativity problem, partly by moving Bukayo Saka from the left to the right.
At least from the eyes of Sam Allardyce, this allowed them to win three consecutive victories from the Christmas relegation battle, scoring 8 goals and rising to 11th place.
In fact, this move has spread the threat of Arsenal and the ability to pass the ball on the court instead of focusing everything on the bottom left-because when it comes to attacking, Saka and Tierney are their best Players.
Therefore, it is strange to see the couple here again starting from the bottom left together. It is not surprising to see a familiar problem surfaced.
In the first 45 minutes, Saka and Tierney reached the final with 17 passes. Among them, Pierre Emeric Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Martin Odegaard only won six.
The two are Arsenal’s main advantages in this regard. But when paired together, this makes the opponent’s life easier, because they know that if you stop moving to the left, you can almost prevent Arteta’s men from having an important offensive effect.
This encounter, especially in the first period, only provided further evidence.
5. Bernardo is back to his best
In Etihad’s first two years-City won back-to-back titles-Bernardo Silva performed well.
Week after week, he was one of Guardiola’s most trusted live lieutenants. His performance never fell below 7/10, but more often it was 8 or 9. He is an absolute suppression machine, mixed with his ridiculous talent for threading.
But last season, his performance was really good. Yes, Manchester City did it as a group, but he may have suffered more than anyone else. He has never really been injured-he played 52 games last semester, compared to 51 and 53 in the previous two years-but the situation is not exactly the same.
There is no doubt that he is now at his best. With slight touches and body turns, able to work in a narrow position, and then discover the ball that can open the entire game-everything appears again.
With Manchester City fighting for more domestic and European glory in the coming months, having the best Portuguese version may be critical.
6. Ruben as solid as a rock
Frankly speaking, Manchester City never really gave in.
They hardly gave up an opportunity worth describing as an opportunity. They have maintained Arsenal’s arms, and Ruben Diaz has once again been outstanding on defense.
He became an iconic figure not only because of his own abilities, but also because of what happened with him and John Stones.
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