Well, that was a tough one to stomach. Manchester City take all 3 points at the Etihad in a match that had you pull your hair out as an Arsenal fan. I suppose there have been a few of those already and it is only November.
Arsenal get a much needed international break that they can use to get Chambers, Welbeck, and Mustafi back to full fitness. Spurs at home is the next fixture, and Arsenal need all 3 points at home in that one on the 18th to stay relevant moving forward.
How It Happened
Arsenal started the game with Coquelin playing in a position of center half. It seemed peculiar, but reports of Per out due to illness and no Rob Holding on the bench, there were little options for Wenger. Lacazette was inexplicably on the bench to begin the game as well, which left us all scratching our heads as Iwobi got the nod.
Magic from De Bruyne on a 1-2 with Fernandinho saw the home team take the first goal. It was a nice goal from KDB as he slotted is to the lower left corner. Cech got a finger to it, but that wasn’t stopping the Belgian from scoring the 50th Manchester City goal. They reach that milestone impressively on the 4th day of November.
There's no stopping @DeBruyneKev! #MCIARS pic.twitter.com/Lxurj2rRo0— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 5, 2017
Arsenal went into the break with a single shot on goal from Aaron Ramsey, coming about 20 seconds before the half time whistle.
The start of the second half was rough, Sterling was brought down by Monreal that left Arsenal Twitter arguing about whether or not the call was justified or not. In this writer’s opinion, if that was Arsenal being fouled like that, I would want the penalty called. Aguero slotted in home off the post as Cech dove the wrong way (again). Aguero got a goal on a day a guard of honor welcomed him to the pitch as City’s most prolific goal scorer.
Down 2-0, Coquelin gave way to Lacazette. Laca made an instant impact as a nice ball from Ramsey assisted the Frenchman’s 6th Premier League goal of the season. Putting the ball between Ederson’s legs left Arsenal in a great position to mount a comeback down 2-1.
Straight through the legs of the goalkeeper! #MCIARS pic.twitter.com/Z6xP4YMQB4— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 5, 2017
Then came the worst part 9 minutes later. A scandalous no call on an offside Silva put Arsenal down 3-1. Admittedly, Arsenal stopped playing which saw Silva assist Jesus for a third.
It was inexplicable that an experienced Arsenal back line was protesting the offside rather than defending, but it was horrific refereeing that put them there in the first place. Silva was offside. Period. Arsenal were then out of contention for the final 15 minutes.
Arsenal showed resilience and fight for as long as they could muster.
Ramsey looked good again in the midfield, as he was a box to box engine for all 90 minutes. Lacazette had that immediate impact and provided creativity that made you question why he wasn’t included in the starting XI.
I maybe alone in this one. But Coquelin, outside a bad moment where he dribbled into our own corner under pressure and booted it out of bounds, made some good tackles and had a decent game. He didn’t have an amazing game, but after Thursday he played better than we all expected. Still don’t think he should’ve gotten the start, but give credit where credit is due.
Let us start with the front 3.
Alexis was dreadful today, losing possession for Arsenal 15 times in the first half alone. He was dispossessed dribbling 7 times throughout the game, leaving poor passing as the other reason he couldn’t put a foot right. With the rumors of City transfers looming in January, questions could be asked about him getting into the first team after that performance today.
Iwobi looked like a bystander most of the time. Other than a shot that Ederson bobbled but eventually recovered, I forgot he was on the pitch. A sub could’ve been made much earlier as the Nigerian struggled to create a presence for his 75 minute cap.
Ozil didn’t have a phenomenal game either, but he still was the best of a poor front 3. A low passing accuracy (81%) from the most lethal target man in the Premier League really hurt the team. Hopefully he can take the international break and comeback for a big tie against Spurs.
The back line.
Monreal has been a rock at the back all year, but his challenge on Sterling that resulted in a penalty put Arsenal in a bad spot for the remaining 43 minutes. He played well other than that, stopping a very scary City attacking core. Koscielny did well to assist with the WB’s playing a deeper role than normal, but it just wasn’t enough from Arsenal to get a decent result today. It needed more.
A much needed international break will hopefully bring a new energy back and get us in a competitive spot to challenge the top 4.