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Manchester City vs Arsenal at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Anthony Taylor
17th June 2020 8:15 PM (BST)
  • 3 Manchester City

    • ‘45'+2' Raheem Sterling
    • ‘51' Kevin De Bruyne (Pen)
    • ‘90'+1' Phil Foden
  • 0 Arsenal


Commentary By Caroline Oatway


There you have it! ๐Ÿ‘

That's all from me. A lovely 3-0 win to resume our Premier League campaign. Back with a bang!

It's been a strange one, reporting on City from the comfort of my couch... but I hope you've enjoyed the coverage.

Stay safe and look after each other. We'll see you again on Monday for our visit of Burnley.

Until then, stay tuned to for most post-match reaction!

Take care.


Guardiola on #BlackLivesMatter ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"We should send one thousand million messages for the black people.

"400 years to do what we have done for the lovely people, I'm embarrassed and ashamed what the white people have done for the black people.

"Just because of the colour of your skin, how can you think something about another one?

"Things are not going to be solved in a few days but we will do everything we can.

"It's not acceptable in this period. It's not just in the USA - it's all around the world.

"We have to do a lot of things for black people we haven't done so far."


More from Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"The players are so dynamic - they don't need too many training sessions to keep in condition. 

"We have one eye on the next game. Now, we have five days, then three days, four days.

"Aymeric Laporte was also a long injury. We have players who are not ready for 90 minutes - we'll try play another one, maintain fitness.

"Now, we have 15 points in front of fifth in the table for qualification in the Champions League. That is the first (target) so we try to get it.

"Then, we'll focus on Newcastle and Real Madrid."


Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Everybody wants it after three months.

"(In the beginning), it was quiet. We had chances.

"It was important to score after half-time. In general, I cannot say anything than that I am happy with the performance and the team from everyone.

"There was good shape from the team - a good thing for the next games."


Pep Guardiola (on Eric Garcia) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"We are little bit concerned. He responded quite well but have to wait for the next hours.

"He's conscious, which is a good sign but he's going to make an extra test in hospital.

"In the first game, you never know what's going to happen.

"It was a long time without playing.

"Apart from Eric, there were no injuries and in parts, we played good."


Sterling (on the Premier League's support of #BlackLivesMatter) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"I see it as a massive step for the Premier League - to allow something like that to happen.

"It showed we're going in the right direction - little by little, we're seeing change.

"That's what everyone's hoping for - not just black players; the majority of the country.

"(Taking the knee) was natural, organic. That's the most important thing.

"We'd seen the other teams do it in the earlier kick-off (Aston Villa v Sheffield United) and we thought: we have to do it as well."


Sterling (on his first goal of 2020) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"It's something I beat myself up about but I knew at some point, I'd get an opportunity.

"You have to take it and that's what I did today.

"In the last couple of days, the boys tested negative so we celebrated in the right manner.

"We weren't too close - little fist bumps won't hurt anyone.

(On Eric Garcia): "Eric had a fantastic game. He fitted in really well and was composed.

"We were sad to see him go off like that.

"It looked quite bad but after, he looked a bit more like himself."


Raheem Sterling ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"It's been a confusing couple of weeks - we didn't know where we were at.

"We were buzzing to be back at the Stadium - on home turf - and we put in a good performance.

"We expected it to be weird. The message when we came back from the break was to 'find something within ourselves - to dig deep.'

"The first ten minutes, we were getting used to the atmosphere, getting the cobwebs off.

"We controlled the game and took our chances.

"The boys kept their composure and fought to the end."


Your say ๐Ÿ—ฃ

Stick with us for all the post-match reaction but while we wait for Pep and the players, let us know your thoughts on your experience of City's recent coverage.

Everything from our City Restart documentary to match analysis shows and everything in-between... Have your say! 



Get in there!

City return to Premier League action with a win - a 3-0 win at that - against Arsenal.

A comprehensive performance from Pep Guardiola's men, who netted either side of half-time before Phil Foden sealed the victory in injury time.

A display marred only by injury to Eric Garcia. More on that as soon as we have it...



Chance for Arsenal to pull one back but the ball trickles the right side of the post!

The corner doesn't clear the first man.

This game has been so open in the last few minutes, it's mad.


A rarity! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

One-on-one, Sergio Aguero just hit the side-netting!

Unheard of! Honestly, 2020 is bringing up all kinds of surprises!


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

More good play from City ends with another goal. 3-0 - a Foden tap in after a fine effort from Aguero โ€“ seals the win, surely. 

But itโ€™s hard to focus on the game after the incident with Eric Garcia. The noise the collision made was immediately concerning and he was clearly hurt. Everyone at City wishes him a speedy recovery.


Game, set, match! โšฝ

Lovely one-two between Sterling and Aguero.

The Argentine is unfortunate not to find the net as Leno tips his effort onto the post...

But Foden is on hand to smash home the rebound!


Speedy recovery, lad ๐Ÿ’™

Garcia is stretchered off.

He's well strapped up. Hope he's alright.

Hopefully, Pep will be able to update after the game.


Ouch ๐Ÿ˜–

A bad collision there between Ederson and Garcia.

The centre-back is currently on the ground receiving treatment.

Long ball over the top, they both ran towards it... Ederson went to head clear and caught the youngster.


Great effort ๐Ÿ‘

Lovely from Sterling to attempt to return the favour for his goal, flicking the ball into De Bruyne's path.

The Belgian fires goalward but Leno saves at his near post.


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Silva and Mahrez off for Bernardo and Foden. Probably a good time to freshen things up. Fitness levels clearly not where they were prior to the league being suspended and a good chance to involve other players. 

Indeed, Guardiola said in his press conference yesterday that a big part of his job in the next 40 days will be to rotate his squad intelligently.


Double City change ๐Ÿ”„

David Silva hands the armband over, as he's replaced by Phil Foden.

Bernardo Silva also comes on for Riyad Mahrez.


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Just had a moment of sadness when I remembered this is one of the last times weโ€™ll see David Silva in City blue. For me, there hasnโ€™t been a more pleasing player to watch in my time watching the club. 

The most technically gifted footballer weโ€™ve ever had?


Home comforts ๐ŸŸ

City well in control now against the ten men of Arsenal.

Perfect start to the second half and should be a case of just maintaining that control now, keeping it simple, passing it around. No need to force any opportunities.

So far, so good.


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Great start to the second half and we look dominant now. Itโ€™s City doing all the running and being more adventurous going forward, and we are getting rewards. 

Mahrez flew into the Arsenal area looking to create another City opening โ€“ but he was pulled back by David Luiz, who was shown a red card. De Bruyne stepped up and dispatched the penalty confidently, sending Leno the wrong way. 

Given our truncated preparations for this match, weโ€™ve acquitted ourselves superbly.


Almost! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Outrageous ball from Ederson - straight to the feet of Mahrez - but our Algerian maestro just can't control the ball as he'd hoped before Leno appears to gather.


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

There really is no substitute for having fans inside the stadium. The players feed off their passion and without them - and with such a short time back at the CFA to prepare - the tempo suffered for the first 30 minutes. 

But there were signs of real improvement as the half wore on with, City looking commanding in the period leading up to Sterlingโ€™s fine goal - his first since hitting a double at Wolves in late December.


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

City deserve that goal. Weโ€™ve been the ones looking to turn the screw and make things happen. 

De Bruyneโ€™s searching ball into the channel flicked off David Luiz, and Sterling, always on the shoulder of defenders, nipped in and blasted home. 

Fine finish. 

On a side note, strange being sat in the press box and being able to hear every shout, scream and referee instruction. Itโ€™ll take some getting used to, this.


WHAT A FINISH!!!! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

De Bruyne with a sensational ball forward, which Luiz completely misjudges.

The ball falls beautifully for Sterling and he absolutely SMASHES the ball into the back of the net!!!


What a chance! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

De Bruyne again with a sumptuous ball through to Sterling.

The England man opts for the chip but he gets too much on it and it loops over the bar!

Would have been a beautifully-crafted goal...


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

City ramping up the intensity a little bit. 

Sterling with a great effort, cutting in from the left and shooting with his right foot, it was a decent save from Leno. 

And the Arsenal โ€˜keeper was at it again moments later, spreading himself well to deny Mahrez from close range. 

Itโ€™s (understandably) been a somewhat tepid start, but City coming into it now.


Turning the screw ๐Ÿ”ง

This is the City were know and love.

De Bruyne there with a superb through-ball into Mahrez, who looks to clip past Leno but again the Arsenal shot-stopper is alert to thwart.


Getting in the rhythm ๐Ÿ”ต

Much better from City in recent moments.

Lovely move ends with Silva driving a low shot goalward but Leno gets down well to save again.



Better! ๐Ÿ‘

Sterling with his trademark cut inside and curl.

He forces Leno into a smart stop, as he pushes the effort round the far post.


Oops ๐Ÿ˜“

Sloppy from De Bruyne there* and Aubameyang almost capitalises but (fortunately) curls over the bar.

*I don't think I've ever uttered those words before. 2020 is mad!


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Two injuries for Arsenal already, with Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari off. With only three weeks to prepare for the resumption of football and 92 games to squeeze over the next 40 days, we may see a few more of those!


Water break ๐Ÿ’ฆ

Another change: the introduction of a mid-half water break.

Mari is still down receiving treatment, meanwhile; David Luiz is readying himself for action.


Argh! ๐Ÿ˜‘

Walker just absolutely flew down the flank to get to the by-line but couldn't pick out a City man in the middle!

Arsenal have another man down: Mari seems to have pulled his hamstring...



Interesting start to this game.

Arsenal have enjoyed more of the possession but City have looked more threatening going forward.

Need to gain control of the ball. The Gunners seem to be growing in confidence.



Mahrez tries his luck with a volley, which is nicked away by Bellerin.

I think it was off-target anyway but City are denied a corner.

A goalkick is awarded.


Sad scenes

Arsenal are forced to make an early change, as Ceballos replaces Xhaka, who has been stretchered off.

Wishing him a speedy recovery.


Promising start ๐Ÿ‘

Good chance for City early on, as Mari clatters into Sterling on the edge of the box.

City have a free-kick...

De Bruyne's effort is tipped over well by Leno.


Rob Pollard ๐Ÿ’ฌ

The rain is lashing down, the players are outโ€ฆ but we all wish the fans were here. After 101 days without football, itโ€™s back, but not as we know it. 

No handshakes pre-match and a minuteโ€™s silence to reflect on those we have lost during this global health crisis, including the great Glyn Pardoe, who passed away at the end of May aged 73.

Itโ€™s a sombre, reflective start to the night, but our Premier League campaign is officially back under way.



As the referee blows his whistle, the players take the knee in an iconic and poignant showing of support for the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

And we are under way.


Right Here, Right Now ๐Ÿ‘‡

With the two teams emerging separately, it's Arsenal who step out onto the pitch first.

City to follow.

Needless to say, it's raining(!)

There'll be no handshakes before kick-off so we're just moments away from our season restart.

First of all, some moments to reflect. The two teams stand together on the centre circle to reflect on the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, remember Club legend Glyn Pardoe and share thoughts of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Pep Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

(On the Premier League return): "Football is back. It's good news.

"I hope for no injuries - to play a good game for the journalists here and the people at home."

(On Leroy Sane's return): "He's back and able for when we decide to play him.

"Of course, it's good, especially for him. It was a long injury but he's back and it's good."

(On Mikel Arteta in the opposition dugout): "It will be a little bit strange.

"We were rivals as players and now as managers.

"We had an incredible three-and-a-half years together. I learned a lot from him.

"He's an exceptional person and manager. I wish him all the best.

"Of course, our friendship is not going to be removed for a football game.

"We want to win; they want to win. It depends on the players. I cannot play and he cannot play, fortunately!"


A word from our roving reporter Rob Pollard ๐ŸŽ™

Itโ€™s a bizarre sight. Thirty minutes before kick-off, the atmosphere inside the Etihad is usually building, with fans streaming in from across Manchester and taking their seats in expectation. 

This, though, is a new world, one that has been turned upside amid the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. New measures are in place, with no supporters here and very few staff. Itโ€™s all a little eerie, to say the least. 

Quite how the players will react, no-one knows, but it will be an unusual experience for them to play a top-flight, elite-level football match in these circumstances. 

The stadium, though, is dressed beautifully, with flags and banners in the stands, and huge LED screens to the side of the goals. 

It isnโ€™t how we would ideally have liked to return after a three-month suspension of the game in England. But, hopefully, our fans across the globe can enjoy the match from wherever they are.


Pep Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

โ€œI would say here in England, like in Spain and Germany, it (football) is an important part of society - but please don't forget the most important people, those in the NHS.

โ€œThey went to work every day, risking contamination of COVID-19, to keep the rest of the people alive.

โ€œThe cleaners, nurses, doctors - those there every day who put their lives at risk to save ours.

โ€œItโ€™s nice to be back but they are the real heroes of society. It is hard to imagine waking up, having a family, going to hospital where the virus is to save other lives. What they have done is incredible.

โ€œPersonally, I will never forget for the rest of my life what these people have done. All we can do in this country for these people, we have to do.

โ€œAnd we need to make sure they are protected and can do their job better. Big compliment - thank you so much. Me and my family will never forget the NHS staff across the world.โ€


El Mago ๐Ÿ’ซ

So grateful to still have the opportunity to see this man in action in the beautiful sky blue - and rocking those glorious locks!

Pep Guardiola confirmed in yesterday's press conference that David Silva will stay on until the conclusion of the campaign with his contract originally due to expire at the end of June.

โ€œYeah, David will stay until the end of season,โ€ Pep explained.

โ€œHe will finish the last games without people. But hopefully he and the club can organise a proper farewell in front of people.

โ€œBig clubs become incredible clubs when they make gestures to incredible players who have been here more than a decade. Like Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart, Yaya Toure...all these players. Pablo Zabateta. Sorry for the names I forget, but they know who they are!

โ€œThe situation is what it is, no-one wants it. David especially. The club will make an agreement with David and do what they have to do.โ€

(I don't know about you but I couldn't bear the thought of his last City memory being *THAT* miserable day at Old Trafford...)


Team news and tactics โฌ‡

Eric Garcia starts this evening, with Leroy Sane named in the matchday squad for the first time in 10 months.

Nineteen-year-old Garcia makes just third Premier League start and will partner Aymeric Laporte in defence, whilst Sane is involved for the first time since suffering a knee ligament injury in the Community Shield victory over Liverpool in August.

Pep Guardiola has made eight changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Manchester United in our final fixture before football was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ederson, who will make his 100th Premier League appearance, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling are the only players to retain their place from the defeat at Old Trafford, with Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and captain David Silva returning.

Claudio Bravo, Joao Cancelo and John Stones are not fully fit and have been left out of tonightโ€™s squad.


King Kun ๐Ÿ‘‘

Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last 12 appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including a hat-trick when City beat Arsenal 3-1 at home last season. 


Did you know...? ๐Ÿ‘€

๐Ÿ”น City have won our last six matches against Arsenal in all competitions - our best-ever winning run against the Gunners. 

๐Ÿ”น Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven away Premier League matches (W1 D6), with each of their last five ending level. The Gunners have never drawn six consecutive away league matches.

๐Ÿ”น The Gunners' last win against City came in an FA Cup semi-final in 2017.

๐Ÿ”น This will be both sides' second competitive match in the month of June. Manchester City beat Newport County 5-1 at home in a second tier game in 1947, while in the same year Arsenal lost 2-1 at Sheffield United in a top-flight encounter.


Pep talk ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Pep Guardiola says his players will have to adapt to a congested Premier League fixture schedule as the competition returns after it was suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

โ€œWe are going to play and we will adapt as quickly as possible,โ€ he said during a video conference with journalists on Tuesday afternoon.

โ€œThey [the players] came back really well. We have absolutely no complaints. But the way we are right now, like other clubs, we donโ€™t know.

โ€œTomorrow we will see the level of the team and from there we will see what we can do better. All the teams in the Premier League have just three and a half weeks.

โ€œWe know it isnโ€™t enough, but it is what it is. Everyone suffered this situation, personally and economically, and we have to adapt.

โ€œThey are training well, but I donโ€™t know exactly their condition.

โ€œYes [Iโ€™m concerned about the injury risk]. We are ready to play one game, but three days after another and four days after another...we are not ready.

โ€œWe have to rotate and use all the players. The players are in naturally good physical condition. You can play two weeks' holiday - but not three months.

โ€œBut we have to start the season.โ€


Rule changes ๐Ÿ“„

New regulations to be aware of... 

  • A minute's silence will be held before kick-off to recognise those whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. No handshakes will take place.
  • An NHS badge will feature on the shirts of players and match officials for the rest of the 2019/20 season, in tribute to the incredible work of National Health Service workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • For our first two games back โ€“ against Arsenal and Burnley โ€“ players names will be replaced by โ€˜Black Lives Matterโ€™ on the back of shirts. This will be the case in each of the first 12 fixtures after the restart.
  • A โ€˜Black Lives Matterโ€™ sleeve patch will feature on shirts for the remainder of the season.
  • Teams can make five substitutions, rather than three and are able to name nine substitutes instead of seven.
  • However, managers will only be allowed to make changes at three points in the game. This is to reduce the level of disruption in a match.
  • Only three substitutes will be allowed to warm up at any one time.

Together ๐Ÿ’™

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Football Group has been supporting the emergency global response for the past three months, through almost ยฃ1,000,000 of donations, in-kind support and the loaning of facilities.

Yesterday, we launched Cityzens Giving For Recovery - a 12-month recovery campaign bringing together our nine clubs, thousands of staff, players and coaches, and millions of fans to help communities get back on their feet. We're aiming to deliver a minimum of another ยฃ1,000,000 of funding and support through this initiative.

Many of our partners will be supporting the cause too, notably CFGโ€™s principal partner of more than a decade, Etihad Airways, who will help kick-off the campaign by generously donating the space on the front of Cityโ€™s shirt, which normally bears its company branding, to โ€œCityzens Giving for Recoveryโ€ for tonight's game.

In a further boost, CFG will be matching pound for pound all donations for the funding of nine recovery-linked projects near to each of our clubs; an extension of the traditional annual Cityzens Giving campaign.

Fans can get involved too, by donating to the projects, fundraising and submitting ideas to help their communities which CFG may be able to support.

Supporters can make donations and find out more in-depth information about the bold initiative by accessing our dedicated website


City are back, City are back! Hello, hello! ๐Ÿ‘‹

A very good evening fromโ€ฆ well, from my living room in South Manchester!

Tonight, of course, marks the return of Premier League football but like you all, Iโ€™ll be watching the game from home. I am proud to say that my living room is decorated sky blue and in spirit, I have donned my 1999/00 shirt (which I dragged out of the loft) and draped my blue and white scarf behind me on the couch.

A very strange situation but as always, weโ€™ll still be looking to bring you the best possible coverage of the game and in addition to my commentary, we have our very own Head of Written Content Robert Pollard in the Etihad Stadium tonight โ€“ our roving reporter! Heโ€™ll be sharing his thoughts on football behind-closed-doors and bringing you closer to the action with behind-the-scenes reports.

Plus, as you know, our new matchday CityTV show โ€˜Weโ€™re Not Really Hereโ€™ launches tonight with presenters Cel Spellman and Kyle Walker (not the player!), plus special guests Shaun Wright-Phillips, Paul Dickov, โ€˜Esteemed Kompanyโ€™ (Steven McInerney) and Arsenal Fan TV host Robbie Lyle.

The show will kick-off in around 45 minutes but until then, stick with me for the build-up to tonightโ€™s game and feel free to get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #WNRH.



It's show time...

Weโ€™re Not Really Here (WNRH) kicks into life for the first time this evening and promises to be an eclectic mix of opinion, chat and all-things Manchester City.

Our new pre-match CityTV show will be presented by Cel Spellman and Kyle Walker (CityTV presenter Kyle, not the player!) and joined by former City players Shaun Wright-Phillips and Paul Dickov.

Other guests include โ€˜Esteemed Kompanyโ€™, Steven McInerney and Arsenal Fan TV host, Robbie Lyle.

The show will start at 18.45pm and last for one hour and will be available on all of our official platforms.

During the game there will be live commentary (from 20.05pm) and footage of fans around the world watching the game โ€“ this will be on and the app only.

At half-time youโ€™ll be able to watch a brief summary from our guests on our social media platforms.

Five minutes after full-time, the WNRH team discuss the main talking points and respond to fans polls (star man) questions and comments live from the studio.

We will also have post-match player interviews and Pepโ€™s press conference (time permitting).

The post-match show will run for 30 minutes.


Pep on Mikel Arteta's return

โ€œHe is one of the nicest people I ever met. 

โ€œIt was a joy for me and all of us to work with him. I feel he is happy. 

โ€œI am looking forward to seeing him.โ€ 

Other games that day

  • Aston Villa0
    Sheffield United0
  • Norwich City0
  • Tottenham Hotspur0
    Manchester United0

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Liverpool 29 +45 82
3 Leicester City 29 +30 53
4 Chelsea 29 +12 48
5 Manchester United 29 +14 45
6 Sheffield United 29 +5 44
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 +7 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 +7 41
9 Arsenal 29 +1 40
10 Burnley 29 -6 39
11 Crystal Palace 29 -6 39
12 Everton 29 -9 37
13 Newcastle United 29 -16 35
14 Southampton 29 -17 34
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 29 -8 29
16 West Ham United 29 -15 27
17 Watford 29 -17 27
18 Bournemouth 29 -18 27
19 Aston Villa 29 -22 26
20 Norwich City 29 -27 21
Link To Full Table