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Pep Guardiola agrees with Arsenal fans over Manchester City performance in narrow win

Pep Guardiola agrees with Arsenal fans over Manchester City performance in narrow win

Pep Guardiola in agreement with Arsenal fans after win

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola gave an honest assessment of his side’s performance after they grabbed a 2-1 win at the Emirates against an impressive Arsenal side.

The Gunners were without headmaster Mikel Arteta in north London to hopefully bring in the New Year with an unexpected three-point haul, and came close to doing just that with assistant Albert Stuivenberg deputizing as chief tactician on the day.

Arsenal ran rampant in the first-half against City, and took a justifiable 1-0 lead through wonderkid Bukayo Saka in the 31st minute. They could even have doubled their lead through a handful of chances before Riyad Mahrez drew City level from the spot.

Pep Guardiola agrees with Arsenal fans over Manchester City performance in narrow win

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal is shown a second yellow card leading to a red card by Referee, Stuart Attwell for a foul on Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Things got worse for the Gunners when Gabriel was given his marching orders for a second bookable offense, and Spanish international midfielder Rodri put the final nail in the coffin with a stoppage-time winner to earn City three points they truly did not deserve. And Pep Guardiola was in full agreement:

But the Gunners can hold their heads high despite the loss, creating twice the chances that City managed to muster while a dominant first-half showed just how well the project under Mikel Arteta has come along this season after such a terrible start to 2021/22.

City given a wake up call

2021 was a fantastic calendar year for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola as the Etihad outfit were unquestionably the strongest side in the country in the Premier League.

City tasted defeat just six times in forty-four fixtures in that period, while earning twenty-seven more points than Chelsea and with a ludicrous goal difference of +81 in the process.

But the performance today against Arsenal was a wake-up call for the club, or at least that is how it should be viewed.

Second best for the vast majority of proceedings that transpired on the Emirates pitch, Guardiola’s men often looked lethargic and out of ideas. Not only did they struggle to cope with a well-organized Arsenal in defense, but they were found wanting when trying to cope with both Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on the flanks as both got the better of João Cancelo and Nathan Ake on a regular basis.

Guardiola’s men have now won eleven in a row in the Premier League, and look set to repeat as champions, but the gap may be closing under their noses even if the table currently paints a different picture.

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 23 28 44
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 4 36
6 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
7 Manchester United 21 5 35
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 21 0 29
10 Leicester City 19 -3 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 22 -11 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11

Premier League 21/22

Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6