In the battle of the two English giants, it was the side from London that prevailed as Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-2 in a thrilling encounter in Gothenburg.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for City as he lashed onto a magnificent ball played by Raheem Sterling. Arsenal pulled back in the second period through a goal from Alex Iwobi. Substitutes Chuba Akpom and Alex Iwobi added another two to give their side a comfortable two goal cushion. Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back for the Citizens, but it proved to be too little to late.
However, Arsene Wenger was infuriated at the final whistle as moments before the game concluded, defender Gabriel Paulista was stretchered off, adding to the Frenchman’s injury concerns.
Here are the Hard Tackle’s player ratings from a pulsating encounter:
Petr Cech: 4.5
Let in two goals and did not look comfortable against Aguero.
Hector Bellerin: 6.5
Offered a lot in the final third and was also decent defensively. The Spaniard has grown to become one of Arsenal’s best players.
Gabriel Paulista: 5
Did not look comfortable on the ball and was often bullied by the City attackers. Also, his injury late on added to Arsenal’s woes with two of their top centre backs set for lengthy spells on the sideline.
Rob Holding: 5.5
The new signing was good in the first half, but was below average in the second. Lost his focus on a number of occasions as he seemed a tad overwhelmed by the scenario.
Nacho Monreal: 6
Defended well for most of the game but could have done better to avoid the second goal from being conceded.
Francis Coquelin: 5.5
Looked a bit rash in the middle of the park. Apart from that, it was a fairly decent outing for the Frenchman.
Granit Xhaka: 7
Was good on the ball and controlled things from midfield. A good signing for Wenger’s side.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5
His topsy-turvy pre-season continued as he failed to impress against Manchester City. Rarely posed a threat to the opposing full-backs as he seemed content in playing the ball behind rather than beating Kolarov for pace.
Aaron Ramsey: 7
Did well in his rather unfamiliar number 10 position. Created a decent share of chances for Sanchez ahead.
Alex Iwobi: 7
The Nigerian youngster has been on a roll off late. He scored yet another goal in pre-season and his movement throughout the game was sublime.
Alexis Sanchez: 6
Was fairly average to say the least. Did not particularly impress but wasn’t shambolic either.
Willy Caballero: 5
Except from making one telling save, the reserve goalkeeper did not look impressive as he let three shots go past him.
Pablo Zabaleta: 4
Was caught off the pace by a younger and hungrier Iwobi. Provided very little going forward and was a liability at the back.
City’s machine was deployed as a centre half and impressed in his new role.
Aleksandar Kolarov: 5
Was also played out of position, but failed to deal with the pacey Arsenal attack. Was ball watching time and again as Sanchez and Iwobi ran circles around him.
Gael Clichy: 5
Was decent in the first half but had a torrid second period. Theo Walcott often got the better of the left-back.
Was a destroyer in midfield, and like his Brazzilian compatriot, he was one of the better players on the field for City.
Fabian Delph: 5
Looked a bit shaky but improved as the game wore on.
David Silva: 6
Lacking match fitness after a tiring Euro 2016 campign. Looked far from his usual self and hardly created anything for Aguero.
Raheem Sterling: 7
Played the assist for Aguero’s goal and was a constant threat down City’s right flank.
The new signing, much like Silva, still hasn’t recovered from the European Championships. Looked a tad lazy on occasions and his delivery into the box was also below par.
Sergio Aguero: 8.5
Was lively, energetic, deadly and pretty much his usual self in front of goal. Gave Gabriel and Holding a hard time in dealing with his presence.