Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City: Main Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Men Open 2022 With A Thriller

In what was the first Premier League contest of 2022, Arsenal and Manchester City certainly didn’t disappoint in what turned out to be a real thriller at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime.

While the Gunners might have taken a more than deserved 1-0 lead heading into the half-time break, it was Pep Guardiola’s defending champions who eventually snatched a last-gasp 2-1 victory in north London.


Briefly extending their buffer at the top of the table to double digits, the Sky Blues will undoubtedly look back on Saturday’s result if they’re able to make it back-to-back Premier League titles this season.

In a meeting that saw huge controversy at both ends of the Emirates pitch, we have taken a look at the key talking points.

City show all of their resolve

Watching both Liverpool and Chelsea drop points earlier in the week, there is no doubt that Manchester City would have made the trip to north London on Saturday looking to lay down another marker.

However, with Phil Foden forced to miss out and Jack Grealish having to settle for a spot on the bench, the Sky Blues really failed to get out of second-gear throughout the whole of the first-half.

Knowing that they were lucky to have not been chasing a heavier deficit when returning from the interval, Guardiola will be hugely proud of the character that his side showed in the second-half.

Watching on as Riyad Mahrez converted from the spot after Bernardo Silva was controversially brought down by Granit Xhaka seven minutes after the break, City will find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high as they just about dragged themselves over the finish line.

Sending Saturday’s traveling support into overdrive as Rodri managed to poke the ball past Aaron Ramsdale in the third minute of injury-time, Guardiola’s side were able to bag both their goals with their only two shots on target in north London.

Although questions will be asked about VAR and challenges at both ends of the pitch, City will not care one bit as they extend their Premier League winning run to 11 matches on the spin.

Huge positives in defeat for Arsenal

With the majority of Arsenal’s team falling to their knees at the full-time whistle, Saturday’s last-gasp defeat will be a real bitter pill for the Gunners to swallow.

Putting in a hugely impressive first-half display where they totally dominated the defending champions, fans around north London will be scratching their heads as to how they didn’t at least pick up a point.

With Head Coach Mikel Arteta having to watch on from home after returning a positive COVID-19 test earlier in the week, the New Year’s Day hosts will undoubtedly point their finger at some controversial decision from Stuart Attwell.

Not awarded their own first-half penalty as Martin Odegaard was brought down by Ederson in what looked like a clumsy challenge, Arsenal’s frustrations really reached a boiling point as VAR handed City a route back into the game.

With Attwell eventually deciding that Xhaka had dragged Silva to the ground minutes after the break, things were not made any easier for the Gunners as defender Gabriel was shown a pair of bookings from two petulant errors.

However, with Gabriel Martinelli missing a glorious chance seconds before Gabriel’s second yellow card, Arteta will be desperate to take the positives from Saturday’s display.

Can anyone stop the Sky Blues?

Not hampered by Bukayo Saka’s opener on the half-hour mark, the question will now be asked as to who can stop Manchester City from reclaiming their Premier League crown this season?

Watching Liverpool and Chelsea drop points earlier in the week, the Sky Blues’ last-gasp winner on Saturday means that they extended their top-flight winning run to 11 matchups on the bounce.

With Liverpool set on make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, Guardiola will know just how important it was for his side to collect maximum points on New Year’s Day.

At least briefly extending their buffer at the top of the table to 11 points, the former Bayern Munich boss will now be calling on his side to keep up their momentum in 2022.

Given a fortnight break from top-flight duties with an FA Cup meeting against League One side Swindon next weekend, City will be next seen on Premier League action when they welcome Chelsea to the Etihad on January 15th.

Match Report:

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, White, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Lazacezte

Subs: Elneny, Holding, Smith-Rowe

Manchester City: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Mahrez, Jesus

Subs: Gundogan

Goals: Arsenal: Saka 31′ – Manchester City: Mahrez (pen) 57′, Rodri 93′

Yellow Cards: Arsenal: Gabriel, Saka, Xhaka, Holding – Manchester City: Rodri, Silva

Red Cards: Gabriel

Referee: Stuart Attewell

Source of the article

Author: XenBet