Arsenal’s away woes continued in the Premier League as Manchester City enjoyed a 3-1 win over them at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday
The Gunners started the match strongly, dealing with the threat of the Manchester City attack in commendable fashion, although they could have conceded two goals early on. But, their resistance was broken in the 19th minute, when Kevin De Bruyne found the back of the net after playing a nice one-two with Fernandinho.
The hosts continued dominating the proceedings thereafter, although Arsenal came the closest to finding the back of the net in the first half, when Aaron Ramsey’s shot was saved by Ederson. Post the break though, the Citizens doubled their lead almost instantly, when Raheem Sterling was brought down by Nacho Monreal in the Arsenal box.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 5, 2017
Sergio Aguero took the resulting penalty, making no mistake to convert from the spot to continue a memorable week. Alexandre Lacazette came on before the hour mark, before scoring from a fine finish to give the visitors a glimmer of hope in the last quarter of the game.
But, the comeback hopes were dashed in controversial fashion 16 minutes from time, when Gabriel Jesus finished cleanly from close range, although David Silva was offside in the buildup to the goal. Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola’s men claimed the win and all three points.
Arsenal, though, have now won just one of their six Premier League away games this season, and have fallen 12 points behind the league leaders. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Arsene Wenger’s men after another disappointing result on the road.
Petr Cech: 6/10
The scoreline may not have painted him in glory, but Cech was superb on Sunday for Arsenal. In the lead up to De Bruyne’s goal, Cech had made a fine save before being beaten by an inch perfect shot by the Belgian.
Petr Cech continues his record of never saving a penalty for Arsenal in any competition.
13 conceded pic.twitter.com/laRPdEy0JZ
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) November 5, 2017
He then reacted brilliantly to keep the ball out of his net when Laurent Koscielny had directed it towards him. But, the Czech goalkeeper was not at fault for any of the goals and should, in fact, be credited for keeping the score line much more respectable for his side.
Hector Bellerin: 6.5/10
On a day when Arsenal made little impact in the final third, Bellerin always posed a threat around the Manchester City box, albeit without the end product, like many of his teammates. At the back, though, the Spaniard gave a good account of himself, neutralising the threat of Leroy Sane for the most part.
Laurent Koscielny: 6.5/10
Another defender who stood strong to the threats posed by the rampaging City attack. Koscielny used all of his experience to negate Sergio Aguero & co. to the best of his abilities, and did so for the most part.
But, he did have two moments to forget in the match, first when Cech spared him the blushes to prevent an own goal, and second when De Bruyne scored his goal, as the Frenchman could have closed him down better. All in all, though, it was a solid outing by the Arsenal skipper, who could have done with better support from the next man.
Nacho Monreal: 5/10
That next man was Nacho Monreal. Affectionately called as Arsenal’s Mr. Reliable, the Spaniard turned in his worst performance of the season as he struggled to deal with the pace and trickery of Raheem Sterling.
The one moment when he perhaps did get the better of the Englishman, he was contentiously penalised. Uncharacteristically, Monreal also got caught out of position on a number of occasions, and this was an outing that he would like to forget soon.
Sead Kolasinac: 5/10
The entire Arsenal fanbase would have heaved a collective sigh of relief when the Bosnian’s name was announced on the team sheet. But, it was a rare poor showing from Kolasinac, who looked out of sorts defensively, while creating little impact in the final third.
He also played his part in Arsenal conceding the first goal when he gave away the possession, and was also lucky to not give away a penalty when he pushed Sterling in the first half. An underwhelming performance, and it’s unfortunate that such an outing came in such a big game.
Aaron Ramsey: 7/10
Aaron Ramsey this season so far:
One of the few positives from a terrible season so far. pic.twitter.com/Kk7J7KOHg0
— Lets Talk Arsenal (@ltarsenal) November 5, 2017
Ramsey was surprisingly Arsenal’s best attacking outlet on the day, despite the presence of stalwarts like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. The Welshman always looked to make things happen, and came the closest to scoring for his side in the first half.
He then created Alexandre Lacazette’s goal that brought back slim hopes of getting a positive result. But, that was it from the Gunners, although Ramsey should hold his head up high after his performance on Sunday.
Francis Coquelin: 6/10
A surprise starter for many, and it was an even bigger shock to see him play at the heart of the back-three on the day. The Frenchman was shaky and nervy to begin with, but he justified Arsene Wenger’s decision to pick him as Coquelin made good use of his mobility while also putting in some perfectly timed tackles.
In a position that was completely alien to him, he fit himself well, although he couldn’t even last an hour as Arsenal looked to get back into the game by adopting a more attacking look.
Granit Xhaka: 6/10
Xhaka was a steady customer on the ball as he kept things ticking with his crisp passing. But, the incision was missing in his passing as failed to create many chances in the game. More importantly though, the Swiss was overrun in midfield and he was often rendered a passenger in the game.
Mesut Ozil: 5.5/10
Mesut Ozil failed to create a single chance against Man City. He also failed with all three of his crosses and completed just one take-on. pic.twitter.com/BUhABuqFdT
— ReviewFootball (@ReviewFootball) November 5, 2017
Coming off a stellar performance in Arsenal’s previous away game, Ozil was unable to replicate the impact against Manchester City. In fact, the German playmaker failed to create a single chance in the game, and his frustrations were visible as the game wore on as he ended the match with a series of rash challenges.
Alex Iwobi: 5/10
Preferred over Alexandre Lacazette due to his work rate and mobility, Iwobi failed to justify his selection. The Nigerian offered very little in the final third while also losing possession several times. With Lacazette coming on to much success later in the game, fans were left scratching their heads about Wenger’s selection policy.
Alexis Sanchez: 5/10
He was one of the most discussed about players heading into the match, following his links with the hosts on Sunday. But Sanchez played as if his heart was already set to play as a Manchester City player. In the first half, the Chilean lost possession a staggering 15 times, and failed to create anything of sort on the day.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 5, 2017
On for the last half an hour, Lacazette created the most impact of all the Arsenal’s players in the game. The Frenchman pulled one back for his side, and constantly got into dangerous positions even when the game seemed lost.
Jack Wilshere: N/A
Replaced Iwobi with a little over ten minutes to go, but the Englishman could not do much in his cameo.
Olivier Giroud: N/A
Came on to reduce the deficit and give his side another glimmer of hope, Giroud didn’t receive much support to do anything.