The re-start of the Premier League turned into a fiasco for FC Arsenal. At Manchester City, the Gunners lost not only the game but also two players due to injuries, as well as David Luiz after a red card. Consequently, City had an easy time seizing the game and claiming a well-deserved 3-0 victory.
At ManCity, Gündogan pulled strings in the central midfield position as usual after the corona break. Around him, Pep Guardiola managed the full offensive power of the starting eleven: Silva, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Sterling were all keen to put the Gunners’ defence to the test, while Sané was on the bench after a long injury break. Leno and Mustafi were supposed to keep things tight in Mikel Arteta’s team.
This plan was successful at first, as both teams visibly had difficulties switching to competition mode in the pouring rain of Manchester. After a first free-kick chance for De Bruyne (4th), the action flattened out and two injury breaks added to the length of the match. Xhaka got stuck on the grass and had to be carried off the pitch (8th) and his team-mate Pablo Mori was also substituted early on (24th).
While City’s offensive machinery was slowly but surely heating up after half an hour, Arsenal revealed weaknesses in almost all areas. However, it took a big mistake by David Luiz ManCity to take the lead. The substitute Brazilian misjudged a harmless pass from De Bruyne and extended it into Sterling’s run, who had no problem shooting in for the lead from close range (45.+2).
Arsenal was challenged and convinced in the first minutes of the second run with an improved attitude and body language. However, it was only to last four minutes, when the next neck-breaker for the guests was set. When Mahrez passed David Luiz at speed, the only thing he could get hold of was the Algerian’s jersey. Referee Anthony Taylor decided for a penalty and drew red for the Brazilian, whose pitch-black evening was prematurely ended. De Bruyne converted the penalty into the 2-0 lead, and the game was practically decided (51st).
Both coaches then made several changes, with Guardiola refraining from replacing with Sané, who had been recovering from a long injury. City had no trouble making the rounds, with De Bruyne (69) and Gündogan (77) having further chances to score. Ten minutes before the end, Ederson knocked out his team-mate Garcia just outside his penalty area, who then had to be treated on the field for minutes. There was a further 11 minutes added to the time, which City used to score the third goal: Leno directed Aguero’s shot at the post, but he was powerless against Foden’s shot from behind (90.+1).