Guardiola Edges out Arteta in the battle of tactics as City beat Arsenal

VIACliff Riang'a
Written By: Cliff Riang'a
56

In a top of the billing clash pitting the apprentice against his master, Pep Guardiola emerged top of the tactical battle as Manchester City beat Arsenal.

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The home team were first off the woods as Riyad Mahrez rounded off Kieran Tierney to deliver a perfect cross to Sergio Aguero who flicked it over the bar.

Midway through the first half Raheem Sterling benefitted off a rebound to stab it in the bottom left corner to give Manchester City the lead.

Arsenal responded immediately when teenager Bukayo Saka skipped past Rodri on the edge of the box and unleashed a thunderous shot that goalkeeper Ederson repelled for a corner.

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For all their dominance, City owed their better chances to Arsenal suicidal play, which they failed to capitalize on and, grow their lead as Phil Foden wasted two glorious opportunities.

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Bukayo Saka continued being a thorn in the flesh for the city defence and could have levelled scores were it not for the brilliant Ederson.

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Arsenal finished the half stronger and had shouts of a penalty as Kyle Walker played a high boot to the head of Gabriel but referee Chris Kavanagh ignored their pleas.

The Gunners started the second half from where they had left as Nicholas Pepe rose high to meet Aubemayang’s cross that goalkeeper handled nicely.

As the game grew on both sides resorted to a tactical approach that limited goalmouth action in attack.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta made a double substitution with 10 minutes to go as he introduced deadline day signing Thomas Partey alongside Nketiah.

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There wasn’t to be a dream debut though as City managed to see the game out. Manager Arteta and Arsenal would have felt that they deserved a point on the balance of probability but the footballing gods seemed to have deserted them.

The match winner and captain of the day, Raheem Sterling was pleased with his and team’s performance saying: “This result will give us a leap of confidence going into the next game.”

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