Arsenal restarted their 2019/20 Premier League campaign in the worst possible manner, as Manchester City handed them a 3-0 defeat at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Arsenal did a good job of keeping Manchester City quiet early on and had Bernd Leno to thank for keeping the scoreline level on a few occasions, until substitute David Luiz committed a howler close to half-time, to allow Raheem Sterling to make it 1-0 in favour of the hosts.
Soon after the restart, Luiz once again handed City a goal on the platter, as he fouled Riyad Mahrez in the box, gifting a penalty and receiving a red card in the process. Kevin De Bruyne made no mistake from the spot as Pep Guardiola’s side eased their way through the rest of the game against ten men, before substitute Phil Foden added a third late on.
That's all from the Etihad.#MCIARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 17, 2020
Manager Mikel Arteta had a forgettable return to the Etihad on Wednesday. And here’s how we rated the performances of the Arsenal stars on the night.
Bernd Leno: 8/10
He may have let in three goals on the night but if not for Leno, the scoreline would have made for a much worse reading for Arsenal. Made a number of fine saves in the first half, tipping a free-kick from Kevin De Bruyne over the bar, before denying Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
Was beaten by Sterling on the cusp of half-time, and went the wrong way for the penalty, but did produce another fine stop to deny Sergio Aguero in the second period.
Hector Bellerin: 5/10
Back into the starting XI, the Spaniard struggled to contain the threat of Raheem Sterling, who constantly got the better of him and drifted into dangerous areas. Did not offer much in the attacking sense either. The fact that he got ninety minutes under his belt can be seen as a small positive, though.
Shkodran Mustafi: 6/10
The German international looked steady for most part and did not make any mistakes that hurt Arsenal. However, could have done better in the lead-up to City’s third goal.
Pablo Mari: N/A
Gave away a dangerous foul very early in the game. Twenty minutes into his first Premier League away appearance, the January signing went down with a hamstring injury and had to be taken off.
Kieran Tierney: 6/10
Back into the starting XI for the first time since December, the Scotsman fared decently upon his return. Looked sharp on the left side of the Arsenal defence, before moving into the centre after Luiz’s sending off. Looked competent in the makeshift role, although it must be said that City had pretty much taken their foot off the gas.
Matteo Guendouzi: 5/10
One of the few Arsenal players to show some energy and personality on the night. Ran himself into the ground chasing after the ball, but was outclassed by a superior Manchester City midfield unit. Subbed off after the hour mark having grown visibly tired.
Granit Xhaka: N/A
Rolled over his ankle just five minutes into the game and had to be stretchered off. Arsenal will be hoping that it is not as serious an injury as it appeared.
Joe Willock: 4/10
Anonymous for majority of the game. Didn’t offer any sort of creative presence in attack and was mostly left chasing after his City counterparts for large phases.
Bukayo Saka: 5/10
Shunted out on the right flank, apart from an early cross to Eddie Nketiah in the first period, the youngster offered little of note in terms of attacking output. Moved to left-back after Luiz was sent off.
Eddie Nketiah: 5.5/10
Once again picked ahead of Alexandre Lacazette as the lone striker, the youngster made a decent start to the game, getting in behind Eric Garcia on an occasion or two. But, Nketiah was left isolated for the majority of the game, more so after Luiz’s sending off.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 4/10
Anonymous. The Arsenal captain hardly got a look-in into the game as he was deprived of any sort of service from his teammates to feed upon on the night. Made only 22 touches during the game, which was the least among the Arsenal players to have played the ninety minutes. Only one of those came in the Manchester City box.
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Replaced the injured Xhaka very early in the game. Hardly made an impact. But did work hard to fill in the gaps at the back.
David Luiz: 1/10
The Brazilian came on to the field to replace the injured Pablo Mari in the 24th minute. Carrying on from his disastrous display in the friendly against Brentford, Luiz gifted City their first goal, as he failed to deal with a cross and instead ended up deflecting it into Sterling’s path, who made no mistake in converting it.
Got caught out early in the second half and ended up dragging down Riyad Mahrez inside the box, earning himself a red card and gifting City a penalty. Killed all the good work his teammates had done early in the game. One wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last time we saw him in Arsenal colours.
Alexandre Lacazette: 5/10
Thrown on in place of Nketiah in the 67th minute. Didn’t see much of the ball to make an impact after coming on.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 5/10
Replaced Guendouzi and slotted in his preferred central midfield role. Spent most of his time on the field chasing shadows.
Reiss Nelson: 4/10
Came on for Saka with a little over 20 minutes left to be played. Ineffective, let down by poor touches on more than one occasion.