Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have picked up from where they left in the last season with a dominant 2-0 victory over Unai Emery’s Arsenal. What a daunting task first up for the Spaniard against his countryman in the opening fixture of the Premier League.
FULL-TIME | The Champions take the opening day W!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 12, 2018
Guardiola swapped and switched his team and gave a start to record signing Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian winger did not disappoint with some dazzling touches on the far end of the pitch. English International Raheem Sterling switched his position to accommodate the Algerian on the far end.
A Manchester City without the likes of Nicolas Ottamendi, Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane was still more daunting than the Arsenal XI. John Stones and Aymeric Laporte exhibited both calmness and composure on the pitch and on the ball. Mendy regained fitness and form with a sublime performance against Arsenal.
What was more surprising on the day was Unai Emery’s tactics on the night. The decision to start midfielder Aaron Ramsey at an advanced centre-forward position would daunt the Spaniard for the season to come.
Instead of putting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the middle of the attack alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Mkhitaryan, the Spaniard decided to start with Ramsey.
Ramsey not to the rescue:
Among all Arsenal players vs. Man City, Matteo Guendouzi recorded:
• Most touches (72)
• Most passes attempted (47)
• Most fouls won (3)
Promising Premier League debut from the 19-year-old. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/964nl2XphO
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 12, 2018
The decision to start Ramsey as a forward backlashed on the Spaniard before he decided to bring the French striker into the fore. First choice centre-back pairing of Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi looked too slow for the Manchester City attackers as they blazed past the defence.
However, if there was one shining light on the day it was the 19-year-old midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, who outshone his teammates at the Emirates with a sublime performance.
Emery’s first match chaos was clearly seen in the playing XI and expect a lot of changes the next time Arsenal take the field. Petr Cech might soon become a deputy to Bernd Leno at the goal with Cech’s repeated mistakes causing a huge roar in North London.
Sterling opened the scoring for the Cityzens early in the match, precisely in the 14th minute of the encounter. Further, City’s Aguero was one on one with Petr Cech before Cech made a wonderful save.
However, Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva undid all the good work from Cech with a strike past Cech to give City a 2-0 win in the opening encounter.