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Guardiola salutes City's sacrifice as champs subdue Arsenal

13 August 2018

Arsenal fans gave their first new manager in 22 years a raucous reception as the match kicked off but it quickly became apparent that City were intent on spoiling the party.

Being Raheem Sterling can be a draining job. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Leroy Sane not even in the starting line-up, City's strength in depth is frightening. As a favourite scapegoat of the media in recent years, Sterling did not have the best World Cup performance. The wide man cut inside from the left wing and drilled the ball beyond the routed Czech goalkeeper on 14 minutes.

It seemed the goal might open the floodgates, but Cech was in solid form and kept the score down to just one.

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It took a double save from Cech to keep Arsenal in the match, first saving a Riyad Mahrez free kick and then deflecting Aymeric Laporte's follow up out for a corner. Alexandre Lacazette will start for Arsenal as their central striker.

Anyway, without further ramblings, how did the players do in this match? The former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain manager handed starts to two of his summer arrivals as Sokratis Papastathopoulos lined up alongside Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of the defence while Matteo Guendouzi was given his Premier League bow in midfield.

City were then nearly gifted a comedic second when Cech's attempted pass to Mustafi rolled past his post and out for a corner. Bellerin cracked an effort straight at Ederson midway through the first half, but the Gunners were sloppy in the final third - epitomised when Mesut Ozil misjudged a run from Aaron Ramsey and subsequently passed straight to Stones who sparked a counter-attack.

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And, despite just a week of sessions on the practice pitch, City picked up where they left off last term with a confident display that easily put Arsenal to the sword.

"But he is not the only one I would like to see some improvement from - there is an bad lot of work for Emery to do on the training pitch with all of his players". City are working three years with Guardiola, building a team with good players and great stability.

Have they gone insane in the Premier League? [City] deserved this City demanded our best performance.

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"In general to be at this moment of the season, with the desire to run and run, it was the same last season".

Guardiola salutes City's sacrifice as champs subdue Arsenal