Last season’s Premier League runners-up and champions locked horns in the nation’s capital this Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal were looking to lay down another marker, following their Community Shield triumph over Pep Guardiola’s men, while City sought a return to successful ways after leaving Molineux empty-handed last time out.
Just like at Wembley, the Gunners left it late to turn the game upside down. Gabriel Martinelli, back in Arteta’s squad, came off the bench to score the late winner. Consequently, it ended a run of 12-game losing streak against City, with their most recent victory before today coming in December 2015.
As for City, this was their first back-to-back defeats in the Premier League since December 2018. Success also lifted Arsenal into second level on points with fierce neighbours Tottenham heading into the October international break.
Here’s how the players rated at the Emirates Stadium:
David Raya – 5.5 – Started nervously and was fortunate to not have conceded after Julian Alvarez charged a clearance down. The ball crashed into the side netting, to his relief. “I can spot a keeper a mile off that’s a nervous wreck and there’s one right in front of you,” came Gary Neville’s commentary.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5 – Had three shots on goal against his former side. Zinchenko was another who started erratically before settling down.
Gabriel – 7 – Started his 100th Premier League game for Arsenal, becoming just the second Brazilian to reach that landmark for the Gunners in the competition (after Gilberto Silva). He marked the occasion with several important clearances.
William Saliba – 7.5 – Relished the Erling Haaland challenge. Won three of his four duels while registering three clearances.
Ben White – 6 – Having to deal with Kovacic, Foden and Gvardiol in his area of the field White seldom crossed into City’s half instead he made numerous defensive contributions.
Declan Rice – 6 – Made a crucial goal-line clearance early into the game. Towards the end pulled off a well-timed challenge on a marauding Nunes.
Jorginho – 5.5 – Only Paolo Di Canio (31) has received more yellow cards than Jorginho among Italian players in the Premier League (30). Began on the back foot but quickly recovered and subsequently completed 68 total passes, more than anyone playing for the hosts while he was still on the field.
Martin Ødegaard – 7.5 – As usual, he was at the epicentre of Arsenal’s creativity. The playmaker created two chances – more than any wearing red-and-white.
Leandro Trossard – 4 – A rare start for the Belgian forward who could not capitalise on this opportunity.
Eddie Nketiah – 4 – Had the first shot on City’s goal when his effort flashed wide of goal.
Gabriel Jesus – 7 – An enthralling performance against his former side. Jesus completed seven take-ons while featuring in no fewer than 22 duels winning eight of them.
Gabriel Martinelli (for Trossard 46) – 7 – Martinelli, clearly fit enough for one-half, was more involved than Trossard who barely featured in the opening period. His deflected late effort settled the contest.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (for Zinchenko 76) – N/A – A late sub.
Kai Havertz (for Nketiah 76) – N/A – A late sub.
Thomas Partey (for Jorginho 76) – N/A – A late sub.
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Ederson – 5.5 – Even though his goal was peppered the Brazilian sweep-keeper wasn’t overworked in terms of making saves, but there was nothing he could do when Martinelli’s deflected shot wrong-footed him.
Josko Gvardiol – 5 – Starting at left-back the Croat hardly offered an attacking dimension to City’s attack. He was still able to be counted upon in making crucial interventions.
Nathan Aké – 4.5 – It was heading towards another quiet but effective showing by the multifunctional Dutch centre-back but he got in the way of a Martinelli shot which ended in Ederson’s goal.
Rúben Dias – 5 – Made one noteworthy error of judgement but the Gunners were unable to punish his mistake.
Kyle Walker – 5 – Given his previous allegiance to Spurs the England full-back was certainly up for this game.
Mateo Kovacic – 3 – Very lucky not to be sent off. On a yellow, he survived a VAR review for a tackle on Martin Ødegaard before escaping a second booking for a foul on Declan Rice. “I think that’s a mistake [from the referee]. Kovacic has to go for that. I’m amazed he’s not,” came Neville’s response.
Rico Lewis – 5 – Heavily praised by Guardiola following City’s win at Leipzig midweek, the young defender-cum-midfilder was unable to impose himself in this high-profile outing.
Phil Foden – 5.5 – Completed a game-high nine take-ons He also completed 11 of his 20 attempted duels. Foden also ended the game as City’s most creative outlet with two chances produced.
Julián Álvarez – 5 – The busier of City’s frontmen while he was on the pitch. Saw an effort from 25 yards fly over Raya’s bar.
Bernardo Silva – 5 – Slotted in a holding midfield role, where he looked at home, the Portuguese international went into the referee’s book after stopping Nketiah from breaking on the halfway line.
Erling Haaland – 4 – A subdued outing for the lethal Norwegian marksman as no player who started for City had fewer touches than him in this match (23).
John Stones (for Lewis 68) – 4 – A welcome return but the Barnsley Beckenbauer was unable to change City’s fortunes.
Matheus Nunes (for Kovacic 68) – 4 – Had one notable run which Rice sniffed out.
Jeremy Doku (for Álvarez 68) – 4 – Came on with a proactive attitude but it felt at times Doku’s brain was faster than his feet.