Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal: 3 Reasons why the Gunners lost at the Etihad
Arsenal were soundly beaten 3-1 in a lop-sided encounter at the Etihad Stadium.
The Gunners got off to the worst possible start as they found themselves behind within the first minute. After clearing the initial danger, a moment of indecision by Iwobi allowed Laporte to whip in a delicious cross for Aguero to prod home.
Arsenal though fought back courtesy their captain, Koscielny. A clever near-post flick left the Frenchman with the easy task of nodding home from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors seemed to have settled in after the leveller yet they were undone minutes before half-time by a sublime team goal. Gundogan’s delicate chip released Sterling who squared the ball for Aguero to score his second.
In the second half, Manchester City completely dominated Arsenal and put the game to bed in the 61st minute courtesy their talismanic striker, Aguero.
The defeat, coupled with Chelsea and Manchester United’s successes, meant that the Gunners slipped out of the top five for the first time in quite a while.
Here is a look at three reasons why Arsenal fell prey to the defending champions:
#3 Arsenal lose the battle on the wings
Unai Emery sprung a surprise yet again (maybe not that surprising anymore). The Spaniard decided to play Kolasinac and Monreal together with the former functioning as a left-sided midfielder.
On the other flank, Emery opted for Iwobi with the Nigerian’s better defensive work rate tilting the odds in his favour. The thinking behind such a decision was clear: Emery wanted Arsenal to nullify City’s threat on the flanks and not get outnumbered.
Yet, all of City’s goals came from crosses down the left wing with Sterling bagging a couple of assists and Laporte too chipping in.
Time and again, Kolasinac let players run in behind him and Iwobi didn’t fare any better. Moreover, the latter could be held culpable for the first and third goals City scored.
In addition, Arsenal couldn’t create anything worthwhile in the wide areas and were pinned back by their opposite numbers for the majority of the game.
Travelling to City represents one of the most daunting tasks on the Premier League calendar. Though Emery developed a decent enough blueprint to outsmart the Cityzens, his players just couldn’t pull it off.
The only positive for Arsenal though would be that they don’t have to face City anymore this season.