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Manchester City vs Arsenal at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Martin Atkinson
28th August 2021 12:30 PM (BST)
  • 5 Manchester City

    • ‘7' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘12' Ferran Torres
    • ‘43' Gabriel Jesus
    • ‘53' Rodri
    • ‘84' Ferran Torres
  • 0 Arsenal


Commentary By John Edwards


Over and out

That’s all from me!

What an afternoon it has been. It was a dominant victory for City, with Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Man of the Match Ferran Torres all impressing as we eased to the three points against the 10-man Gunners. 

And the good news is, Pep Guardiola thinks we can still improve.

The players will now depart for the September international break, which means we have two weeks to wait until City are back in action.

We return on Saturday 11 September against Leicester City and we’ll have live coverage here in the Matchday Centre, so I hope you can join us.

But for now, check out all the match reaction and stats from a brilliant win below.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Blues!


Paul Dickov: Torres so composed

"He is so composed for someone so young. Sometimes a centre-forward only has one or two chances but when he is in there he scores. 

"When the subs come on, you can go through motions, but they want to show the manager they want to be in the next game and show Pep they want to be in that team. 


Match stats πŸ”’

πŸ”Ή City have opened the scoring in each of our last 10 Premier League meetings with Arsenal, with eight of those opening goals coming in the first 20 minutes of the start of those matches. 

πŸ”Ή Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Jack Grealish has provided 17 Premier League assists; the only English player with more in this time is Trent Alexander-Arnold.

πŸ”Ή We are the third team in Premier League history to score 10 goals in our first two home matches in a season, after Arsenal in 2010-11 (10) and Manchester United in 2011-12 (11).


Pep Guardiola: Bernardo - What a player

"Bernardo is happy, happy in his life and what a player. The year we won the Premier League he was the best player. All I want is his  happiness. He can play in a number of positions and today played exceptionally."


Pep Guardiola: Torres a great signing

"Last season Ferran played exceptionally well. In this position he makes a movement like the best strikers in behind, moving incredibly well. 

"He's very young. Man City made a great job buying him for a great price. Good finisher, the finish was perfect. I am very pleased with his movements, work ethic, and many things and the goals he scored." 


Pep Guardiola: This is a fantastic squad

Updates from the manager's press conference coming up!

"We don't need a striker but we scored five goals. You see during the season how many people are going to say we need a striker. The team is a fantastic squad. Thank you to the scouting department from day one for the players they have given me. We try to do it sometimes, but sometimes we are not very pleased about the result. We are aware that it is scary to play with a scary personality. After we found a goal without deserving it. After 2-0 and the sending off the game was different. Lovely day and amazing atmosphere, easier for us tough for the opposition."


Two games today and our EDS are level at half-time in the PL2 derby.


Paul Dickov: Fantastic from Gundogan

A captain's performance!

"Technically he is fantastic and his football brain - you can see him keep looking for little gaps. For someone that was known as more defensive, it was a fantastic performance."


Pep Guardiola: Things to improve

A big win, but the boss feels we can perform better. Here's what he had to say to BT Sport.

We'll bring you more from his press conference, shortly.

"We found the goals without deserving it. We had problems from the first minute, we have many things to improve. But we found the goals and after the red card it is more difficult for the opponent and easy for us.

"The game was good after 1 or 2 nil. We had problems with our process from Eddie. After that we were able to drop them and our passes were good. When they play with 10 men it is another game. We could have scored more, we respect the opponent, that is what we have to do."


Shaun Goater: City wiped the floow

"Absolutely phenomenal. The way they pass the ball, how many times they get in the final third. You have seen teams go down to ten and get a result. City wiped the floor."


Reaction and analysis ☝️

Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater are sharing their thoughts on a five-star performance on Matchday Live.

Tune in at the top of the page!



Plenty of fans staying behind to applaud the team off the pitch and it's returned by the players themselves.

A brilliant victory made even better by having fans in the stadium! 


Still pushing

The fourth official indicates three minutes of added time, but City aren't done.

Sterling drives forward before slipping the ball to Mahrez on his right and the Algerian checks inside onto his left foot and arrows one to the bottom corner, but Leno gets down well to save after a deflection off the defender.


GOAL! City 5-0 Arsenal

Torres gets his second!

It has been coming and it's no surprise that Mahrez is the provider. The Algerian has created a host of chances since coming on and this time, Torres times his run perfectly to head in off the post from six-yards.

Great ball from Mahrez, great instinct from the Spaniard. 


Off target

It's one way traffic here at the Etihad and it might have been five if Rodri had been able to connect with Mahrez teasing centre.

The Algerian curled one towards the back post, where the Spaniard was stealing in, but he couldn't quite get there in time to meet the ball. 



Sterling is causing Arsenal all kinds of problems with his runs in behind, but he can't quite get on the end of Gundogan's brilliant ball over the top. 



A Mahrez through ball sets Sterling clear of Kolasanic, but the winger sends his effort straight at Leno, who was off his line quickly to narrow the angle.

Fantastic pass from Mahrez!



Improvisation from Laporte and with this lead, why not!

Cancelo's right-wing cross is just behind the centre-back, who attempts to flick the ball over his head.

He makes a good connection but there's no accuracy as it sails over the bar.


Every player apart from Ederson is in the Arsenal half as City make the visitors chase shadows. 

Lacazette eventually wins it back, but he's immediately closed down by two men and City counter with Holding forced to turn the ball behind before Sterling can get a shot off.



Oh it could have been five as two of the substitutes combine!

Mahrez spots Sterling peeling away from his man and curls an inch perfect ball to the far post.

Sterling meets it with a powerful header, but it's too close to Leno who tips over and, with the resulting corner played short, City's No.7 drives inside only to fire wide from 18-yards.

It's attack versus defence out on the pitch.


Total control

City currently enjoying 80% of possession. 

Pep said we would need time to find our form after so many players returned for pre-season late, but on the evidence of these last two displays, it hasn't taken us long to find it!


Raheem Sterling has scored in each of his last four appearances against Arsenal.

The way it's going, you wouldn't bet against him getting adding to that tally today.



It was always going to be difficult for Arsenal with 10-men and it's one way traffic here. 

City work the ball wide to Bernardo whose low cross deflects off an Arsenal defender and just escapes Torres who was racing in to tap home at the far post.

From the resulting corner, Zinchenko tries his luck from 20-yards, but there's an Arsenal body in the way to make a block.


GOAL! City 4-0 Arsenal

Outstanding from Rodri!

Arsenal can't get near City as we pop the ball about on the edge of the area. It's played into Torres, who checks and rolls the ball back to the unmarked Rodri to curl a 20-yard effort into the bottom corner.

It is looking SO easy for Guardiola's men.



Leno is called into action early in the second period as he makes a smart stop from Bernardo.

Brilliant work from Grealish in the build-up, who drew two defenders before slipping it to the Portuguese inside the area, who did well to arrow a fierce drive at goal whilst under pressure.



A change apiece for each side at the break.

Zinchenko replaces Walker, with Cancelo moving to right-back for City.

Elneny comes on for Saka for the Gunners.


Fast starts! πŸ™Œ


Paul Dickov: Sensational

Unsurprisingly, there is praise of the highest order on Matchday Live!

Dickov: "Absolutely sensational. Arsenal have been awful. It could be four or five."

Goater: "City have been phenomenal, the way they have shifted the ball, You can see what Grealish brings to the table. Jesus looks like a wide player making these runs."


Matchday Live ☝️

Plenty of to talk about after the opening 45-minutes. And plenty of positives for City.

Tune in at the top of the page to hear Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater's thoughts.


GOAL! City 3-0 Arsenal

Gabriel Jesus adds a third!

It was looking easy when it was 11 v 11 and City have taken full advantage of the one man advantage.

The Brazilian tapped home at the near post from Grealish's low cross to complete a brilliant three-pass move that started with Ederson.

Mikel Arteta does not look happy. Ilkay Gundogan ran 30-yards unchallenged before playing it out wide for Grealish, who drove inside unmarked to give Jesus the simplest of finishes.


Red card - Granit Xhaka

A bad afternoon gets worse for Arsenal as Xhaka receives his marching orders for a foul on Cancelo.

With the full-back coming inside to latch onto a pass, the Gunners midfielder flies in two-footed.

He gets the ball and it looked like he only just caught Cancelo, but he led with both feet, was off the floor and not in control, so it's a no brainer for Martin Atkinson.

And it's enough for some Arsenal fans, with a handful already heading for the exit.


Penalty appeals

The Arsenal end erupts as Tierney goes down in the box as he darts past Walker, but Martin Atkinson is unmoved.

And rightly so! Mikel Arteta seemed convinced, but it was never a penalty.


Headed away

City win a free-kick in a promising positing on the right, which Gundogan curls over to the far post, but Tierney is there to head it behind and the resulting corner is gathered comfortably by Leno.



City heart rates are raised again as Ederson miscues with another clearance. 

It allows Xhaka to fire an 18-yard drive at the goalkeeper, who saves well before the offside flag is raised. 

It's the only joy Arsenal are getting at the moment. 



It's been a disastrous start for the visitors, but they are inches away from pulling one back in bizarre circumstances.

City play the ball back to Ederson inside his six-yard box. The Brazilian is typically calm, but it almost costs him as Smith-Rowe blocks his attempted pass and the loose ball rolls just wide!

Relief around the Etihad!


GOAL! City 2-0 Arsenal

The dream start gets even better as Torres arrives unmarked at the far post to turn in a free-kick.

It couldn't have been more simple for the Spaniard, who made no mistake from six-yards, but Arsenal will be disappointed with how they defended that.

A free-kick was played short to Bernardo and when he sent a long ball forward, Cedric's attempts to block succeeded only in deflecting the ball past his team-mates and into the path of Torres.

There's a VAR check for a possible foul on Chambers, but the goal stands.

It couldn't have been more simple!


GOAL! City 1-0 Arsenal


Gundogan gives City the lead with a far post header. 

The German started a brilliant move inside his own half, with Jesus combining well with Bernardo down the right.

The Brazilian whipped a lovely cross in which evaded Chambers and left Gundogan with the simple task of nodding home.



More promising play from the visitors as Odegaard arrows the ball out to Tierney on the left-wing. 

The wing-back delivers a teasing ball to the far post, where Saka meets it, but Cancelo does enough to put him off and the ball bounces wide.

The Arsenal man was appealing for a nudge in the back, but referee Martin Atkinson waves away his protests.



After a Man of the Match display last week, Gabriel Jesus has resumed his role on the right wing, with Ferran Torres playing through the middle of the attacking line.

The Spaniard has just darted in behind in the Arsenal defence, Kyle Walker spotted the run, but puts too much on his pass.



Both fans in fine voice in the opening minutes, with Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta both stationing themselves on the edge of the technical area.

Out on the pitch, it's Arsenal who have the first meaningful attack as Saka and Aubameyang combine to release the latter down the left.

He crosses to the far post, but Cancelo is there to head it away.


Five minutes to go

The sun is shining, Boys in Blue is blaring out, the fans are in fine voice and we are moments away from kick-off.

Here's a reminder of how the two teams line-up today. City are unchanged.

City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Silva, Rodri, Gundogan, Jesus, Torres, Grealish.

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Tierney, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, Xhaka, Saka, Aubameyang.


Dickov: Statues a special moment for special players

The game aside, the unveiling of statues in honour of Vincent Kompany and David Silva is the other big news here at the Etihad Stadium today.

And for Paul Dickov and Goater, the legendary duo couldn't be more deserving of their permanent tribute.

Dickov: It's fantastic. A special moment for special players. You have to give the club credit for honouring them. Vincent was really humbled by statue. 

Goater: All the great games he [Kompany] has played and trophies won will be remembered. Came as defensive midfielder, went to centre-back and was colossal. It is brilliant the club has honoured him. Silva made game look beautiful and easy. Until Silva came people didn't look at smaller players, they always thought you had to be certain size. Clubs now look and think don't disregard them.


Shaun Goater: Pressure on Arteta

Our Matchday Live guests have shared their thoughts on the opposition.

Goater: "There's a bit of pressure on Mikel today, to pull off a result today would take off a lot of that pressure. Arsenal are a big team, they are usually in and around the Champions League. They are going through a transitional period, but punching below their weight."

Dickov: "They are capable of upsets, with quality players going forward. True arsenal fans said the 2020 FA Cup win papered over cracks, both on and off the pitch. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. I do believe Mikel is the right man to sort it out."


A rare occasion!


Shaun Goater: Jesus has evolved

How good was Gabriel Jesus last weekend? The Brazilian impressed out wide and Shaun Goater thinks his willingness to adapt his game has made him a better player.

"Credit to him. He has adjusted his game, plays wide, gives assists and makes deadly runs to be set up.

"You want to be central and get goals, but he sacrifices a lot. I think his game has evolved and he is a better player for it."


Pep Guardiola: Players are getting sharper

With so many players returning to pre-season later, the boss said it would take time for City to hit our stride, but he feels the signs have been their this week.

Here's what he had to say in his programme notes:

We have trained well again this week. It’s been great to get everyone together at CFA and work on our fitness and tactics as a group. I can sense my players are getting sharper, and they are hungry for success, which is good. I am so lucky to manage this squad because always they are so professional and dedicated to their work. They are a credit to Manchester City. 

And now we welcome Arsenal and my friend Mikel Arteta to the Etihad. Always as a manager you look forward to big games and this is definitely a big game. With all their history and the quality of their players, it is always a great occasion when we face them. 

Mikel is someone I know well from our time working together at City. He did so much good work for us and helped us achieve our targets while he was here. I will always be grateful to him, and I know the way he sets his team up means we will be in for a tough game today. 


Stat pack πŸ“ˆ

Some good omens here!

πŸ”Ή City are unbeaten in our last 11 league matches against Arsenal (W9, D2).

πŸ”Ή Arsenal could lose their ninth consecutive Premier League game against City, which would set a new record for their longest top-flight losing streak against a single opponent.

πŸ”Ή The Gunners have scored just once in their last seven league matches against us - a Laurent Koscielny goal in a 3-1 defeat in February 2019.

πŸ”Ή We have won our last two home games 5-0 and could win three consecutive Premier League home matches by five goals or more for the second time, having also done so in 2017. The only other team to do so were Chelsea in 2010.

πŸ”Ή Our next goal from the penalty spot will be our 100th in the Premier League.


Paul Dickov: City looking impressive

Paul Dickov is in a positive mood ahead of this one!

"I'm super confident. The players we have and the strength in depth - Tottenham was always going to be hard, people get to down too quick. It could have been ten last week. Pep said it may take three or four games to get into our stride. We got another clean sheet and looked impressive."


Arsenal team

Mikel Arteta has made four changes from the 6-0 Carabao Cup win over West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

Bernd Leno, Kieran Tierney, Cedric Soares and Emile Smith-Rowe come into the starting XI, with Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe dropping out of the side.

XI: Leno, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Cedric, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe, Tierney, Saka, Odegaard, Aubameyang.

SUBS: Ramsdale, Okonkwo, Tavares, Mari, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Elneny, Martinelli, Lacazette.


Team news πŸ“‹

It’s not something we see very often, but Pep Guardiola has named an unchanged side from our superb 5-0 win over Norwich City last weekend.

XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Grealish, Torres, Jesus.

SUBS | Steffen, Stones, Ake, Sterling, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Doyle, Palmer.


Pep Guardiola: It will be tough

Pep Guardiola locks horns with his former assistant Mikel Arteta today. The Arsenal boss has endured a difficult start to the new campaign after losing his first two league games, but Guardiola believes it is far too early to judge the Gunngers.

"It will be tough. Arsenal is Arsenal. In the last few years we competed, but before that with Arsene Wenger they were dominant. 

"They remain one of the biggest clubs in England, no doubt, and after 15 games we see how the table is. You need more time, more games to see how the team is." 


Kyle Walker: They need to worry about us

Arsenal come into the game on the back of two league defeats, but Kyle Walker is taking nothing for granted.

β€œFootball is a strange game and anything can happen. You have to approach every team and every game situation the same as you treat anyone.

β€œThere are going to be certain situations in games where other teams have better players or they can cause you more problems, but with us, I feel like they need to worry about us rather than us worrying about them.

β€œThey are coming to the Etihad, we scored five goals last week, they had a really good result midweek, but it is going to be a good and exciting game.

β€œWe know Mikel from previous years of being here. He will know how we work, our strengths and weaknesses, but I am sure the manager will have something new up his sleeve.”


Early team news πŸ“‹

Today's line-ups will be revealed in 30 minutes time, but here is what we know already:

Kevin De Bruyne is unavailable for City. The Belgian's condition is improving but Pep Guardiola confirmed at his pre-match press conference that the playmaker is still not fit enough to feature.

Phil Foden is also absent as he continues his recovery from injury. 

Arsenal will be without Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel, who all miss out with injuries, whilst Ben White is being monitored after missing the last two game due to a positive COVID-19 test.


A fitting tribute

At day-break this morning we unveiled permanent statues of Vincent Kompany and David Silva on the east side of the Etihad Stadium.

Created by award-winning sculptor Andy Scott, the statues have been constructed using thousands of welded pieces of galvanised steel and will be illuminated with blue-tinted lighting at night time.

The statues provide a visible reminder of the outstanding contribution of both players to the most successful period in the Club's history.

A wonderful tribute to legends! πŸ’™


Get involved πŸ“±

How are you feeling ahead of this one? Confident? Apprehensive? Unsure?

As always, we want to hear your thoughts before, during and after the game. 

Use #mancity on Twitter to share your opinion and feature in our Matchday Live show!


Matchday Live πŸ“Ί

A new season is under way but our matchday show remains!

Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater are the guests on today's show and will be joining presenter Kyle Walker in the studio at the Etihad Stadium to provide the usual mix of City-centric insight and entertainment. 

The pre-match show begins one hour before kick-off at 11:30 (UK) and our panel will reconvene at half-time for brief analysis on the opening 45 minutes and again at full-time for half an hour of post-match reaction.

Matchday Live is available to watch on all our digital platforms, including right here in the Matchday Centre.

I may be biased, but it's not to be missed! 


It's matchday! πŸ‘Œ

Good morning!

Welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City's Premier League game against Arsenal here at a sun soaked Etihad Stadium.

Kick-off is at 12:30 (UK) and from here on out I'll be guiding you through proceedings with live updates from the pre-match build-up all the way through until post-match reaction. 


Other games that day

  • Liverpool1
  • West Ham United2
    Crystal Palace2
  • Aston Villa1
  • Norwich City1
    Leicester City2
  • Newcastle United2
  • Brighton and Hove Albion0
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers0
    Manchester United0
  • Tottenham Hotspur0
  • Burnley0
    Leeds United0

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 West Ham United 3 +5 7
2 Chelsea 3 +5 7
3 Liverpool 3 +5 7
4 Everton 3 +4 7
6 Tottenham Hotspur 2 +2 6
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 3 +1 6
8 Leicester City 3 -1 6
9 Brentford 3 +2 5
10 Manchester United 2 +4 4
11 Aston Villa 3 +1 4
12 Watford 2 -1 3
13 Southampton 3 -2 2
14 Crystal Palace 3 -3 2
15 Newcastle United 3 -4 1
16 Leeds United 2 -4 1
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 -2 0
18 Burnley 2 -3 0
19 Norwich City 3 -9 0
20 Arsenal 3 -9 0
Link To Full Table