After his first game in charge of the Gunners, Emery was defeated by Guardiola’s side in a 2-0 loss with goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.
The starting lineup saw Petr Cech start ahead of the newly acquired Bernd Leno. 19 year-old midfielder Matteo Guendouzi started alongside the Swiss international Granit Xhaka. The selected eleven saw that both Lucas Torreira and Alexandre Lacazette missed out on starting the season opener.
From the start you could instantly recognise a different style of play in comparison to the style under Arsene Wenger. This is mainly due to Emery’s initiative of playing it out from the back and his pressing system. City dominated Arsenal for much of the game but the Gunners showed glimpses shortly after half time with the score only 1-0.
Both goals demonstrated moments of defensive weakness but also displayed the quality that Guardiola has at his disposal. Arsenal created very few chances, mainly due to being unable to involve creative players such as Ozil or Mkhitaryan. The build up looked predictable, players went missing and the team lacked width. This game truly demonstrated the lack of a true winger within the side.
The game was lost in the midfield with the unit looking disjointed from the rest of the team, City dictated the play with ease even without the likes of De Bruyne and David Silva. Guendouzi looked isolated in the midfield, Xhaka was ineffective throughout and Ramsey appeared to be playing as a striker most of the game.
There were a few positives from the game, for one Emery clearly has a direction of where he wants to take the side but it requires time for adaptation. Torreira and Lacazette immediately elevated the side the second they came on. Guendouzi was thrown in against the title holders and showed that he could hold his own at times.
The key for fans now is not to panic and to remember: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.
Cech(6), Bellerin(5), Sokratis(5), Mustafi(6), Maitland-Niles(4), Xhaka(3), Guendouzi(5), Mkhitaryan(4), Ozil(4), Ramsey(4), Aubameyang(4) / Lichsteiner(6), Lacazette(5), Torreira(5)
By Jayden Kydd