Unai Emery takes positives from Arsenal's second-half display

Danny Woods
August 13, 2018

Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson provides the betting lowdown. Manchester City were sensational as they cruised to the title last season, amassing 100 points and smashing seemingly every possible record.

Another worry for Arsenal is that their left-back situation worsened when Ainsley Maitland-Niles hobbled off in the first half with a leg injury.

A first half goal from Raheem Sterling followed by an excellent left-footed strike by Bernardo Silva on 64 minutes sealed the victory for the reigning holders.

Sterling and Mendy outnumbered Bellerin on the right, with the French defender's cross picking out Silva, who cleverly peeled away from his marker Stephan Lichtsteiner to fire past the exposed Cech. Arsenal are likely to welcome another debutant, the feisty but creative Lucas Torreira, in their deepest role.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are in a new era following the appointment of Unai Emery as well as several new signings this summer.

Considering a 4-2-3-1 formation, Emery is set to go with a central defensive partnership of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.

The 27-year-old has struggled for regular football in recent times, either because of injury or the form of other players - with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan passing him in the pecking order.

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The City boss said: "If you judge the players in the World Cup if they score a goal or not..."

"We wanted to be professional, we wanted to make it serious like last season". Kyle Walker will overlap more for City than for England, where he was shifted inside into a back three.

Arsenal started well, pressing and harrying City, but Guardiola's men absorbed the early pressure and eased their way to ascendancy. Ederson, meanwhile, has a very long kick he's not afraid to showcase, despite City's focus on possession.

Gifting the ball to Arsenal late in the second half could have allowed the Gunners back into the game.

"We feel that we could have got something from the game", Cech told BBC Sport.

Arsenal should forget the fact that City won the league nearly flawlessly last season, and go into the game with the belief that they are beatable.

Unai Emery takes on Pep Guardiola's champions in his first game in charge of Arsenal. That said though this is still a tricky opener for the Champions. Manchester City are fresh on the back of a 2-0 win against Chelsea and will hope to carry that momentum going into the game against the Gunners.

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