Arsenal had the chance to make a statement; instead, they handed the game on a platter to Manchester City who with the win moved back to second spot.
Arsenal seemed to be destined towards a heavy defeat right from the moment they conceded the opening goal under the first 45 seconds. Sergio Aguero finished off a good pass and headed into the bottom left corner. The visitors though, duly responded with a brilliant set-piece routine with Laurent Koscielny scoring the equaliser to bring the game back to life.
Upon coming back to level terms, the Gunners put in a good shift and created a few decent chances until Aguero made it 2-1 just before the break. The second half started like the first, with City dominating proceedings.
The only difference between both halves was that in the second period, the Premier League champions gave Arsenal absolutely no chance to do anything notable, including stopping the Gunners from making a single attempt on goal.
Aguero then rounded off a memorable evening, as he netted a scruffy goal that seemed to go off his arm to complete his hat-trick and end any lingering hopes that Arsenal might have been hanging on to.
In the end, this would not have gone well with the fans, as they surely would have expected a fight from their team to end their recent miserable run against Manchester City. Instead, Arsenal miserably failed and handed the game on a platter, which will be a bitter blow in their race for a top four spot. Here’s how Arsenal’s players fared on the day.
Bernd Leno: 7/10
From a personal standpoint Leno had a brilliant game. In fact, he made the difference in what would have otherwise been a mauling. The German made some excellent saves despite much desperation shown due to an inept defence.
Stephan Lichtsteiner: 2/10
Horrible performance from Lichtsteiner, who was exposed time and again by the Manchester City attack. This time, however, it was not just for his pace, but also for his lack of awareness, bad positioning and terrible decision making. His worst performance to date in an Arsenal shirt, one of the worst of his career as well.
Shkodran Mustafi: 4/10
Not his best game, but that is what the pattern has been for Mustafi lately. All three Manchester City goals came from his side of the pitch and although he showed some decent fight at times, like most of Arsenal’s defenders on the evening, he was terrible as well.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10
Much like Leno, Koscielny was a savior for the most part of the game and ensured Arsenal did not concede more than they did. Scored the only goal for his side as well, which kept the visitors in the game till the moment Aguero completed his hat-trick.
Nacho Monreal: 5/10
Monreal did not fare badly, per se. But like much of the entire Arsenal defensive unit, he needs to improve as well. The Spaniard often left Bernardo Silva open, which only added to the pressure on the backline. Apart from that, he was largely solid, with most of the attacks flowing down the opposite flank.
Matteo Guendouzi: 7.5/10
Like Torreira, Guendouzi was outstanding; in fact, he was better. The Frenchamn was instrumental in controlling the midfield in the first half and provided a positive impact on his team. Man of the match from an Arsenal perspective.
Lucas Torreira: 7/10
Arsenal’s central midfielders stood their ground and produced a fantastic performance all throughout the game. Torreira, in particular, was everywhere, breaking up plays and trying to move the ball forward as much as he could. The problem was that nothing was happening around the other areas.
Sead Kolasinac: 6/10
Kolasinac had a good game from the left side of the midfield. The Bosnian combined very well with Monreal, and he was on hand to get forward whenever the opportunity arose. Overall he was good, but could not do much to sway the result in the favour of his side.
Alex Iwobi: 2/10
A disastrous match for Iwobi to begin with. Was the main culprit in City’s opening goal, losing the ball right at the edge of the Arsenal box. He was tasked with helping Lichtsteiner on the right flank, and ironically all three goals came from that side. In attack, he did absolutely nothing.
Alexandre Lacazette: 5/10
On the one hand, it looked like a subdued performance from Arsenal’s forwards. But, the reality is that to do something from the front there needed to be chances created for them, and there were none. Lacazette tried hard till a period, and then faded away like the rest of the team.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 5/10
Like Lacazette, Aubameyang too was the victim of a lack of creativity from his teammates and got no service. Cannot really blame the strikers on this one, but the star striker did try at times to make things happen on his own.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10
Came on during the second half and tried to make things happen, although the general vibe from his teammates was that of a lost cause.
Denis Suarez: 5.5/10
Not a debut he’d want to remember for long. Came on midway through the second half but it was clear that he needs time to acclimatise to his new surroundings.
Dinos Mavropanos: N/A
The only consolation for Arsenal fans was that they have another defender who is match fit.