Manchester City started title defence with victory over Arsenal.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ramsey, Özil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang.
Subs: Leno, Lichsteiner, Holding, Elneny, Torreira, Iwobi, Lacazette.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Gündogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Agüero.
Subs: Bravo, Kompany, De Bruyne, Sané, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden.
Unai Emery names his first official Arsenal squad with a Wenger-esque surprise as French prospect Matteo Guendouzi starts for the Gunners.
Petr Cech pips Bernd Leno for that starting spot with duo of Sokratis and Mustafi guarding him. Academy boy Ainsley-Maitland Niles starts on the left hand side of the defence due to knee injury to Sead Kolasinac and lack of match fitness in Nacho Monreal. Ramsey has recovered from his hamstring scare as he lines up alongside Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line.
Pep Guardiola starts with a surprise defence duo of Stones and Laporte as Benjamin Mendy returns to Premier League after his injury vows last season. Fernandinho protects the defence with Gundogan and Bernardo Silva playing more of attacking role. Raheem Sterling starts for Manchester City as Mahrez makes his League debut for the Cityzens.
Arsenal started quite well but Raheem Sterling’s super strike in the 14th minute gives Guardiola’s side the lead. The Blues have dominated the majority of first-half.
The host had couple of chances, with Bellerin testing City’s shot-stopper Ederson but they haven’t got forward enough.
Man City aren’t in control yet.. Pep will be asking for his players to put this result beyond doubt!
HT: Arsenal 0-1 Man City – City have not lost in 39 Premier League away games when leading at half time.
No change coming into second half, as Man City started the next half on a high as they force a corner early on, but it comes to nothing. Although Cech stopped Sergio Aguero, who had half the pitch to himself in the 63rd minute after Guendouzi misplayed a high ball, Bernardo Silva doubled the lead one minute later, scoring when Benjamin Mendy ran up the left and pulled it back as Silva drifted to the spot to finish left-footed.
Arsenal have had the ball in the net as many times as their Manchester rivals but for offside. The match was furious free-free-all. Despite a combative second half from the Gunners, it wasn’t enough to prevent an opening day defeat for Unai Emery.
FT: Arsenal 0-2
Who Said What?
Sterling: “First game of the season and we wanted to start well and I’m happy to contribute. We’ve just got to focus on ourselves, those games will come. We’ve played a massive game today, Arsenal, we just need to get them out of the way one by one, not worry about (other) results, we’ve got to concentrate on our three points.”
Bernardo Silva: “To start well is always important so we’re very happy. It was a fantastic game for us, so now we have to keep going. We wanted to be professional, to make it serious like last season and we did it. We scored twice, we didn’t concede, we defended very well and we were a compact team.”
Guardiola: “I said many times, our average level is high, you cannot deny that. I have a feeling we can improve. Like inserting Mendy into the group. Today our pressing was different than Chelsea. To understand that needs time. But in general, I am more than satisfied what I saw against Chelsea and Arsenal.”