Man City v Arsenal Player Ratings – No doubt about our Man Of The Match

It was a dour game all-in-all at Man City last night, and at times it seemed more like a tactical battle between the chess players in the dugout, but at least we had Saka to give us some hope of nicking a goal. A shinig star in a very barren sky!

Here are my Player Ratings…

Leno 5

I am not happy with Leno at all. I am absolutely certain that Martinez would have caught the ball that led to the goal, and the one near the end that could have finished us off. But (obviously!) we are not going to get into a discussion about spilt milk…

Bellerin 5

The Spaniard is still hot-and-cold as far as I am concerned. He is certainly not in the class that could play for Man City.

Luiz 6

Considering he was thrown in after Holding was injured in the warm up, he did well. Lately, Luiz does seem to play better against the big teams and he was pretty solid yesterday, barring the occasional blip!

Gabriel 6

Obviously not totally settled into the team yet and had his nervous moments, but I am certain he is going to improve our defensive stats this season.

Tierney 7

Don’t you just love watching him bomb down the wing. He’s not afraid of a tackle either but was definitely targeted by Man City. Pep must appreciate how dangerous he is…

Xhaka 6

Another solid performance from Xhaka, nothing spectacular but he is in a confident mood at the moment.

Ceballos 5

He is a trier for sure, but he could rarely come up with anything productive against Man City. Mind you, he can’t do everything on his own can he?

Saka 8

If he carries on playing like this he is a superstar of the future. Not scared to have a go, hecame close to scoring a couple of times, and was certainly not out of his depth. Easily Man Of The Match.

Pepe 5

He still has not yet learned to handle the Premier League, especially at this level. Very little impact.

Willian 5

I’m only giving him a 5 as he was played out of position, but also out of his depth. Not much else to say.

Aubameyang 6

Captain my captain! Didn’t get much service but looked good whenever he got the ball. But nothing to write home about today.


Lacazette 4

Replaced Willian and was lively, but I think in 22 minutes he only actually touched the ball about 5 times, and only two of those went to an Arsenal player.

Partey N/A

Welcome to Arsenal. But had no time to assert himself on the game.

Nketieh N/A

Like Partey, he only had 8 minutes on the field, but both made much more impact than Lacazette!


  1. – Tierney’s touches and passes were too heavy on many occasions, but he defended very well. If he wants to reach Andrew Robertson’s level, he should improve his touches and passes

    – Ceballos could read Man City’s flow in the first twenty minutes, hence he became our best ball interceptors in midfield and his rating should’ve been higher than Xhaka. He’s pretty combative in deep midfield area, but he won’t be able to showcase his creativity and skills until he plays as a CAM or as a half-winger

    – Saka is a highly talented winger, but I hope Arsenal wouldn’t ruin his development by forcing him to be a wingback. He played well as an inverted RW in Community Shield and I believe he’d be better than Pepe if he keeps playing on the right wing

    – Pepe should’ve learned how to cut inside effectively like the prime Sanchez and how to fake his shots like Mahrez. If he keeps losing the ball easily, I’m afraid this is going to be his last season at Arsenal

    – Willian is definitely not able to be a false nine like Firmino. Pace, strength and aerial duel are not his forte, so either play him as a winger or as a CAM

    1. Tierney was turned inside out on a number of occasions today ,don’t see how he got a 7 And Bellerin a 5 .
      Leno again getting blamed for Saving a shot and almost certainly saving us from going 2 down with a one on one save against Foden I think it was .
      Saka and Gabriel was definitely miles ahead of anyone today .

      1. Agree on Saka and Gabriel. Gabriel has been an excellent buy so far and I hope Partey can be like that too

      2. Some are just stupidly obsessive with Martinez,I mean what wrong did Leno do? Saved a shot in about 10 yards away and this writer said Martinez would have caught it, man should just say Martinez is better than neuer, Buffon and casillas combined. Nonsense. Nice comment bro

        1. Cmon. Martinez not only would have caught that sitter, he would have started a fast break and finished it with a 30m pearler into the top corner.

  2. I start from a completely DIFFERENT standpoint fromthe wealth of GOONER moaning minnies in yesterdays thread who moaned childishly at what they thought was a poor performance .

    I could non disagree more with that, frankly, stupid and entitled view. I was proud of thr hunrer, warrior attitude and sheer workrate of ALL our players. I loathe loafers, which is why i could never stand Walcott, Mkhi and especially the arch loafer off all time, Ozil, and I comsider ALL lazy players to be poison in a team sport.

    Some have conveniently short memories about how little astime ago our team was REGULARLT being bullied, outmuscled and out fought in games and that this disgracefuol attitude has been going on for many years , left unchecked by Wenger and not much helped by Emery either. Under MA M this attitude is go3en , never rot reappaear under his managrship and I am THRILLED(no other word can descibe it) that at long last we arenow watchinh reaol MEN inour kit and not frit scareycats masqwuerading as TRUE Arewnal players For that I am so very glad.. Next, and being a totaol realist – some might like to try realism sometime – I also rememjber we were away to MAN CITY NOT BL…DY WIGAN!

    We also cut out at least three clear cut glorious chances and should have had a penatly for a high boot on GABRIEL. THe marke awarded, save SAKA, I do agree was our best player are a travesty.
    I just want to stand up for realism, as I WILL NEVER BE A SPOILED JUVENILE AND HAVE THE LUDICROUS EXPECTATIONS some of thes ejuviles have, given what MA had to inherit , and who he has massively improved in a short time , winning TWO trophies along the way.

    I am massively proud of our team and our manager but throughly disgusted at reading so much utter rubbish from fans after this narrow defeat against a mighty opponent. The improvement from playing them last season is ENORMOUS, and that OUGHT to be said. So I have said it, as I demand the wholeand PROPER truth!

    1. Sheer passion and outright anger at the stupidity of many(not all, but a lot) of our fans made me type the above post quicker than usual, hence the many typos. But my points remain!

        1. DARTH, good to read and I have to say that anyone who does NOT see improvement is eIther very wilfully ” blind” or is intellectually beyond hope.
          The improvement has been ENORMOUS, but for some not as much as their ridiculously hyped and unrealistic expectaions. There are a number on here who REALLY believed we would win at City.

          I forecast a narrow defeat in my post made on Friday. As a suuccessful pro bettor for many decades I always prevent my heart ruling my head and thus become a realist. I of couse get things wrong, as I am human like we all are. But using ones unbiased head for proper and intelligent thinking gives me a huge advantage over the many one eyed fans , both from our club and from all other ones In a professional sense I thank God for them but as a fan, I DESPAIR OF THEM!

          1. I agree totally, so sad some people are blind to see the massive improvement. Some fans could even say we gonna win the champions league when we are not even in it.. journalist brainwashed people

    2. Again, you’re not a realist. You’ve just accepted lower standards and accept results where we only casually lose instead of lose horribly. Still results in no points my friend. Please explain how 4 teams that have spent less money than us, some even midtable/lower midtable teams have taken points off the these titan of sides like City and Liverpool already this season, and we did nothing but definitively lose. You act like this was an extraordinary game where we really stuck it to City but thats just not what happened and I dont know what game you were watching. And please dont call anyone on here entitled Jon. You are probably the biggest moaner on this entire site, so it’s really rich of you to accuse others of being childish and calling their views stupid when I have to roll my eyes at all the arguments you cause every few posts when someone doesn’t agree with you.

      1. I see your perspective, I see where you are coming from, and I disagree. I am able to say all of this without calling your point of view, stupid, immature, or juvenile. I simply DISAGREE, and provide my reasons why! You need to learn that when people hold different views than you it doesn’t mean they are automatically “this or that.”

    3. @jon, every one has a right to opinion and you can not call other stupid just because they don’t agree with you. Last time I checked you were no Einstein?. Loosing 1-0 does not mean that we had a good performance. Tell me something if you achieve 32 out of 100 in an exam and failed then next year you got 38 but you still failed, will you be satisfied that it’s an improvement. A fail is a fail it’s that simple. No one remembers the score line we lost 3-0 last year and 1-0 this year in both cases we got no points so i don’t understand the fuss with some of the fans who say this is an improvement. What are we to do with this improvement if it yeilds nothing?. As far as I am concerned I personally don’t mind losing as long as I get to see good entertaining football. This was dreadful football, we could not string 4 passes together and hardly had the ball. My issue is we are seeing same pattern in MA now as we saw in UE..we have moved away from big club mentality to small club metalilty where we are happy for the other team to have the ball while we wait for their mistakes. Worrying thing is even the fans who used to have such high standards in Wenger era are now happy with narrow defeats and come up with same excuse every time…we played the best team in world, we have new players who need settling, we lost by small margin n now some are even saying defensive football is an art so we are playing beautiful football in defensive sense. Defensive football is an art but that’s not what Arsenal are showing either. I think I am different to you in a way I prefer skill over passion. Not to offend British folks out there but I thing British fans prefer passion and work rate over skill/talent. We all are Arsenal fans and want what is best for the club. It’s good to see things with so many different angels and point of views. That’s how you learn, grow and improve. Wasn’t that the complaint we had with Wenger that he is too rigid in his ways and won’t adapt new strategies/techniques. So us as fan should be open to what other people think as well and should also view things from their angle. We are all human and not perfect so we make mistakes, sometime become too negative, sometime criticize unjustly and defend when we are in wrong as well but that’s what makes us human. Some of us are very optimistic/positive and some are pessemesitic, but thing to remember both have their own pros and cons so in a way all of us compliment each other and brings balance to the scale.

      1. Spot on Mohsan.
        Absolutely perfect….
        MA tactics are horrible…
        Sit back and hit them on counter…
        Absolutely nonsense to play one of the best CF as left winger… The player who can’t hold the ball and playing as false 9… Willian over the years proved himself to be one of the best right winger, and you play in CF position??
        Okay MA may want to accommodate Pépé, then Play Willian on left and switch Aubameyang to CF
        And come on there shouldn’t be any excuse to left Partey on bench…..
        Fortnight ago he played full 90 mins for ATM…. played for Ghana as well…. Then why there was need to bench him???
        You could clearly see Saka was miles better than Pépé, then why there was no tactical change after halftime… Any sane and sensible manager would have brought Partey and took off Pépé… Switching to 4-3-3 with Saka, Aubameyang and Willian as front three… Partey, Xhaka and Ceballos as CMs…
        Wasn’t that easy??
        Or was it too difficult to understand??
        We fans here can these things easily then why MA couldn’t understand this??
        And this 3-4-3 is pathetic football….
        The way we played yesterday was absolutely horrible….
        Things have to change…
        In UE Our problem was defending but at least he always tried to play attacking football…
        I am not defending UE, but there is nothing to defend For MA either…

      2. I made the comment about defensive football. Correctly executed defensive football is an art no doubt, but we are not seeing that at Arsenal at the moment. So I am willing to concede my view and say that the current style is not sustainable going forward.

    4. Didn’t you say that the community shield is not a trophy, just a warmup, pre season game? Now I see that it is being counted as a trophy,🤔🤔

  3. This useless 3 @ the back formation will ruin arsenal and arteta eventually.

    We should just bear it in mind that we are not going win any top six teams this season with this kind of clueless formation.

    1. This back 3 formation has done us well after lockdown it won us 2 trophies and people are moaning about it we didn’t play a 343 yesterday, the real issue is that we lack the consistency and creativity to go to the next level but that will come,.

      1. We could’ve just as easily lost the two trophies. We played the same way v Liverpool and mancity in the league and lost.

        1. And FA final was down to Anthony Taylor…
          His referring was horrible… In no world Kovacic would have sent off in that game..

  4. I just saw the highlights. Couldnt do much about it, but defenders should always be first on the rebound, or at least close to opposition players. I don’t blame Leno for that, ball is difficult to parry away when ball is coming towards right towards you.

    We had 2 great chances, Auba and Saka. Those are the reasons we lost. Against Pool, City etc. you will get 1-2 chances like that, which you just have to bury.. squander them and the opposition will capitalize on their own. Simple as that.

    Partey probably should have started. I mean Torreira started with Atletico and did really well. Partey is fit, speaks English, has played English teams before. There is absolutely no reason to “settle him in”.

  5. How sad…
    We bought Pépé for 72 Millions and Mahrez was available for 60..
    Another wrong selection of player…
    Poor tactics of playing safe…
    Pep mastered yesterday’s tactical battle…
    MA is too afraid of loosing his job..
    Such negative formation, tactics, man management..

      1. What Pépé has done to be more expensive than Mahrez…
        Mahrez was heavily involved in City’s goal..

  6. I really don’t understand why Leno always parry balls to the opponents. I’m loving this new Xhaka, I really can’t remember the last time he made a rash tackle or made any mistake, and Saka that boy is just too good. Saka can do everything Foden can do and even more, he can play in the middle can play as a left winger can play as a left back, we are so lucky to have him.

  7. That goal by Stering should have not been scored if Xhaka, the defensive
    Central Midfielder had fallen back to cover the defence as Gabriel and Tierney we’re rightly coverng the goal
    Secondly not Fielding Thomas Partey at the start was senseless and very unreasonable, knowing his strength and that we were going to face ManCity at home. Who deceived Arteta?
    When you want a substitute to impact in a game, put him in to use at least 35 minutes because anytime less than 30/35 minutes for a substitute is no use especially for a player’s Debut.
    But for the lapses, there was great improvement in the team. They have to be more Clinical.
    David Luis is drifting back to his errors again especially when shifted to play as RCB..There is hope.
    LENO has to train to catch and HOLD the ball tight. He gives rebounces all the time and they result into goals

    1. if Xhaka is going forward, the defensive line can push up for to not allow so much space. You’re right the trouble did start when Xhaka went forward, but team should recognize what to do when there is a giant gap in midfield.

  8. I’ve thought it through and over again but I dont get why ozil isn’t in this team when craps like xhaka, William can. Partey was benched for no reason . I dont know why we always need to play scared all the time when our opponent is feeding their best players. Arteta needs to address it and move back to 4 3 3 formation, else I dont see us in top 4, even top 6 is will be hard. Just take a look at how James is doing great at Everton an almost similar player to ozil but ancelloti is getting the best out of him

  9. I completely agree with Jon’s mature arguments. Some of our fans have very unrealistic expectations. Let us remember where we have come from and appreciate the great work Arteta has done. There is no crime in losing when you have tried your best. We played against the second strongest squad in the league, hence there is no shame in losing. Of course we are all disappointed but we shouldn’t be despondent. We shall soon bounce back.

    1. Thank you DAVID. I am not at all surprised, as you are one of the more intelligent and considered fans on this site,

    2. Thank God another person understand what it means to build a team. Even city and pool had worse times. some people are just plain unrealistic and cant wrap their heads around the level arsenal had dropped into before arteta arrived

  10. Arsenal fans are the problem. Loosing 1-0 away to Manchester city and complain. Forgetting that a certain Chelsea who spent over 200M drew 3-3 vs Southampton at Stamford bridge

  11. It’s time for change
    We can’t keep on riding with a back 5 because it limits our attack .
    All our attacks came from the left and that’s because of the threat of saka and tierny , the right hand side can’t perform has well because we don’t have another player like tierney ,playing as the rcb.
    It’s obvious that aubameyang isn’t a left winger, I hope arteta can sort out this issue

    1. Saka and KT create overload on the left side, who is helping Bellerin do same at the right side ?

      A lot of time our tactic seems to rely on that side of the pitch even when AMN play instead of Saka MA tactics focus there, either but using Saka as a winger while KT played lwb and AUBA as CF when attack, or AMN playing 3rd midfielders, or Xhaka covering when Saka and KT attack, all tactics has been on that side, while the other side is made redundant, we have played willian and Pepe there so far and it’s not been efficient,

      I think Bellerin to OR whoever is playing RWB should also be helped since our attack is going to be coming from wing and not middle

  12. Leno should have grabbed the ball instead of pushing for the goal. Martinez would have grabbed it. Arteta should figure out how to move forward more quickly. Too much time and effort is spent passing the ball around near the goal.

  13. Some are just stupidly obsessive with Martinez,I mean what wrong did Leno do? Saved a shot in about 10 yards away and this writer said Martinez would have caught it, man should just say Martinez would catch all 20 Messi penalties or Martinez is better than neuer, Buffon and casillas combined. Nonsense

    1. I don’t not fault Leno in any way for this defeat but I think Leno is not comfortable with ball at his feet (not a ball playing keeper) and he is equally not commanding in the air. He is though one of the best in the world when it come to shot stopping. Martinez boat has saled but we made a mistake there. It does not go down well with other young players coming through the rank as well and players who improve massively that when the more expensive buy is fit they will be benched again no matter how good they perform and are in current form better then the star player. With Martinez we were more comfortable playing from back and more assured on set pieces but now it feels like arsenal are a ticking bomb about to explode. If we wanted to keep playing from back then Martinez was a better option but now we should play to Leno’s strength and don’t ask him to do stuff which he is not comfortable at (playing as ball passer to start the moves).

    2. Yes, this writer also saw Leno conceded 4 goals against Switzerland in the mid week and 2 of them were his fault.

  14. Arteta should buy Tarique Lamptey of Brighten and replace Bellerin

    January window else will be too late as his price will go up

    1. You are so critical of Bellerin, he played just like Saka, while Saka has a cover from Xhaka, and KT, who is covering for Bellerin?

  15. The main problem with Leno is not his ability as a keeper… The problem with him is his silence.. The defence looks shaky with him because he doesn’t guide them.. Thats why we looked better with Martinez in goal because Martinez was vocal and helped keeping the defence line in check.. Plus he’s much better in decision making than leno and better with his feet.

  16. A difficult game away to a very good side so to lose by one goal isn’t so bad. However, I would love to see Arsenal play without the handbrake engaged. They just seem to play with a restriction and hesitation sometimes.

    We don’t seem as committed in 50/50 situations which ultimately leaves us chasing shadows against teams who are quick with passing and pressing.

    I’m sure MA will get there with his identity and brand. He just needs time which, I think we should all give. At least until the end of the season and see where we are by then?

    1. @gunneray, this is all we fans want to see to play with the hand brake. Let’s be Leeds and play without fear. On paper their squad is worse then us even lescester’s as well so why can we not play without fear like these two teams play. What some of the fans are seeing as negative comments from other fans is I actual a statement that this team can achieve much better under MA with much better fearless and expensive football. We are too cautious for most of the fans liking. I won’t go too far but Leeds lost 1-0 as well to city but they gave city a run for their money and even the neutrals enjoyed that match why can’t we do same? Why are we so scared when we play top 6 teams?. Well to be honest we played same kind of football against West ham and Sheffield as well.

  17. You seem to forget 2 of our 3 wins so far have been against the worst sides in the league. These two wins papered over the cracks that is the lack of creativity in this team.

    Everyone else is scoring more goals this season, but we’re still lacklusture. No way Auba is becoming top scorer this season.

    More losses are coming very soon. Its gonna be the same thing as last season until he plays more and we definetly need an amf in January.

  18. There is clearly a witchhunt against Leno which has increased since the departure of Martinez, who I would remind fans, asked to leave Arsenal.To slate the keeper for the Man City goal is just ridiculous All I can say is I would rather have Leno than, Pickford,Kepa,De Gea and Loris any day of the week.

  19. We could’ve just as easily lost the two trophies. We played the same way v Liverpool and mancity in the league and lost.

  20. I disagree with AUBA rating
    What did he do better than willian and Pepe.
    I think Leno deserves a 6.
    Well, Bellerin misjudged Forden intention, probably he expected him to use his strong foot to shoot.

    I think, for this formation and tactic to work our rcb must get involved in the attack and push the RWB up front whenever we attack, this is the same thing that happened between Saka and KT, this is making us get more services from that wing

  21. If Auba decided to be striking from left, pls,let’s have our Saka at the RW.too much concentration/focus towards LW doesn’t allow football to flow is no more by name or transfer record, play them according to their form. Saka is hot presently, MA,take heed.

  22. we didn’t lose by much and i saw some good football when we started growing into the game after 30 min. it’s definitely an improvement.

    I hate the 5 backs system because it does not allow us to create much in midfield but I do feel it is temporary until our defense settles. i bet arteta will switch to back 4 sooner or later.

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