Arsenal lost to Manchester City for the second time this season, losing 3-1 with Unai Emery’s game plan unable to restrict the plan of opposing coach Pep Guardiola. City’s system was very adventurous and one of the evident aims was to control the midfield areas. City set-up with a 3-2-4-1 when in possession, whilst Fernandinho dropped into defence to make a 4-3-3 when defending against the ball.
Arsenal on the other hand started the match with a 4-4-2 shape, with Sead Kolasinac in a more advanced role than usual, taking up very high positions on the left-wing. Alex Iwobi played on the right-side of midfield for a change and this ended up not being the best of decisions. The right-side of Arsenal’s defence was pinned back by City as most of the home sides attacks were built-up on the left-side of the pitch. Because of City’s intent to attack on that side of the flank, I was surprised that Leroy Sane did not start the match, but two of the ways in which the winger has proved excellent were achieved without his influence; many runs on the left-side were made against Arsenal’s winger and full-back, and cut-backs/crosses were played and twice resulted in the type of finishes that City are regularly good at.
Irrespective of the final score, however, Mattéo Guendouzi once again put in an excellent performance alongside Lucas Torriera in what was, however, an obviously outnumbered and tactically deficient (in the context of the aforementioned match) double pivot. Guendouzi once again showed the ability to carry the ball forward and generally retain possession well, in this case particular impressive considering City’s overload in midfield. Guendouzi was also impressive in spreading the ball to either Iwobi or Kolasinac on the flanks.Embed from Getty Images