Let’s go over the most important takeaways from Arsenal’s loss to Manchester City, which came about because of the substitutions made by Pep Guardiola at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal, meanwhile, was without Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus.
Jorginho turned in a solid performance in the Ghanaian’s absence; Arteta added, “I think Jorgi played a really, really good game.” Nevertheless, there is no question that Partey’s absence, which was caused by a muscular injury and may also keep him out against Aston Villa, was a significant setback for the team.
At the base of the midfield, they missed his blend of technical class and physicality, particularly in the second half as City’s pressure grew and grew and the hosts struggled to find a way forward. In particular, they missed his blend of technical class and physicality as the game progressed.
This season, Partey has started each and every Premier League game since the middle of September until this one, and without his protection, the defence was left wide open. Partey has been a key contributor in that regard on numerous occasions.
In the end, the pressure was just too much to handle, and you could see that it had an effect on the defensive errors that were so expensive. Takehiro Tomiyasu was responsible for the first goal, while Gabriel Magalhaes was responsible for the second goal.
It was impossible to watch their performance in the second half without wondering what might have been had things gone differently. They were not the only ones in Arsenal’s defensive unit who appeared rattled; Oleksandr Zinchenko also struggled on several occasions.
After the game, Arteta was unable to provide a specific timeframe for when Partey would be back. “We have to evaluate Tommy and figure out how dangerous he is,” he continued. However, this is just the most recent instance that highlights how important he is.
Has Pep Guardiola spent this season in the Premier League doing nothing but playing around?
The decision to bench Kevin de Bruyne in their 1-0 loss to Tottenham, the sale of Joao Cancelo, who had been the league’s best full-back over the previous two years, the signing of the most lethal young striker in the world but the decision to not play to his strengths, and the inexplicable belief that Bernardo Silva is the solution to their issues on the left side of their defence. All of these decisions have led to their current predicament.
When asked what in particular had gotten under Guardiola’s skin during the first half of the game, he responded, “My tactics.”
When asked why, he responded, “Because I decided something new and it was horrible.” This was most likely in reference to his choice to charge Silva with the responsibility of preventing Arsenal’s star player Bukayo Saka from scoring.
It may have taken until the 61st minute of this frantic match for Guardiola to start taking this season seriously. At that point, the score was 1-1, and City was in real danger of falling too far behind Arsenal in this title race. He replaced Riyad Mahrez with Manuel Akanji, which resulted in a switch to a more traditional back four consisting of four actual defenders. This made it possible for Silva to take up his normal position in the midfield area, where he could cause chaos and create opportunities for his teammates.
Rodri, Akanji, and Erling Haaland all had significant scoring opportunities within the next ten minutes as City’s players appeared to feel a great deal more at ease adhering to this system. After that point, it appeared as though Arsenal knew what was going to happen to them, as Jack Grealish quickly scored and Haaland cruelly added a third.
Because of this change – or because City was actually playing well – it meant that they completely stifled Arsenal’s ability to function as an attacking force, which may have dashed Arsenal’s hopes of unseating City as champion.
Or, is it possible that Guardiola will once again become disinterested and begin starting Scott Carson in place of Ederson the following week in order to handicap himself even further? It’s possible that this is the last chance for the others.
Jesus is the key to restoring the chaos factor for Arsenal.
The most recent loss for Arsenal, which came after a winless streak of four games, will feel like a real sucker punch; however, the team still has 16 games left in the season, giving them a chance to turn this slump around.
The fact that the title race is still in the hands of the Gunners because they have a game in hand against Everton and the potential impact that the knockout rounds of the Champions League could have on City’s season are two of the many things that are working in the Gunners’ favour.
The potential imminent return from injury of Gabriel Jesus, who brings with him a chaos factor that Arsenal has been slightly lacking in recent weeks, is perhaps the most crucial. Jesus brings with him a factor that Arsenal has been slightly lacking in recent weeks.