Man City derail Arsenal
Written By: Robert Halter
New Arsenal head coach, Unai Emery took charge of his first competitive match at the Emirates Stadium against Pep Guardiola’s Premier League Champions Manchester City, who had won the last seven of their opening day fixtures. In the second minute, Aaron Ramsey struck a right footed shot from outside the box which was stopped by Ederson, following a headed pass by the Gunners debutant, Sokratis Papastathopoulos. In the eighth minute, from an incisive pass by Riyad Mahrez, a low drive on the right side of the penalty area by Kyle Walker, was parried behind from Petr Cech. A minute later through a Mahrez throw in, a touch on by Sergio Aguero, put through Raheeem Sterling, who cut inside from the left, before Cech made a near post block. The Citizens pressure paid off, as they got the breakthrough in the fourteenth minute, when Benjamin Mendy opened up the room for Sterling, who struck his effort through a packed Arsenal defence, with a measured finish to the bottom right corner, past a lemon footed Cech. On the next occasion, Sterling combined with Mendy, whose low drive from the left deflected off Mesut Ozil, before Cecg, kept the ball out at the bottom of his near post. In the twenty first minute, from an over the top ball by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, pushing forward into the area, Hector Bellerin, brought out a save from Ederson, who parried the ball away. But City pressed again instantly, as Sterling slid a pass through to Aguero, who found the outside netting of the left post. Midway through the first half, from a back pass by Arsenal new boy, Matteo Guendouzi, a sliced miss kick by Cech, nearly went into his own net. After a bookable offence by Sokratis, who brought down Aguero, on the edge of the d, Mahrez then drove in a low free kick, which Cech got his hands to before blocking with his leg, the follow up effort from Aymeric Laporte, in the twenty eighth minute. After falling uncomfortably from a challenge by Walker, it left Maitland-Niles, requiring treatment, and he was soon replaced by recent signing, Stephan Lichtsteiner. On forty two minutes, from a ball across by Aguero, a strike from Mahrez, was bent narrowly past the left post. Just before the break, a looping delivery from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, was struck with power by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as he smashed the ball into the advertising boards behind the goal. In the fiftieth minute, following an assist by Fernandinho, a strike from Mendy cannoned back off Bellerin and Sokratis, before the rebound was blazed over by Aguero. Another change was made by Arsenal when Alexandre Lacazette took the place of Ramsey. On fifty six minutes, Lacazette, turned the ball wide of the right upright, after being found from Aubameyang’s delivery. Before he could take a corner, Mahrez was taken off for Kevin De Bruyne. Following a long ball forward by John Stones, the ball went over Guendozi, and after racing through, Aguero’s strike from close range was pushed away by Cech, in the sixty third minute. But within sixty seconds, the writing was on the wall, as Mendy whipped a cross over to Bernardo Silva, who riffled a strike into the top left corner. In a final change by the Gunners, Granit Xhaka was taken off for debutant, Lucas Torreira. When Arsenal did find the net, Aubameyang’s lob over Ederson, was ruled offside, after a ball over from Torreira. The Citizens soon brought on Gabriel Jesus for Aguero. Near the end, Aubameyang’s threaded pass, found Ozil, in an offside position, as the flag was raised before his strike found the net. A brief appearance was given to Leroy Sane, who took over from Sterling. In the eight seventh minute, Sane dragged a shot wide to the left, after collecting the ball from De Bruyne. In stoppage time, Lacazette ballooned the ball over, after a low cross by Mkhitaryan. But the final word went to City, as De Bruyne whizzed over a bullet off his right peg that Cech put over with his finger tips, through a Sane assist before the Citizens ceased a 2-0 win over the Gunners to start the season in style.