There may hardly be an even bigger match to finish this run of Premier League fixtures than Manchester Metropolis vs Arsenal, and the consequence may very well be profound.
Arsenal despatched a title message to the champions with a 1-0 win on the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, which ends a 12-game profitable run Metropolis have on the north Londoners within the Premier League.
There’s solely eight matches on the board heading into the October worldwide break, and loads of time for Metropolis to get better, however there’s each indication the struggle will likely be harder this time round.
Ending 5 factors quick final season with a 4-1 defeat on the Etihad kind of placing the ultimate nail within the coffin, Arsenal have been put again of their place by the back-to-back-to-back champions.
Now comprehensively rising from that field, Arsenal are trying critical, much more so than only a late winner from Gabriel Martinelli would recommend.
Needing such an in depth margin of victory could recommend the match may have gone both manner, however there have been loads of takeaways that confirmed that wasn’t the case.
An historic shut out
Arsenal diminished Erling Haaland to zero photographs, and Metropolis an much more miserly 4.
It’s the fewest a Pep Guardiola aspect has managed within the league since Barcelona in 2010, and an actual assertion of Mikel Arteta’s tactical prowess.
William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhas have been flawless all through, however there’s definitely proof the Gunners’ lack of cohesion to begin the marketing campaign could have been them simply warming up for this match, notably by way of techniques.
Is Rodri Metropolis’s most essential participant?
The statistics communicate for themselves, the three-game suspension Rodri obtained for placing his fingers round Morgan Gibbs-White’s throat has seen three defeats.
Guardiola acknowledged it post-match, saying: “That could be a stat we can’t deny. However we put gamers to regulate extra passes however they [Arsenal] are aggressive in these areas. We are going to come again and proceed. We are going to transfer ahead.”
Fortunately for the Spaniard, his countryman is again subsequent day trip towards Brighton, and has an damage report to admire, by no means enjoying fewer than 46 video games a season in his senior profession.
Nonetheless, goalscoring matchwinner from final season’s Champions League remaining is definitely able to moments of frustration, so groups will definitely be sensible to attempt to provoke him into one other damaging suspension.
There’s an issue with Erling Haaland
The Norwegian didn’t have a single shot for less than the second time within the Premier League, and it was even worse than simply that.
Haaland seemed remoted with out Kevin De Bruyne, and has now been saved off of the scoresheet in 4 straight video games.
One second specifically showcased the issue when a ball ahead noticed Saliba go away the striker on his bottom for a one-on-one, and later frustration was proven.
The Golden Boot winner was concerned in a touchline scuffle after the full-time whistle, and must stew on a irritating month whereas away along with his nation, who not often do a lot better to supply him with objectives.
Arteta backs Raya
An Arsenal victory appeared unlikely when goalkeeper David Raya appeared to let the event get the higher of him within the early levels.
The primary half noticed the Spanish goalkeeper look shaky, his worst second seeing him nearly give away a objective when his clearance was charged down by Julian Alvarez and bounced inches previous his put up.
Though Raya seemed extra assured within the second half, Arsenal followers will surprise if Aaron Ramsdale will get a run within the beginning XI because of Raya’s unsure preserving, however Arteta’s post-match feedback firmly recommend the on-loan Brentford star continues to be the principle man.
“I believe he was wonderful,” Arteta instructed Sky Sports activities.
“The best way he managed the ball, how dominant he was and the way excessive he performed. I like gamers with braveness and David definitely has huge ones.”
Treble profitable strain is completely different
Metropolis dropping three from their final 4 in all competitions is kind completely at odds with the wonders of their treble-winning marketing campaign from final season.
However these woes do not shock Gary Neville, who’s all too conscious of post-Treble life’s trials and tribulations having achieved the identical with Manchester United.
“The explanation I predicted Arsenal to win the title is as a result of I felt they acquired shut final 12 months, I assumed they’d be shut once more and I assumed there’d be a slight treble hangover for Metropolis,” Neville instructed Sky Sports activities.
“What’s Metropolis’s trigger this 12 months? They’ve achieved utopia, they can not do any extra. If you’ve fought so lengthy and onerous to win a Champions League like they’ve and gained the treble and repeated what Man Utd have achieved, there’s acquired to be that little little bit of a sigh of aid.
“I bear in mind my most troublesome season for United was the season after the treble. We did win the league however the different groups weren’t excellent that season. I had a nightmare, it took a lot out of me the earlier season.
“I believe there will be a component of those Metropolis gamers simply having a bit taken out of them.
“They’ve taken a few punches on the chin within the final couple of weeks, so they may have been woken up early sufficient and do not write them off – completely not. However one thing’s taking place, Wolves, Newcastle, now dropping a recreation like this. Issues that have not occurred too many occasions previously are beginning to occur in entrance of their eyes.”
VAR points haven’t gone away
Sure, sadly we nonetheless have to speak about these dreaded three letters.
It did not have an effect on a recreation like Liverpool’s defeat at Tottenham final weekend however extra questions have been raised about VAR’s effectivity within the first half of the blockbuster conflict.
Mateo Kovacic obtained a yellow card for a late problem on Martin Odegaard, nonetheless, it is felt a crimson ought to’ve been given.
And followers have been astounded the Metropolis midfielder managed to stay on the pitch as he prevented a second yellow for the same problem on Declan Rice.
talkSPORT understands VAR did not deem the on-field choices to be clear and apparent errors by referee Michael Oliver however many could really feel in a different way.
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