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Arsenal were powerless to prevent Manchester City picking up a 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Sky Blues got off to a flying start as an unmarked Raheem Sterling got on the end of a scooped cross from Riyad Mahrez in just the second minute.
Arsenal offered very little in attack as the exceptional City midfield took charge of the ball.
The Gunners did grow into the game in the second period, but could not produce the all important chance to claw themselves back into the match.
Here are three mistakes which may have ended up costing Mikel Arteta against his old boss Pep Guardiola.
Picking Odegaard over Smith Rowe
Real Madrid loanee Odegaard had an incredibly quiet game as he watched master playmaker Kevin de Bruyne show him how to take charge of a game.
Since Odegaard’s arrival, Emile Smith Rowe seems to have taken a backwards step, playing out on the wing or being left on the bench.
But the ‘Croydon De Bruyne’ was having a fine run of form before being knocked off his perch by Odegaard, and Arteta ended up switching them around as the Gunners chased the game.
No doubt the Norwegian needs more time to settle in, but it’s a shame to see Smith Rowe’s development being slowed down somewhat.
Switching Saka and Pepe
Arteta tried to mix things up by switching Bukayo Saka to the left wing, meaning Nicolas Pepe was on the right.
The pair have played in the alternate positions in recent weeks, with Saka reaping the rewards as he can cut in with his left.
However, it didn’t pay off, with Saka seeming to have less of an influence on the game, while Pepe offered little on the right before being subbed off.
In fairness, City full-backs Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko are a higher calibre of player to that Arsenal’s wingers have typically faced.
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Sticking with Bellerin
Could there be an argument that Hector Bellerin is being played almost out of habit rather than warranting a start every week.
Bellerin didn’t make any glaring mistakes against City, but Cedric looks good every time he plays.
Is it time that Arteta took stock over his right back options?
- Pep Guardiola
- Raheem Sterling
- Arsenal FC
- Mikel Arteta
- Manchester City FC
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