Premier League matchday 29

Arguably, the most popular championship in the world, the Premier League returned to action today with two games. The first one saw no goals (allowed) between Aston Villa and Sheffield United. The second one was a very anticipated clash between runner-up Man City and Arsenal

Arteta returns

The game saw the return of Mikel Arteta in a familiar stadium. He spent many years assistant coach Pep Guardiola, who himself, advised him to take the Arsenal coaching job earlier during the season. His return was spoiled by a poor defensive sequence provided by David Luiz, who was terrible in this game. The ball bounced back his leg and ended up in Sterling’s control who adjusted Leno to open the scoreboard right before the break (45’+2). 

In the second half David Luiz made another mistake by letting Mahrez take advantage of him and fouled the Algerian in the penalty box, double sentence as he was sent off the pitch with still 40 minutes to play in this game. Kevin de Bruyne gave the Citizens a decisive 2-0 lead. Foden would conclude the mark with a late goal to punctuate a successful win 3-0 for Manchester City in their return to play in the Premier League. 

Coaches reaction

City coach Guardiola comments on the big win:

We have incredible respect for Arsenal, because we know exactly what they want to do. But it was a mystery how the team would be after more than two months out. The first minutes of the game were typical of two months off, with an incredible amount of energy from both teams.

After, we settled, set up the game and had chances. We were lucky to score the first goal at the end of the first half and after, with the penalty and the sending off, it was much easier.

In general, after two months you don’t know how the team is going to feel. We made a good performance against a good team.”

Arsenal coach and former Manchester City’s assistant Mikel Arteta:

“We had moments in the first 30 minutes that we were really competing for the game, that we were putting them in trouble. Some really open situations were there to finalise actions much better than what we did. We failed to finish them even on target.

After that, just before half-time we conceded the goal from an individual error. After that, straight away, the red card and penalty gave us a mountain to climb against this quality opposition. To play with 10 men for 45 minutes is a really difficult thing to do.

We have to start winning football matches as quick as possible. We have to see who we have available to get that starting XI after the injuries that we got tonight”.