Arsenal shut out Manchester City to make title statement

Arsenal hold Manchester City to a goalless draw at the Etihad in a disciplined defensive display. Analysis and reactions from both managers.

Arsenal shut out Manchester City to make title statement
Erling Haaland being closed down by William Saliba in Manchester City's goalless draw at the Etihad against Arsenal on Sunday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)


Arsenal proved a point at the Etihad on Sunday, staying compact and disciplined as they earned a valuable point in the title race.

The Gunners received a big boost with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Maghalaes all fit to start, while the hosts couldn’t call on John Stones and Kyle Walker due to injuries. A back four of center-backs—Manuel Akanji, Josko Gvardiol, Ruben Dias, and Nathan Ake—stepped up to the plate.

It was a cagey affair, with Manchester City dominating possession from start to finish, but it was Arsenal who had the best chances. Once again, Arsenal limited their opponents to only one shot on target, facing the fewest shots from Manchester City on the day—the fewest the hosts have managed at home all season.

It was also the first time Manchester City failed to score in a home game since 2021. With Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland circling the Arsenal area, the Gunners defended as a unit and nullified every move the City men threw at them, leaving a frustrated Pep Guardiola heaping praise on the Arsenal defense.

"Kill someone," he said. "Play with nine. They defend well and a lot, surrounding Erling [Haaland]. They defended well with a lot of people. There are different ways. They did well with the press and then after the block. The main target is not to concede, and they did it. We didn't create much, but our intention was there."

Mikel Arteta was proud of his boys and how they defended and maintained a great shape out of possession. He alluded to the fact that his team could have scored, but he will take the point, which keeps Liverpool on top but with Arsenal behind by two points.

"You want to win the game; you prepare to win it, but if you cannot win it, make sure you draw it," Arteta said. "We did that. Eleven months ago, we were here, and the story was very different. You have to take steps as a team, and today we've done that. We still have many more to come.

"It shows you the commitment of every player, the discipline they showed, and how they compete. One thing is to play a football match, and another is to compete in it. Today we did that well." Arsenal will now go on to face Luton in midweek before a trip to Brighton at the weekend.

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: Arsenal shut out Manchester City to make title statement
Arsenal shut out Manchester City to make title statement
Arsenal hold Manchester City to a goalless draw at the Etihad in a disciplined defensive display. Analysis and reactions from both managers.
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