Arsenal’s slow start
It seems strange to say given that they conceded after just two minutes, but Arsenal were given their warning against Manchester City.
Inside the first 60 seconds of the match Raheem Sterling found himself completely unmarked at the back post but miscued his kick completely.
Less than a minute later the Premier League leaders were in front at the Emirates as Arsenal paid the price once again for starting slow.
The Gunners have now conceded in the opening 15 minutes on each of Manchester City’s last six visits to the Emirates.
“We talked about it. We had to come out of the blocks really strongly, really convincingly,” Mikel Arteta told the press after the game. “We did the opposite.”
It’s not just the manager who think the Gunners’ slow starts are a problem though.
“Right now, unfortunately we have a concentration problem,” Nicolas Pepe told French TV after the game. “We have to learn from it because they were in front after nothing.”
It’s immensely frustrating for Arteta as he tried to find a way to get one over his old mentor Pep Guardiola.
The Gunners boss admitted he feared things could get a lot worse as City really turned the screw in search of a second goal in the opening 15 minutes.
“That was my worry because the formation the players that they used today there’s nothing worse than going behind early,” he said of the possibility of his team collapsing after the early blow.
“Because it puts the game exactly where they want it, with time on the ball, creating overloads with the false nine anywhere they want on the pitch.
“And you become impatient and frustrated and I thought that the team reacted really well to that and we gave them a real game.
“At the moment they are best team because they dominate every single department and credit to them because they are incredible.”
Arteta will no doubt take positives from the fact that they didn’t crumble in ways that became common place under Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.
But if he wants his side to take the next step and start genuinely challenging the biggest and the best, then it is impossible to keep giving them the upper hand so early on. It’s a learning experience for Arsenal, but one that they have to take.
Arsenal make Premier League history
The moment Arsenal made Premier League history as it turned out went almost completely under the radar.
In fact as Rob Holding was replaced by David Luiz after being caught in the face by the studs of Joao Cancelo, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone away from the Gunners bench who actually knew a complete footballing first was actually going on.
It was only as Dani Ceballos came on for Mohamed Elneny a few minutes later that it became clear what had happened.
Arteta gives exciting update on Odegaards involvement
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed when a decision will be made regarding Martin Odegaard’s future.
The attacking midfielder is on loan with the Gunners from La Liga giants Real Madrid until the end of the season and has impressed supporters with his performances on his first two starts for the club.
An impressive outing in the 4-2 win over Leeds United last weekend – Odegaard’s full Premier League debut – was followed up with a classy display in the 1-1 draw with Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Despite not getting on the scoresheet, the Norway international caught the eye with a ‘pre-assist’ for Bukayo Saka’s equaliser in the round of 32 first-leg clash.
And the Arsenal boss has revealed that talks over whether Odegaard will remain at the Emirates past this season will take place once the campaign is over.
“He is a young leader,” Arteta said as quoted by Sky Sports. “He has been here a very short time but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week.
“We have Martin for a few months from Real Madrid and first of all we have to maximise this time with him to try to bring to the team all the qualities he has.