Mahrez, Sokratis and Guendouzi make Premier League debuts

Joann Johnston
August 12, 2018

Although Emery failed to record a victory against Guardiola during that four-year period, his tactical approach often caused serious problems in the first halves of matches. Kyle Walker will overlap more for City than for England, where he was shifted inside into a back three.

Sterling and Mendy outnumbered Bellerin on the right, with the French defender's cross picking out Silva, who cleverly peeled away from his marker Stephan Lichtsteiner to fire past the exposed Cech. The only disappointing aspect of City's performance was that they lacked the clinical edge that saw them waltz past teams last season.

It is great to know they are enjoyng themselves, but I wonder if it's enough to get over our inferiority complex against City.

Anyway, without further ramblings, how did the players do in this match? There was one double save in particular, denying Riyad Mahrez from the free kick and then Aymeric Laporte on the follow up.

Emery handed debuts to two new signings, including 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi, a surprise £7m signing from Lorient in the summer.

The Frenchman was involved in one of his side's more awkward moments midway through the first half, though.

Arsenal still looked anxious and Cech nearly scored a weird own goal when his miscued pass across the penalty area crept wide of his unguarded net. "But I think here we are going to feel very well".

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City begin their title defence with a trip to Arsenal , with the Catalan insisting his only focus is on securing three points. The new Arsenal boss, asked if Arsene Wenger had been in touch, responded by saying his way would be the new way at the club.

De Bruyne's fellow Belgium worldwide Vincent Kompany is also on the bench, meaning January arrival Aymeric Laporte starts alongside John Stones at the back.

And City, in their usual ruthless, unforgiving nature, would eventually punish the plethora of sloppy Arsenal play in the final third.

Sergio Aguero will continue to play in the striker position.

Raheem Sterling in the 14′ and Bernardo Silva in the 64′ were the two shooters to get the ball past Cech, who didn't have a very solid showing.

The Argentine worldwide is expected to be given the nod ahead of Gabriel Jesus but it will be interesting to see how the quick-footed striker manages to evade the robust Sokratis in the Arsenal backline.

But on the evidence of this game, City look ready to break that trend. But, he might not enjoy a positive start to his Premier League career as he will face the best midfielder in the league in Kevin de Bruyne. With the addition of Mahrez, they have an even better squad than they did last season.

After 14 minutes City showed they will likely be the team to beat this campaign too.

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