Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Pep Guardiola not thinking about retaining Premier League title

MesutOzilUnaiEmery- cropped Emery Arsenal lacked belief in Manchester City defeat
Charles Bowen | 13 August, 2018, 08:06

The contest was the Gunners' first Premier League game without Arsene Wenger for 22 seasons and Emery's first competitive one since taking over.

But Emery has instead opted for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to fill in, with Sokratis partnering Shkodran Mustafi in the heart of the Arsenal defence, while Petr Cech gets the gloves rather than new signing Bernd Leno.

Riyad Mahrez, the £60 million (Dh281m) summer recruit from Leicester City, was handed a first Premier League start on the right of a front three for the champions in place of Leroy Sane, a stalwart of last season's title-winning campaign who also began last season out of the starting XI.

It was a baptism of fire for new Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who was left in no uncertain terms about the gulf in quality between his resources and those Guardiola at Guardiola's disposal. But will all play a part in their opening game against City?

Emery was unable to shed any light on the injury to Ainsley Maitland-Niles and hopes Nacho Monreal can return to training to give him an option at left-back.

"I said to him when he [Welbeck] arrived with us after the holidays, I want the best performance in his career from this player - and to work for that", he said. However, Wanderers will be disappointed it was not more having played against 10 men for the majority of the game.

"We have to continue working tactically and defensively, and also making shorter the difference between Manchester City and us".

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On the teenager, Emery added: "It's his first match here in the Premier League". This sums up Arsenal's day. Their very presence made it hard for Arsenal to defend.

"In the end, inevitably, you can make a few mistakes. Hopefully we can convince him to be calm and forget the social media!"

This is a prediction based on recent Premier League form for both sides as well as their current head-to-head record.

As Pep Guardiola's side strolled to three points, they started singing about Arsenal's former manager, but their Gunners' counterparts produced a brilliant response.

"The team, for 90 minutes, they ran, they tried, they pushed, but we need to improve all collective and individual aspects".

Benjamin Mendy has been playing down the left halfspace in an inverted manner, helping City out while in possession by moving forward high up the pitch.

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