The Gunners conceded the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute when Phil Foden was fumbled by Bernd Leno and Raheem Sterling hit the rebound past Arsenal’s German goalkeeper.
While manager Mikel Arteta will be disappointed to lose to the club he was deputy manager of for four years, he is likely also concerned about the club’s long-term miserable away results against the top six teams.
With Arsenal unable to win a game in the last 29 games of the top six teams, Arteta will have to find a solution to secure European qualification this season.
Football.London Take a look at some of the talking points of the Etihad Stadium defeat.
The subject of creativity strikes again
Thomas Partey was the deadline that Arsenal fans caused an explosion of happiness on social media.
The pursuit has been lengthy and there is no doubt that the Ghana international will add vital traits to the Gunners midfield, but it cannot be overlooked that Arteta also wanted to sign Houssem Aouar this summer.
The inability to create enough chances in the last third. The emptiness of a true creative player on the Arsenal team became clearer against City as Dani Ceballos struggled to get the game under control.
Some backers have called for Mesut Ozil’s return to the team, but there’s no chance it will happen anytime soon. Arteta and Unai Emery before him gave the German ample opportunity to turn things around, and it’s clear Arteta would prefer an aspiring academy player – a la Matt Smith in the FA Cup final – to the former Real Madrid man who turned 32 Years turned earlier in the week.
Aouar is a transfer that Arsenal will now have to wait patiently for. January seems financially tough but a move for the French next summer may be needed if the problem of creating opportunities in the final third is not resolved by then.
Bukayo Saka becomes one of the best
Saka made more appearances in the first half (3) than the entire Man City team combined (2) and seems to be getting better with every game he plays.
After making his England debut with teammate Ainsley Maitland-Niles in a 3-0 win over Wales, the 19-year-old would have returned to his national duties with confidence.
Wherever Saka plays on the pitch, he always delivers. Arsenal are missing a creative player in the final third and Saka’s brave run into the city half shows that no opponent worries him.
The inclusion in the 20-person shortlist for the coveted Golden Boy Award is just the beginning of a fruitful career for the amazing youngster.
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Unavoidable injury with a packed schedule list ahead
Rob Holding was dropped from the line-up late and replaced by David Luiz after suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-up.
Arteta’s squad face a busy schedule both domestically and in Europe, which means further injuries are inevitable later.
Pablo Mari is expected to return to training in the next 14 days, while Calum Chambers is also training again.
However, the perpetual nature of top-flight football means that squad rotation will be a crucial part of the squad’s fitness and health in the coming weeks and months.
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