Arsenal v Man City – Another display lacking in passion and fight by ThirdManJW
As always, we started we with no passion, fight, aggression, tempo, structure, which quickly led to City’s first goal. Martinelli not tracking de Bruyne into the box, giving him a free shot at goal, for a wonderful finish.
Not long after, we were two-nil down. City slicing through us with ease, for a simple tap-in at the far post for Sterling. Kolasinac deciding to mark the empty space, instead of Sterling.
For City’s third, de Bruyne easily spun past Guendouzi just outside the box and finished brilliantly into the corner on his weaker foot. Leno then denied de Bruyne his hat-trick with a world-class save. Very comfortable half for City.
Not sure Freddie said anything to them during the break, as our approach to the game was exactly the same. Jesus nicked the ball off Chambers in a really dangerous position, only to be denied by the brilliance of Leno. Not sure Ederson had anything to do, and it was a relaxing half for City. The stadium looked so empty as well.
Yet another pitiful, but expected performance. We were just an empty shell of a team. No pressing. We’re not defensive or attacking. Neither possession-based or counter-attacking. No identity at all! Freddie didn’t really have a choice with the starting XI today, but no tactics whatsoever from him. It was more of a training session for City, who barely got out of second gear.
I stand by what I keep saying, if we cannot get the right manager now, then bring in Allardyce until the end of the season, because relegation is a real possibility. At least he would give us an identity, but most importantly, sort out our horrific defending!
Leno 7 MOTM – Distribution not great, but pulled off great saves to deny two more goals. Had no chance on the three conceded. He’s won more MOTM awards than anyone else in my opinion, since his arrival. Which says a lot.
AMN 4 – Got forward a little, and defending not too bad. Nothing much else really.
Chambers 2 – Very poor today. Nearly cost us a goal, gave the ball away a lot.
Sokratis 3 – Did nothing of note.
Kolasinac 3 – Poor for the second goal, and went off in the first half with an injury. Subbed for Saka.
Guendouzi 3 – Worked hard off the ball, but City ran rings around him.
Torreira 4 – Made some good tackles, but pretty much the same as Guendouzi. Subbed for Willock.
Pepe 5 – Put some decent crosses in, and nice tricks that led to nothing. Extremely isolated when he got the ball, and City seemed to double up on him all the time.
Ozil 3 – Typical non-existent Ozil performance. Arrogant, slow walk off when he got subbed, kicking his gloves away as well. For all those who keep defending him, look at de Bruyne’s performance. That’s what a world-class playmaker looks like. Subbed for Smith-Rowe.
Martinelli 6 – About the only player who was really working hard off the ball. Willing to run at, and commit defenders. Not his greatest performance, but I loved his work ethic.
Aubameyang 4 – Given zero service, but didn’t show enough effort individually though.
Saka 5 – Did a decent job out of position at LB.
Smith-Rowe 6 – Drove forward very well on occasions, opening up space behind the midfield. Gave us a different dimension in central midfield.
Willock 5 – Standard rating for someone not on long enough.
Ljungberg 3 – The team sheet picked itself, but no tactics at all! Not sure what the plan was? I feel bad even rating him, because he has no experience, and has been put in an unbelievably difficult situation. City is just on a different planet, and he had lots of injuries to deal with as well. I just hope the board appoint a manager soon before fans get on Freddie’s back because he doesn’t deserve to have his legacy tarnished in any way by this.