Football News

Man City 0-0 Arsenal: Player ratings as title showdown ends in stalemate

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:30, 31 March 2024

Manchester City welcomed Arsenal for a Premier League title showdown on Easter Sunday afternoon.

Both teams headed into this latest matchday separated by a single point, with Mikel Arteta’s leading the championship from second-place Liverpool due to their superior goal difference.

Following their 1-0 win at the Emirates in October, the Gunners were looking to complete their first league double over City since 2007-08. Meanwhile, they last won both games against the reigning champions in 2001-02 against Manchester United.

However, they’ve lost each of their last seven Premier League visits to City, who have won 12 of these previous 13 meetings heading into this contest.

Today wasn’t another City victory as neither side could be separated. A goalless draw was music in Liverpool’s ears as earlier they had run out 2-1 winners over Brighton to open up a two-point atop the Premier League with all three sides having nine matches left to play.

In the meantime, here’s how the players rated at the Etihad:


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Man City

Stefan Ortega – 7 – He wasn’t called upon too often, but on the rare occasions Arsenal had an effort on goal, he was equal to the challenge.

Josko Gvardiol – 8 – Hasn’t always been in Guardiola’s starting lineup, but today’s performance was encouraging. Gvardiol was given a licence to join City’s attack and didn’t think twice about passing up that invitation.

Nathan Aké – 6 – Came off with a suspected injury before the half-hour mark. Before going off, Aké could have put the hosts in front, but he failed to make a clean connection with his attempted header, and the ball hit the Dutchman’s shoulder and nestled in Raya’s hands.

Rúben Dias – 6 – Reliable whenever Arsenal broke free to attack City’s goal.

Manuel Akanji – 6 – He started with John Stones on the bench, and though Akanji is adept at bringing the ball forward, he lacks his teammates’ dynamism.

Rodri – 7.5 – Yet another calm performance in City’s engine room. The argument continues to grow that he is the club’s most valuable player (even with Kevin De Bruyne around).

Phil Foden – 5.5 – Has been a man for the big occasions in recent weeks, but this was a subdued outing. He barely created a chance or tested Raya in the Arsenal goal.

Mateo Kovacic – 6 – This was a rare start for the Croat, and he did not disappoint, at least when it came to retaining and recycling possession. No one starting this match distributed more passes while he was on the pitch.

Kevin De Bruyne – 6 – The one City looked to when in a spot of bother, though, for all his excellence, De Bruyne didn’t have a solution against their stubborn opponents.

Bernardo Silva – 5.5 – Showed glimpses of his magical self, but something about entering Arsenal’s final third put him off.

Erling Haaland – 5 – Classify this as an off-day for the Premier League’s leading scorer.

Substitutes:

Rico Lewis (for Aké 27) – 6 – He may have expected not to come on but was called upon so early. Lewis didn’t look out of place and would have done his manager proud.

Jérémy Doku (for Foden 61) – 4.5 – Far too erratic. Doku’s ability to beat a man is seamless, but his lack of cutting-edge ability prevents him from being a consistent member of City’s starting lineup.

Jack Grealish (for Kovacic 61) – 5 – Probably tasked with pegging Arsenal back with his trademark runs from deep, as that’s all he did once entering the field of play.


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Arsenal

David Raya – 8 – The first opposition goalkeeper to leave City’s home with a clean sheet, and this was his third shutout against the champions in five meetings.

Jakub Kiwior – 4.5 – Endured a difficult opening half, with City often targeting him down their right flank. No one in a Gunners shirt was more wasteful in possession.

Gabriel – 8.5 – Dealt with the Haaland threat well. Even giving the Norwegian marksman a mouthful late one.

William Saliba – 9 – How the Gunners missed his presence at the backend of last season. If he stays healthy, Arsenal could become champions.

Ben White – 7 – Showed real endeavour going forward and was the first Arsenal player switched on as his teammates began today’s contest slowly.

Declan Rice – 7.5 – He plays a crucial role in front of Arsenal’s defence. The England international is often tasked with maintaining possession and executes his task perfectly.

Jorginho – 5 – Brought in to arrest some control from City in the middle third, but he seldom found himself in possession once Guardiola’s men got on top.

Martin Ødegaard – 7 – As usual, when he’s on song, Arsenal plays their best football. Odegaard was at his fleet-footed best, and everything Arteta’s side did positively came through him.

Gabriel Jesus – 5 – Back in Arteta’s starting lineup after several weeks either on the sidelines or being unused. Had the game’s first real opportunity but never capitalised against his former club and foolishly picked up the first yellow card after the hour mark.

Kai Havertz – 5 – Another outing as the man to lead Arsenal’s attack, but this was a quiet affair for the in-form German forward.

Bukayo Saka – 5.5 – Had a quiet first half before coming alive in the second 45 minutes, though he came off in worrying scenes. 

Substitutes:

Thomas Partey (for Jorginho 66) – 4 – Gave possession away, never looked settled.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (for Kiwior 66) – 4 – First appearance for Arsenal in 2024, so you can excuse him for looking rusty.

Leandro Trossard (for Jesus 72) – N/A – A late sub.

Gabriel Martinelli (for Saka 78) – N/A – A late sub.

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