Arsenal host Manchester City following a demoralizing Carabao Cup final which set the Arsenal fans ablaze with anger, sadness, and over-reactions. Reports of Arsene Wenger’s job security have never been so bleak according to some sources (spoiler alert: they didn’t look better after today).
There were a handful of predictions about what players would face City today. When the lineup came out, I don’t think anyone predicted Aubameyang and Welbeck teaming up at the top of the formation.
Arsenal also moved back to a four man defense, with Chambers giving way for an additional midfielder/winger in Mkhitaryan. Kolasinac gets the start with Monreal facing a back issue at the LWB.
Arsenal fans were quick to point out that Wilshere was nowhere to be seen on the bench or starting XI. The team confirmed he was out with a slight ankle knock after the uproar from the fan base inquiring his whereabouts. Good luck on getting healthy again, Jack.
Manchester City, looked a bit different than they did on Sunday in the final. Ederson takes Bravo’s spot in goal, while Bernardo Silva takes the spot of an injured Fernandinho. Without their Brazilian defensive-midfield enforcer, it was a chance for Arsenal to punish City on the counter and use the middle-third of the pitch effectively.
Can you think of a better time to take all three points from the Premier League leaders (and likely champions)? Well, I hope so, because it was ugly at the Emirates tonight.
Arsenal showed some fight, but at the end of the day, they got absolutely demolished by a rampant City attack.
Arsenal looked alright for the opening 15 minutes and appeared to be on the front foot, but that ended with a nice strike from Bernardo Silva off of a Sane run. The Portuguese international hit a nice curler that beat an off-line Petr Cech for the opening goal.
The second goal I would argue that it was 1⁄4 good football and 3⁄4 mid-table defending, something Arsenal have become known for. Sane took it out wide, makes a nice run to delete his compatriot Mustafi back to Germany, and sends it in to Aguero at the top of the box. City’s all-time leading scorer turned to provider, and gave David Silva quite a ball. The Spaniard took a touch and [easily] made Hector Bellerin miss, as he slotted it home and doubled the lead.
Did it end there? Hell no it didn’t.
A beautifully developed counter from City started with Aguero at the mid-way line. That followed with some tiki-taka moves with passing to De Bruyne, then out wide to Walker, who sent it across the 18 to Sane, who dribbled it into the goal as Cech was sent the wrong way. The quality was there from City, but it was shambolic defending. Arsenal looked out-classed. Boos rained down on the pitch, and rightfully so.
Here is a look at the xG at the end of the half.
Arsenal vs Manchester City xG pic.twitter.com/p1soLpa0Yv— Scott Willis (@oh_that_crab) March 1, 2018
This will be short and to the point.
A penalty call in the 51st minute gave life to the Arsenal.
Mkhitaryan was taken down by a kick into the back of the leg to Mkhitaryan. Aubameyang stepped up to the spot in hopes of his second Premier League goal. However, this was never meant to be Arsenal’s night. The striker’s penalty was parried by Ederson, and added to the humility the first half ended with.
The rest of the second half was filled with no substitutes and a home embarrassment. WhoScored ratings don’t always tell the tale, but let us just use it as just one of many tools to show how badly Arsenal got destroyed if you didn’t see the game.
In my opinion, the second half does not deserve much more substance in this recap.
Arsenal were embarrassed again. The game was not as much about City, as much as it was about how out of their league Arsenal are at the moment. This game represented a 9-1 aggregate score in our 3 games against City this season. 6-0 was the score difference in just 4 days between these sides. Arsenal consistently fought against top sides in Europe in recent years, and some large losses never detracted from being a good side on their day.
But at this point, can we truly be sure that we can even compete with some of the Champions League teams? One win against the top six. The only chance at a Champions League birth realistically being in a second-rate tournament where we just lost to Ostersunds at home 2-1 as we scampered through to the round of 16 like a wounded animal.
This is sickening to anyone who has supported the club through the years. A look at Mesut after the game says a lot.
It is time for someone to be held accountable for this horrific demise. A once feared European power has now become a punching bag and meme factory for the rest of the world. These are player’s that have won world cups, been labeled as world class, and played well at the highest level for other clubs. Psychologically the team has stumbled to the bottom, and if you are not seeing a reason to fire Wenger, please talk about it in the comment section.
Here is a quote telling you what level of mediocrity we have achieved, as Wenger hails our physicality in a 3-0 ass-kicking:
Wenger: “I felt it was a game of top physical intensity. We produced our most physical game of the season and City did as well.”— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) March 1, 2018
And finally, I leave you with this: