Arsenal beating Man City was so much more than just another 3 points, it’s a turning point

Arsenal beat the Champions Man City on Sunday to go into the international break jointly top of the League with Spurs, the only two unbeaten sides in the division left.

We earned 3 points to go 2 points clear of Man City. Yet it was more than that ….so much more!

In many ways the impact this has on the title race is thinking only short term.

Long term this was a result this squad has needed for years, a barrier broken down, belief they can bottle.

It doesn’t change the years of hurt, the reality remains that we are competing against one of the best with unlimited resources. Only a fool would write Pep Guardiola off. City won a treble in the last campaign having been told all Xmas something wasn’t quite right at the Etihad.

Yet from now on, every time we face the Citizens it will be easier, if we get to March and again they are chasing us down – the pressure will feel lighter, players will have more composure, fans will be less crippled by the fear of failure.

That’s why Gooners celebrated like they did, the reason Gunners dropped to their knees on the pitch, an explanation for Arteta overcome with happiness. So much bigger than just a league victory, even against a rival.

Anyone who’s watched this team long enough knew that one deflection off Ake’s face was the equivalent of a bag of rocks being taken off our backs.

Not just for the 2023 version but all of those before them.

For two decades talent weighted down by the stigma of being the bridesmaids, each year adding to our reputation of going missing when it counts, the perception that the higher the stakes the more likelihood North London would choke.

That’s how unique this weekend was.

A rare moment in time.

A period of our history that we could look back on and see as the turning point.

The moment Arteta turned the tide, the first big step to something special, the time to stop looking back to the past.

For years, our bodies have been willing but our minds not.

In sport skill can only get you so far. What separates the good from the great, is that the great have the mindset, they don’t panic, they are not dictated by emotion, they don’t just perform with the lights on bright, they excel with a smile on their face.

That’s why the Emirates had that strange atmosphere yesterday.

Because since being built it hasn’t got that legacy of hosting famous European nights or being witnessed to lifting League titles.

Even when a Liverpool or Chelsea were not better than their opponents, those in the stands had faith because an Anfield or Stamford Bridge had walls that could talk.

Memories to call upon.

With 20 mins remaining we had a choice to make.

It became a chess game between two managers, the teacher offering the apprentice to essentially accept a draw.

That’s where we were heading, a goalless draw.

Not a bad result for either.

Would Arsenal be content with a point? To not risk a loss?

Because a City win without KDB and Rodri would have mentally been devastating. One we might not have recovered from.

If they still beat us without their star DM and play maker, then that’s a blow to the psyche.

Would not losing for once to City now being seen as progress?

Or would we be brave?

Would there be heart?

A willingness to want more?

Pride to only be content with the best?

Not afraid to take that next step?

On and off the pitch, for too long that’s the club we have become.

Not bad by any means but a willingness to never be fantastic again.

Comfortable to only finish top 4th, 5th called progress, labelled good by our own CEO!

Previous incarnations don’t take that next step, they play not to lose instead of trying to win.

In a sense injury actually helped us.

Martinelli and Partey were not deemed fit enough to start, but it meant our subs made us a stronger 11 by the end.

The underrated Brazilian was the one player on the pitch who seemed to want to take a chance, to directly charge at a defender, he eventually won the raffle for having the gumption to purchase a ticket.

I like to think Havertz and even Tomiyasu choosing to stride forward was tactical. Suddenly their height gave us a plan B, an alternative.

All 4 subs contributed to our winner, how often does that happen!

Don’t get me wrong, from a quality standpoint this wasn’t a great watch, but I like to think that was intentional.

Arsenal have been entertaining before – but unlucky.

I rather us be conservative then be good on the eye but naive.

We managed that 90 minutes in manner we didn’t have the tools to do so previously.

We haven’t been Champions since 2004. In that period there have been near misses.

So, I won’t be getting carried away in October or making any bold assumptions after just 8 fixtures into the season.

Yet if we lift the holy grail in May, don’t forget October 8th.

Because that was the moment we breathed again, we found our voice box, the world heard us shout, we didn’t ask we took, we stopped watching our peers and wished it was us, we had the ambition to not just chase our dreams but to go and catch them.



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Tags Arsenal v Man City


  1. The game was fought and won in the dugout, it’s one of the clearest indication the gaffer will be an elite manager in their near future.

  2. It showed how far we’ve progressed with Arteta’s management and Kroenke’s support. That was our first victory over Man City since 2015

    The next step should be achieving Man City’s high-press and ball-possession levels. We were still too afraid to press as they did, despite having world-class CBs, good defenders and talented midfielders to win the ball

    If we can’t make Man City nervous in their own area, I’m afraid we’ll get dominated at Etihad Stadium

    1. But we did make City nervous, or at least make them respect us, just as much as we respected them.
      That was the real achievement IMO.
      They set up not to lose just as much as we did. That is why it was so tactical.
      We weren’t dominated excpet in shorter spells. But we also domiated in a few spells.
      All even. and that is hige progress from our point of view.

      1. Man City dominated the ball possession in the first half of the game, as if they played at Etihad Stadium. We managed to take the control after they got tired in the second half

        1. We must have seen different games 😉
          I saw a game, where City dominated us the first 10-15 minutes. Rest of the match each team had shorter spells of domination.

          1. I’m a Spurs fan but STILL believe the PL benchmarks are Arsenal+City. Just happy for Spurs to be in the mix,it’s encouraging BUT we aren’t yet equipped to challenge for the title. 2 more transfer windows are needed.Top 4 is possible, top 6 probable.We’ll see what happens. One thing I DO know. You can’t rule Arsenal out OR City . They’re the 2 teams to aspire to.

    2. With Partey and Rice together, and Saka and Martinellie, we can be more pressing away at City.

  3. I look at this, as the moment, we finally showed, they couldn’t dominate us.
    In terms of points, it is of course great to have won. But for me the big statement lies in, we played them toe to toe, and we weren’t a team hoping to get away with it. First time in more than 10 years, I think. That shows how far we have come.

  4. It shows that we fight and can cope without Saka if we need to. We got a good bunch of players

    I also think not playing Havertz and playing Rice helped

    I still think Nkteiah isn’t good enough to lead us to the title and Jesus is really good but injury prone, but we are contenders and beating City was awesome

  5. I have been critical of the team several times this season but as I repeated it only last thing is that this team seems to learn from past mistakes.also,I really hope that after beating City without SaKa and our subs involved in the will convince MA to rotate,use squad players more often.

  6. Great article Dan, it was a statement win with some really outstanding performances, we stepped up when it really mattered and my man of the match was Arteta. He won the mind games by saying Saka was in contention to start when he want, he got us playing safe to make sure we had a load of possession and made subs at the right time, which won us the game. One more goal would have made us top of the league but unfortunately we have to settle for being second presently, but not for long, in my opinion.

  7. Congratulations boys. Congratulations Arteta. Having said that, the win underscores some points.
    Players like Harvertz is better from bench. Midfield of Partey and Rice is more stable than any other partnership. Finally, players rotation is non negotiable if we are to make progress.

    1. In reality it was a game won by a fluke deflection, we had a fluke deflection to beat utd in the 95th minute after var saved us and also only drew with spurs because of another deflected goal, lets be real

      1. If yoi consider a deflection fluke, ypu should consider a keeper saving a goal by a tiny “deflection” with gloves a fluke. You should consider every shot saved by a defender by being in the line of shot a fluke. Only thing you can call a fluke is when a player is not attempting to score a goal but rather pass to the teammate, but hits it wrong and it ends up in the back of the net. So far I haven’t seen any such flukes sp far.

  8. For people calling out fluke deflections saving Arsenal so far, I would just say it’s a game of probabilty. The more we put ourselves in the favorable positions, the more probable the favorable result.

    Probabilty is fair to both sides. It’s about turning it in our favor amd Arsenal seems to be doing right things so far.

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