By Chris Harris
We sit fifth in the Premier League table after a narrow defeat at Manchester City.
Thomas Partey made a late debut for us following his deadline-day move, but the only goal was scored by Raheem Sterling in the first half.
This was a much closer encounter than recent visits to the Etihad, but we paid for not taking our chances.
We looked untroubled early on, keeping City at arm's length without creating much ourselves. But it was from a period of relative control that we conceded.
Riyad Mahrez had been the main threat for City but it was Sergio Aguero who set this chance up, finding Phil Foden for a shot that Bernd Leno parried.
The loose ball could have gone anywhere but it rolled kindly for Sterling to slot into the net with Hector Bellerin just unable to get back in time.
The goal gave City confidence but, after Leno had denied Mahrez and Foden, we went up a gear.
Bukayo Saka was the catalyst for most of our best moments and he dribbled through to fire in a rising shot that Ederson tipped over.
Saka went even closer after he and Kieran Tierney showed tenacity to win the ball back on the edge of the City box.
Saka found Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the captain slid a return pass into Saka's path and his first-time right-foot shot flicked off Ederson and flew just over the bar.
Ederson saved well from Aubameyang as we kept the pressure on, and we might have had a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Gabriel was impeded by a high boot.
Another chance came and went early in the second half when Pepe flashed a header straight at Ederson from Aubameyang's cross.
The chances dried up for a while but Pepe curled a free-kick wide before we had our first look at Partey - on as a substitute with eight minutes left.
The Ghanaian looked neat and tidy but we couldn’t find a way back into the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
Mikel Arteta chose not to give Partey his first start, citing our new signing's lack of training sessions since his arrival.
But Tierney did play after being given clearance by the Premier League.
There were two changes from the side that lined up against Sheffield United before the international break. There would have been three but Rob Holding felt a tight hamstring during the warm-up so David Luiz stepped in.
Granit Xhaka and Pepe came in for Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah.
Our Europa League campaign gets underway this week with a trip to Austria to face Rapid Vienna on Thursday.
Then it's back to the Premier League and a home game against Leicester next Sunday.
Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.