Early Goal Condemns Gunners to Defeat as Pep Guardiola Enjoys Narrow Win

Arsenal 0-1 Man City

All that was needed to hit Arsenal with a narrow defeat against Manchester City On Super Sunday was a second-minute Raheem Sterling goal.

After using the same team in our two most recent games, the boss tweaked the team by introducing Kieran Tierney following his injury recovery. Other inclusions were Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny as Dani Ceballos, David Luiz, Gabriel, Emile Smith Rowe and Cedric dropped off the starting squad.

Pep Guardiola's side had not dropped a single point from their last seventeen games in all competitions. No wonder they made us look spineless from kick-off. Their control of the game paid off almost immediately as Sterling headed in a cross from Mahrez.

Holding was at the right place with the right tact to hinder Sterling from doubling the visitor's lead shortly after the opener.

There was still enough time on the clock for either of the teams to cook up something but it seemed like only City had come to the pitch with their boots. They took a greater chunk of possession in the first ten minutes coupled with four shots to their name. All these period, Arsenal were so quiet.

We later got some spark especially with the combination of Tierney and Saka down the left flank. The duo troubled the league leaders with repeated run-ins plus crosses that were well dealt with most of the time. One of such occasions saw Tierney cut in for Saka to take a shot which was obstructed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Our performance from after the early minute of the opening half was taken into the next. Saka once again got his shot blocked while in the opposite direction, Bernd Leno denied IIkay Gundogan. Man City resumed dominance although we were able to keep off any danger that could come from their end and as we proceeded, we almost got a breakthrough when Ederson's attempted clearance from a blunderous Cancelo backpass  got to Elneny who without hesitation hit it wide.

Ceballos, Luiz, Emile Smith Rowe and Alexandre Lacazette featured as substitutes in an encounter that had just one goal separating the two sides. It ended Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City.

The battle for qualification to the last-16 of the Europa League continues via the second leg which will be staged in Athens, Greece this Thursday. It is a home game which will not take place at the Emirates Stadium but at a neutral ground as a result of COVID travel restrictions in some European regions.

In the first leg in Rome last week, Arsenal were able to come from behing to get an away goal against Benfica, giving them the advantage from that 1-1 draw.

We follow that with a Premier League appearance at the Liberty Stadium of Leicester at noon on Sunday.

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