Arsenal v Manchester City

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News

Update on tonight's match against Man City

Thursday night's match against Manchester City at Emirates Stadium is scheduled to go ahead as planned.

We will continue to monitor weather conditions and work with local agencies but, unless there is a further announcement, the match is on.

Pre-Match Report

Arsenal v Manchester City: The Brief

It is not often that, having been beaten in disappointing circumstances, you get an immediate chance to make amends against the very team that caused you so much misery.

That is the opportunity that presents itself on Thursday night - and while no one would equate a win with lifting the Carabao Cup, it would be certainly be a starting point on the road to recovery.

For if we are to claim a top-four place - and let's be honest, it is a long shot now - we have to win against Manchester City, and follow it up with a streak of further victories. Tough, unlikely even, but not impossible.

Of course, we know all about Manchester City's many strengths, but how do we ensure that this match is different to Sunday's? Find out in our comprehensive pre-match briefing. We’ve got classic goals against Man City, team news, an exclusive chat with the manager, match facts, graphics and a chance to have your say.

 

A TIME TO STICK TOGETHER

Wenger on raising morale again...

“First of all, no matter how much you try to lift the players, they need time for grieving. You need to digest that and only time helps. The next target helps again. The DNA and the values of the club help because that’s where you want to stick together. What you want at our level is to be confronted with difficult situations and respond to it in a positive way."

Arsène Wenger on facing Manchester City soon after the Carabao Cup final

Arsène Wenger on facing Manchester City soon after the Carabao Cup final


TEAM NEWS

Arsenal: Cazorla (calf), Monreal (back), Lacazette (knee)

Man City: Fernandinho (hamstring - doubt), Sterling (hamstring - doubt), Mendy (knee)

THE OPPOSITION

Michael Cox:

"City’s possession play this season, combined with their movement in the final third, has often been thrilling. In truth, their football at Wembley never quite reached their usual heights, and Arsenal must be particularly wary of De Bruyne collecting the ball in deeper positions, before arrowing diagonal passes in behind the defence for Leroy Sane, charging infield from the left."

THE LAST WORD

Wenger on playing Man City twice in four days...

"I personally experience it as a positive because we want to respond as quickly as possible. We have another big game, another challenge, and of course we want to respond in a very positive way."

Matchday Show: Man City (h)

Gallery

Arsenal train in the snow before Man City game

The Arsenal squad train in the snow before facing Manchester City

There was snowfall at the training ground on Wednesday morning, but that didn't stop the first-team squad from preparing for Thursday's Premier League match against Manchester City.

Our club photographer was there too, and sent back these images.

 

Press conference

'We must turn the decisive moments in our favour'

Facing Manchester City just four days after our Carabao Cup final defeat at Wembley offers us an immediate chance to start making amends.

Pep Guardiola's side may be running away with the title, but the game is vital for our hopes of making the top four and this is what Arsene Wenger said to the media on Wednesday:

on what we need to do differently against City on Thursday…
I felt it was a very tight game until the 2-0 [on Sunday]. When you look at the end of the game, Man City had three shots on target and we had two. So overall, I believe that we have to turn the decisive moments in our favour [this time] and play with more freedom than we did. I think we played a bit apprehensively and that is important that we go into the game with that force that is part of our game and our philosophy.

on how he lifts the players after Sunday…
Well, when you do not get the result, it’s part of our job. Part of our job is to respond and to focus on the next game. You want only to win games, it’s not always possible, so it’s the way you respond. I believe that [we need to] analyse well, focus on the next one and respond together in a united way, which his part of our philosophy at the club.

on whether we’ll surrender possession again on Thursday night…
Look, we did that in the semi-final of the cup and it worked. I would just like to remind you that the possession was 57-43, so it was much more even than what you say here. We had less of the ball in the semi-final and we had beaten them, so if it was as mathematical as that, we analyse well our games and overall I believe that yes, we always have the ball because you cannot stop them completely from having possession as well because they are top quality. As I told you, they dominate the league at the moment and there is a reason. You have to accept that. I am quite amazed how people analyse that. It looks like we have lost against bottom of the league in division five. We have lost against a team that dominates English football at the moment. Yes we are unhappy, yes we are disappointed, yes we are not happy with our performance. But we have to take perspective and I think that means sitting back a little bit, analysing it well with a distance and then coming in and committing for the next game. I think we lack a little bit of perspective in our analysis.

on the fact we lost to Ostersunds…
But again, there is no perspective. We won 3-0 in the first game, what you want in the two legs is to win the game and I accept we had a big disappointment on Sunday, but you cannot come out with the game against Ostersunds because we qualified.

Team news

Team news: What’s the latest on Nacho Monreal?

Arsene Wenger has provided an update on Nacho Monreal’s fitness ahead of Thursday’s Premier League clash against Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

The Spain international had to come off early in the Carabao Cup final, and this is what the boss said in his pre-match press conference:
 
on Nacho Monreal…
He is out for the two games on Thursday and Sunday, certainly out. He might be out for two more, Milan and maybe even one more. He had an inflamed back, a disc problem. The rest, everybody is fit.
 
on the rest of the team news…
Everybody is fit.

Goals

Check out our best goals at home to Man City

We’re back in Premier League action when we host Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening.

From Thierry Henry’s overhead-kick assist for Freddie Ljugberg to Alexis’ stunning volley, we’ve scored some classic goals against the Citizens in recent years - but which of these was our best strike?

Click ‘Play’ on the video above and then don’t forget to vote in our poll below:

Press conference

Read a transcript from the boss' press conference

Here’s what Arsene Wenger said when he faced the media at London Colney on Wednesday:

on the mood…
We are very disappointed because we lost an important game. We need to first recover from the disappointment and then prepare for the next challenge, as always, together.

on what we need to do differently against City on Thursday…
I felt it was a very tight game until the 2-0. When you look at the end of the game, Man City had three shots on target and we had two. So overall, I believe that we have to turn the decisive moments in our favour and play with more freedom than we did. I think we played a bit apprehensively and that is important that we go into the game with that force that is part of our game and our philosophy.

on Nacho Monreal…
He is out for the two games Thursday and Sunday, certainly out. He might be out for two more, Milan and maybe even one more. He had an inflamed back, a disc problem. The rest, everybody is fit.

on the rest of the team news…
Everybody is fit.

on how he lifts the players after Sunday…
Well when you do not get the result, it’s part of our job. Part of our job is to respond and to focus on the next game. You want only to win games, it’s not always possible, so it’s the way you respond. I believe that [we need to] analyse well, focus on the next one and respond together in a united way, which his part of our philosophy at the club.

on the criticism and his response…
Look, we have to live with that. It’s part of the modern game. People who comment, their job is to comment, so you have to live with that. What is important is how we respond, how we analyse the game and how we respond in a united way. All the rest is part of the game that you have to live with. It doesn’t help us to win or lose the next game. What helps us to win the next game is how we respond internally together.

on what gives him belief in his players…
The belief? You cite only the games we have lost, but we have won many games. What you forget is we were in the final. Nobody has put us in there on invitation. We had to fight very hard, we had to knock Chelsea out in the semi-final, over two games. That shows you that the team has quality and can fight. It was two tough games. We have not played weak opponents to get into the final. It’s not available for everybody to get there. After that, you have to say as well that we played against a team who dominate the Premier League by 15 points, so you know that you go into a final nobody can guarantee you to win. You can win and lose - you have not to accept it but you know as well that can be part of the game.

on his position…
My position is my position. Honestly, that’s the last worry I have at the moment. My worry is to focus, to get the team ready for tomorrow’s game.

on if there will be a review at the end of the season…
I just told you, I just gave you the answer of what my way of thinking is. It’s the next game. We are in that kind of situation where you want to focus on the next game. I don’t ask you if your position is reviewed at the end of the season.

on that being why the journalist is asking Wenger a question…
Yes, but my job is to focus on performing and my job is to perform. It’s for other people to judge me, it isn’t for me to evaluate that.

on if he is expecting to remain in charge next season…
I just told you the answer. If you need clarity, I can repeat exactly the same answer. Exactly, that’s the clarity. Does it stop you to sleep that my position is uncertain or would not be certain, or is certain? No. What is interesting in football is the performances of football, the game you will see on Thursday night. That is what is important. All the rest may make headlines, but it is not really interesting.

on whether he can accept that if he doesn’t say anything now he’s just leaving the door open…
No, look, I am just amazed that I have to always answer things that are exactly the same. I am here for 21 years, I turned the whole world down to respect my contracts. So I am still amazed that I still have to answer these types of questions.

on Jack Wilshere’s contract…
It’s progressing.

on if he is hopeful…
Yes, but the decision belongs to him. At the end of the day you have to respect the decision of the player. Our desire is clear, is expressed, is numbered and after that, the player has to find satisfaction as well.

on seeming to be happy to surrender possession in the cup final and whether we’ll do that again tomorrow…
Look, we did that in the semi-final of the cup and it worked. I would just like to remind you that the possession was 57-43, so it was much more even than what you say here. We had less of the ball in the semi-final and we had beaten them, so if it was as mathematical as that, we analyse well our games and overall I believe that yes, we always have the ball because you cannot stop them completely from having possession as well because they are top quality. As I told you, they dominate the league at the moment and there is a reason. You have to accept that. I am quite amazed how people analyse that. It looks like we have lost against bottom of the league in division five. We have lost against a team that dominates English football at the moment. Yes we are unhappy, yes we are disappointed, yes we are not happy with our performance. But we have to take perspective and I think that means sitting back a little bit, analysing it well with a distance and then coming in and committing for the next game. I think we lack a little bit of perspective in our analysis.

on losing to Ostersunds….
But again, there is no perspective. We won 3-0 in the first game, what you want in the two legs is to win the game and I accept we had a big disappointment on Sunday, but you cannot come out with the game against Ostersund because we qualified.

on that game being important in terms of generating feelgood factor…
Yes, but as I told you, what is important is what’s happening to the club and the team. My individual or personal future, or how long I will stay at the club, is less important.

on whether he is a better manager now than five years ago...
That is for me, but for you as well - don't forget that. How do you judge that, only be results, the quality of work? The problem of a manager is to take the best out of a team and how can you rate that, how can you evaluate that? The only thing I can tell you is that I try to be a better manager than I was five years ago and I put the effort in to be a better manager than I was five years ago. After that, if you say to me that you don't agree then I can understand that but the effort, the heart and work is behind it.

on the effort the players made against Man City...
Yes, of course [they gave me everything]. I am long enough in the game to know that when you lose a big game, people always say that the players don't want it enough - that is a common response that you get, you always get that. You have to analyse whether that is the serious problem in the game, did we lose the game because of that - I am not convinced. When there is a big difference like 3-0 you always get that impression. For me, it is not the main reason.

on criticism of the players walking...
Yes, but you could find that on both sides. You can always get out pictures from a game that justifies what you think, you find in every single game, on both sides, moments where a player doesn't track. After you have to analyse why, has he made two runs before to go in behind and was exhausted, or did he not track because he didn't want to? That is different. I believe we have t live with that criticism and respond together like we always do. We got to the final and you don't get there by coincidence, you have to fight to get there and we did. We didn't play against a poor team in the semi-final, we played against Chelsea and we have shown that we can fight. You have to acknowledge as well that Man City are a quality team.

on whether what we do next season depends on qualifying for the CL...
I don't want to come out always on that, I have answered that already. Yes, I answered that question. Our target is to qualify for the top four, of course.

on whether he is under pressure to get a top-four finish...
What I want is for us to focus in a united way and respond tomorrow with a  good game and win the game.

 

Matchday Show

Follow our LIVE coverage of the Man City game

Matchday Show: Man City (h)

We’re back in Premier League action on Thursday evening when we host league leaders Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

Tune in to our website for our LIVE coverage of the midweek clash, including: 

  • Matchday Show, with live build-up from 7.15pm (UK time) and audio commentary from 7.45pm (UK time)
  • Live text commentary - featuring minute-by-minute updates and insights from our fans on Twitter
  • A short goals clip and full match highlights will be available from midnight on Thursday

It's all free with Digital Membership - and remember, you can listen on the Arsenal App too!

News

Travel update: Manchester City (h)

Emirates Stadium snow

We want to remind supporters attending Thursday’s match against Manchester City that severe weather may affect their travel arrangements to and from Emirates Stadium.

We recommend everyone coming to the game keeps themselves up to date of the latest travel information and leaves extra time to get to the ground, where necessary.
 
Click here for latest travel updates from Transport for London and Greater Anglia.
 
Thank you for your support.