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Delightful De Bruyne Sees City Cruise Past Arsenal

Manchester City hosted Arsenal at the Etihad (Emptihad) Stadium for the Premier League’s second match post-restart. City were sporting special kits to raise awareness for the Cityzens Giving for Recovery. Arsenal were also sporting special #BlackLivesMatter kits.

City had the first chance in the 3rd minute, when De Bruyne forced Leno to tip his free-kick over the bar.

A minute later, Xhaka picked up a really unfortunate injury, and he had to be stretchered off.

Then, in the 37th minute, De Bruyne found Mahrez all alone 8 yards away from goal, but Leno rushed out and deprived the Algerian of a real chance.

A minute later, De Bruyne replicated the pass, this time for Sterling, but his chip went too high.

Just before half-time, David Luiz messed up his block after a Kevin De Bruyne pass, and Sterling was there to smash it home.

4 minutes after half-time, Luiz brought Mahrez down in the box. That saw him sent off, and gifted City a penalty, which De Bruyne dispatched.

After that, it was all City. However, in the 80th minute, Ederson went clattering into Garcia, and flattened the youngster. After a lengthy delay, he was stretchered off, and City were down to 10 men.

In the 91st minute, Sterling and Agüero linked up to send the Argentine through on goal, but Leno tipped his effort onto the post. Foden was there to follow up though, and he found the empty net.

So, it ended 3-0 to the Cityzens, who announced their return in style.

Tactics:

As always, City dominated possession and looked to break Arsenal down. Their wingers tucked inside, allowing the midfielders – Silva and De Bruyne in particular to roam out wide.

The visitors tried to build out from the back whenever they had the ball, but that became very difficult and rare after they lost a man.

Ratings:

Manchester City

Ederson – Had little to do in terms of goalkeeping, but his distribution was mind-blowing as usual. The only wrong thing he did was the attempted assault on Garcia. 7.25

Kyle Walker – Brilliant down the right, as he went up and down the flank to create chances and help in defence. 7

Eric García – Was called into action a few times early on, and he responded perfectly. Brilliant thereafter as well. Went off after a horrible knock. I really hope he is fine. 7.25

Aymeric Laporte – Had little to do at the back, but he did it well. 6.75

Benjamin Mendy – Great on the left flank, especially defensively, as he kept Sako very quiet. 6.75

David Silva – Drove all of his side’s attacks from midfield, in a vintage display. El Mago is back as we know him. 7.25

İlkay Gündoğan – Brilliant in holding midfield, as he kicked his side’s moves into action with his brilliant passing. Worked his socks off too. 8

Kevin De Bruyne – Took a while to settle into the match, but once he did, he ran the midfield. Created a ton of chances, caused the opener with his pass, and converted the penalty well. 8.25

Riyad Mahrez – Looked great down the right, as he threatened with his dribbling. Did very well to win the penalty and send Luiz for an early shower. 6.75

Gabriel Jesus – Worked hard up front, and had a couple of chances too, but failed to score. 6.5

Raheem Sterling – Looked brilliant, as he tormented the Arsenal defence from the left and ended his 2020 duck with a sumptuous finish. After the substitutions, he was sent to the right, where he looked decent. 7.25

Subs:

Bernardo Silva – Looked good in midfield after being sent on. 6.25

Philip Foden – Got a great goal after his run across the pitch in the dying stages. Great for the half-hour that he was on too. 6.75

Rodri – Slotted in well in defensive midfield for the last 20 minutes. 6

Fernandinho Solid at the back for the time that he was on. 6.25

Sergio Agüero – Really unlucky to hit the post, but he did well for the time he was on. 5.75

Team – City didn’t look overly sharp for the first half-hour, but they dominated possession for the whole match. After settling in though, they began carving the Arsenal defence like a pumpkin for Halloween. They had countless chances, and but for Leno, they could have had 6 or 7. A brilliant display from them. 7.75

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – Made quite a few great saves, and can’t be blamed for the goals. He’s the only reason that Arsenal didn’t concede 5+. 7.75

Héctor Bellerín – Didn’t do too well at the back, and had zero impact in attack. 4.75

Shkodran Mustafi – Not great at the back, as he allowed a lot of chances. 4.25

Pablo Marí – Decent for the time he was on, but his niggle almost cost his side a goal. 5.5

Kieran Tierney – Alright down the left as he tried to hold out in defence. 5.5

Joe Willock – Had little impact on the match. 4.75

Mattéo Guendouzi – Alright in midfield, but he fail do too much in way of attack. 5.25

Granit Xhaka – Picked up an unfortunate injury early on, and had to be brought off.

Bukayo Saka – Saw a bit of the ball down the right, but failed to create anything with it. 5.25

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Made a few decent runs, but his teammates just refused to find him, so he had a very quiet day at the office. The lack of service today may even make him consider his future for the club. 5.75

Eddie Nketiah – Had one or two half-chances, but nothing to work with bar that. 5.5

Subs:

Dani Ceballos – Held his side’s midfield in place after he was sent on early. 6.5

David Luiz – Absolute horror-show. Made a mistake leading to goal, gave away a penalty and got sent off. All of that in 23 minutes. 2

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Had little impact after coming on. 5

Alexandre Lacazette – Had one major chance after coming on, but he failed to make it count. 4.75

Reiss Nelson – Didn’t make too much happen. 4.5

Team – Arsenal looked good for the first half-hour, when they created a couple of chances too. But after City stepped up, they crumbled. Their defence was essentially non-existent, and after Luiz saw red, that became worse. Leno was the only reason that this match was not an embarrassment. Arsenal still seem to be quarantined, and the two teams were very much socially distanced in terms of quality. 4.5

Referee:

Anthony Taylor got all of his calls right, including the red card and penalty. He did very well to call the medics immediately when he saw Garcia go down. 7.75

Special Mention:

Eric García – I know I’ve already mentioned him, but I really hope he is fit continue after the nasty-looking injury. Hopefully it’s just a concussion.

What This Means:

City move up to 60 points – 22 away from league-leaders Liverpool and 7 clear of Leicester.

Arsenal have missed the chance to go 8th, and remain one point behind Tottenham.

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