Manc city 1-0 Arsenal: Arteta's conservative approach costs Arsenal against Guardiola's men at the Etihad
|Ederson saves brilliantly from Pierre Emerick Aubameyang enroute his 53rd clean sheet|
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Arsenal started the Guardiola-Arteta derby right above the Citizens for the first time in four seasons and for the opening half didn’t look like they want to remain above.
Mikel Arteta strangely left deadline day signing, Thomas Partey on the bench as well as leading goal scorer, Alexander Lacazette, leaving Aubameyang upfront, flanked by Nicolas Pepe and Willian.
The opening half was all City, Arsenal defended deep but were always suspect with David Luiz on the right side of a back three.
The Brazilian originally was named on the bench but a late injury to Rob Holding forced the change.
Mahrez danced through in the opening minutes but his effort went too high, Sergio Aguero was limited to touches outside and Phil Foden wasn’t given room to create.
It was a matter of time however, the pressure told on Arsenal, with 23 minutes on the clock.
Phil Foden’s low shot was parried onto the path of Raheem Sterling and with a huge sense of appreciation, the England forward picked his spot with only Gabriel to beat.
From there on, it felt like City would go on to destroy Arsenal with a barrage of attacks time after time but Leno was up to it to deny Foden, Sterling and Mahrez consecutively.
Late on, Arsenal grew into the game, Bukayo Saka thought he had scored when he neatly exchanged with Aubameyang but Ederson stood firm.
It was Aubameyang’s turn to be denied by the Brazilian shot stopper moments later, flag went up but VAR would have called it back with the Gabonese striker level at the time he moved.
Arsenal came out firing in the second half and you’ll wonder how Pep Guardiola feels about Mikel Arteta’s defensive approach in the first half after spending three and half years with him in the dugout doing just one thing, attacking.
Arsenal had chances but the Citizens won’t bulge, there were signs of fear of conceding with Guardiola making defensive changes, Gundogan replaced Aguero and Fernandinho came on for Foden.
The clean sheet was the 53rd that Ederson would keep in his time in England so far, 15 more than anyone else within that period.
Arsenal dropped to 5th following Liverpool’s point at Everton and City can now usurp them should they win their outstanding game.