Later News Aug 29

Guardiola has his Man City side embarrass Arsenal 5-0, then calls on Gunners to believe in Arteta


On a day when Arsenal self-imploded to hand Manchester City what could possibly be the easiest three points they will ever get this season, the hardest thing Pep Guardiola had to do was keep a straight face as he told Arsenal to “trust Arteta” in his post-match comments.

 

The Citizens – playing without a recognised striker, no less – barely broke sweat as they secured a 5-0 win over a disorganised and shambolic Arsenal side, who made things worse for themselves by going down to 10 men in the first-half.

 

Indeed, Ederson was so unbothered by the Gunners in the second half, he could have set up his beach chair in front of the City goal, settled down with a book and a glass of margheritas, and still kept a clean sheet.

 

WATCH: Ederson's best saves in 2020/2021

 

City needed just seven minutes to take the lead through Ilkay Gundogan.

 

Five minutes later, some comical defending that you wouldn’t expect to see at an amateur Sunday league game, much less in the top-flight of English football, allowed Ferran Torres to double City’s lead. There were suggestions that Aymeric Laporte had punched Calum Chambers in the lead-up, but, apart from Arsenal's defending, VAR found nothing untoward about the goal. 

 

Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal in the 35th minute when Granit Xhaka displayed his famous ‘leadership’ qualities by getting sent off after going in two-footed on Joao Cancelo.

 

Even Gabriel Jesus, a player who would miss even his own birthday, was able to get in on the act in the 43rd minute.

 

Rodri, a defensive midfielder, capped off a fine team move with a precise long-range effort eight minutes after the restart to make it 4-0 to City.

 

Torres then put the icing on the cake with his second goal of the day as he ghosted past a non-existent Arsenal defence to head home from close range in the 84th minute.

 

That this heavy loss came exactly 10 years after Arsenal’s infamous 8-2 defeat to Manchester United shows just how far the North London side has progressed – which is not very much, if at all.

 

The match also saw Arsenal, who will likely head into the upcoming international break bottom of the table, break more records under Arteta, as seen in the following Tweets.

 

Naturally, there were eyebrows raised when Guardiola urged the Arsenal board and fans to “trust” in Arteta after the game. But then again, why wouldn’t Guardiola try to help Arteta keep his job, when doing so effectively guarantees City three points whenever they face Arsenal?

 

WATCH: Guardiola says City don't need a striker after 5-0 win over Arsenal

 

Guardiola said of his former assistant: “He has evolved beyond a good man, the correct personality, the leading, his love for all of us. We were sad when he left and sometimes people expect results immediately.

 

“The squad that he played today was not the squad that he dreamed (of) because he has injuries, really important players. Ben White and examples like that. All the managers need the squad. We had all our players except Kevin [De Bruyne] and Phil [Foden] – I can handle that. 

 

“I'm a big fan of him and I'm pretty sure if they trust him, they are going to do a good job in their season.”

 

The confidence that Guardiola has in Arteta is shared by none other than Arteta himself. Despite having zero points on the board, zero goals scored, and nine conceded after three EPL games, Arteta continues to insist he is the right man for the job at Arsenal – which could actually be true, if the job was relegating the club.

 

WATCH: Arteta expresses his disappointment over defeat to City

 

“Yes, I do (believe I’m the right manager for Arsenal), if not I wouldn't be sitting here,” Arteta declared. “I have been most critical of myself and taken the blame every single time when we had defeats. Today I say exactly the same thing.

 

“I question myself and I have to try and have the right people around me and look at every decision that we make and I make and change it if we think we should have done something different.

 

“I'm really disappointed with the things that happened on the pitch and the summary after three games, losing all of them, doesn't make it any easier.

 

“It is time to reflect and look in the mirror, each of us, and try to change the dynamic straight away because we need to pick up results.”

 

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