Manchester City v Arsenal

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Watch the action from the Man City game

Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to score, but we were beaten at Manchester City on Sunday evening.

Kevin De Bruyne's first-half strike and Sergio Aguero's penalty had put the hosts in control before Lacazette pulled one back for us. We pushed for an equaliser but the match was ended as a contest when Gabriel Jesus tapped home City's third.

You can now watch match footage from our Premier League trip to Etihad Stadium. Click above for an extended, 12-minute cut, or check out Lacazette's goal, bitesize highlights and the full match replay below.

Press conference

Why Wenger picked Coquelin and how he rated Alexis

Arsene Wenger had some difficult selection decisions to make on Sunday, and he opted for solidity by sticking with a 3-5-2 formation and bringing in Francis Coquelin.

That means Alexis played up front while Alex Lacazette dropped to the bench.

The boss explained his thinking after the game:

on why he played Coquelin in defence…
I can explain to you that Mertesacker came into training yesterday morning, sick. That Holding had a thigh strain. That Debuchy had just come back from [being] a long-time absentee. That I don’t see that big a problem to play in the middle of the [central defensive] two. You’re a defensive midfielder or a defender, it’s exactly the same. I don’t think that was a problem in our game.

on how he felt Alexis performed…
I felt that in the difficult moments of the game, he did very well because he was on his own up front. In the first half I felt he was very sharp but he had not enough support. Overall, I think he has given everything.

on it being a ‘huge mental test’ for Alexis…
It is a huge mental test, but I had no doubt about him before the game. I know that he is focused and he wants to win.

on what he thought of Alexis’ performance…
I just thought he had a good performance.


‘They are strong enough not to need that’

We couldn’t sustain it for 90 minutes but there were times at the Etihad on Sunday when we matched - and even worried - Manchester City.

Early and late in the first half, and then after City’s second goal, we created chances and eventually clawed our way back into the game through Alex Lacazette.

City’s third goal put paid to our attempted comeback and the boss was left to rue a lack of cutting edge and a lack of luck.

“I felt that we started well and after the bad spell for 20 minutes in the first half, in the second half we came back,” he told “We were always in the game and I believe honestly we were really unlucky. City are strong enough not to need that [help] and it’s very difficult to swallow today. I’m very, very disappointed.

“We looked dangerous,” the boss went on. “In the first half every time we managed to get in their half we created dangerous situations and overall yes it’s disappointing… on top of that I felt that sometimes in our final ball we lacked a bit of touch or accuracy and we could not transform enough situations we had to score.

“We needed to be solid. We knew that we had to survive some moments where they had the ball and overall I felt that was alright, but we respected them a little bit too much maybe for 25 minutes in the first half and then the second half when we came out we looked always convincingly dangerous.”

Lacazette made an immediate impact and Wenger was full of praise for the France striker.

“Yes, he was superb and when he came on he gave us another option,” he said. “But even in the first half I felt that it was more a case of providing better support up front. That was our problem.”


Iwobi - My regrets after the Man City game

Alex Iwobi played his part in our goal on Sunday, surging through the centre before finding Aaron Ramsey, who set up a scoring chance for Alex Lacazette.

The Nigeria international could have had a goal himself, firing one half-chance over the bar in the first half and testing Ederson in the second half.

Here’s what Alex said after the game:

on the final City goal…
We were pushing to get the equaliser but unfortunately the referee wasn’t able to see that it was offside. There’s nothing that you can do, we just have to move on to the next game.

on being pushed back after a good start…
Maybe we weren’t composing ourselves like we were in the first 10 or 15 minutes. Man City are a very good team and you have to give credit to them, but I believe the result doesn’t show how well we did.

on if he regrets that Lacazette didn’t start…
We had an extra attacking player going forward but at the end of the day we set up very well to play against City and we were just unfortunate. Maybe if he’d started on the wing it would have been different, but it is what it is.

Post-Match Report

Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal: How it happened

Alex Lacazette came off the bench to score his sixth goal of the season but we came up short in Manchester.

We started the game well enough, knocking the ball about with confidence against Pep Guardiola’s runaway league leaders.

Alex Iwobi might have done better with a half-chance from the edge of the box, but it was Kevin De Bruyne who opened the scoring with a powerful, precise finish into the bottom corner.

It was hard to take - we gave the ball away twice in the build-up to the goal and allowed a second chance to De Bruyne just moments after Petr Cech had denied the same player.

Petr Cech denying Sergio Aguero

In truth, we looked most vulnerable when we surrendered possession and Raheem Sterling should have taken advantage by setting up Leroy Sane for a second on the counter-attack. His wayward pass was a let-off for us.

But we were competitive, and Aaron Ramsey forced a fine save from Ederson in first-half stoppage time after Alexis got the better of John Stones.

That gave us hope for the second half, but that hope was almost extinguished when Sterling beat the offside trap and got the wrong side of Nacho Monreal to win a penalty. Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick bounced in off the post.

We’d caused City a fair few problems at the other end and Lacazette finished off a flowing move, firing confidently under Ederson after good work from Iwobi and Ramsey.

Alexandre scored his sixth goal of the season in the second half

We looked capable of more but City responded, Cech producing a brilliant save to deny Gabriel Jesus from close range.

He could do nothing with the substitute’s next chance. David Silva strayed offside but was not flagged, and he squared for Jesus to tap in City’s third.


See how the game unfolded with our play-by-play commentary


This result leaves us in sixth place in the Premier League - 12 points behind City. Tottenham are four points ahead of us while Liverpool have moved above us on goals scored.


Another international break is upon us. When we come back, it’s the north London derby against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium.

Two away trips follow that one - Cologne in the Europa League, and Burnley in the Premier League.


Alex Iwobi taking aim at goal in the first half

Alex Lacazette scored his sixth goal of the season on Sunday. Here’s some other standout stats:

- Man City have won two of their last 10 matches against us in all competitions (D4 L4)

- We were the last team to beat City in a competitive game, in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final in April

- Our 2-0 win at the Etihad in January 2015 remains our only away Premier League victory against the ‘big six’ since the start of the 2014/15 season (D7 L9)

- City have won all 10 of the Premier League games in which they’ve led this season; we’ve won the most games (3) and points (9) from losing positions

- We’ve won 17 of the 48 away points available to us in 2017, winning five, drawing two and losing nine of our 16 games on the road

Press conference

‘It was an offside goal and it killed the game’

Alex Lacazette’s goal gave us hope. An offside goal snuffed it out.

That sums up how the final stages of Sunday’s game at Manchester City unfolded, a game in which we flickered with attacking potential but ended up with nothing.

Arsene Wenger faced the media straight after the game, and here’s how he saw it:

on not being happy with the penalty and the third goal...

on why…
You have seen what I seen - you judge how you want. I think the fact that you tell me that it’s an offside goal shows enough. I don’t want to take anything away from City’s quality but it happened at a moment where we were really in the game, at 2-1. It killed the game. We had two offside goals here last year and we had one again this year. Apart from that, I felt that we started well in the first 10 minutes. After, we suffered because we played too deep for 25 minutes. In the last 10 minutes [of the first half] we came back into the game. In the second half, it was an even game. It was us chasing the game and them always being dangerous on counter-attacks. I felt that we put a lot of effort in and at 2-1, you could feel that we could come back. The 3-1 was an immense result for them, an unexpected present. But it is as it is. At 3-1, you have to go forward. We played with four offensive players and every counter-attack looked like they could score. But that’s the history of the game that created that.

on how different it could have been if Ramsey had scored at end of the first half…
I don’t know. You must know that much better. I felt that the game is what it is. We knew before the game that we’d have some moments where we’d suffer. We tried to be solid at the back and overall I felt before the game that I knew that we could be in trouble with their pace, with the strikers they have. That’s why we tried to play our usual system. When we were 2-0 down, of course we had to take a gamble and after that, I felt we were more in the game.

on whether anyone can stop Manchester City…
Look, can anyone stop them? It will be difficult this season, the way they have started, the way they’re on a run, the quality they have. They will be difficult to stop, but you never know. If on top of that, at home, they have the decisions for them like that, they will be unstoppable.


‘At 2-1 I thought we were going to get something’

Petr Cech caught the eye with a two standout saves against Manchester City, denying Kevin De Bruyne in the first half and Gabriel Jesus after the break.

Both men eventually got the better of Petr, but Jesus’ effort should have been ruled out for offside against David Silva.

Here’s how Petr saw the big moments on Sunday:

on his view of the game…
I thought that at 2-1, when we just got back into the game, that we were in it. We had time to search for the equaliser but the third goal obviously made a huge difference. At 2-1 the game was going on and we had some good passages of play where we could have put them more under pressure and searched for the equaliser. At 3-1, it gave the advantage back to them. They are an experienced team with a lot of quality and they took advantage of that.

on City’s second and third goals…
I can’t really comment on the penalty incident because I had the players running from a completely different angle to the referee. Suddenly I saw Sterling falling and the referee’s decision. At the moment, without seeing anything on the TV, I can’t really comment on that. The third goal, I was surprised when it went in because I thought Silva was far [in front] of everybody. But again, the referee has a better view than I did and you have to accept the decision. I think the referees have a difficult enough job. They need to make their decisions. If he got it right or wrong, I don’t know, but  obviously the third goal made a difference because it took away the opportunity for us to find the equaliser.

on the gap between City and Arsenal…
We had passages of play where we matched them, controlled the ball and looked dangerous. But inevitably they have a huge quality up front and when they managed to find the right passes and the right movement, they created some opportunities. At 2-1, I thought that we were going to get something out of it.


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