Guardiola bizarrely shoots a sharp shot at Arteta and Arsenal: “Did we have to kill someone?” | Sport


A winner that was never great. Manchester City and Arsenal made it an interesting game tactically, but it was often not pleasant to watch for the neutral spectator. The result? 0-0. Fortunately, Guardiola’s press conference did produce some fireworks. Quotes ‘Pep style’, including a bizarre answer and some indirect criticism towards Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta.

“Of course I would have preferred to win, but I can live with a point after this match. I recognized my team and that makes me proud. With their incredibly high pressure, they mainly attacked our left side through Odegaard and Saka, but we often played good football. While they defended really well, including Jorginho who prevented Rodri from playing football.” To subtly add that Arsenal defended well in a very low block.

So what did Man City, still in the running for a second successive treble, have to do to break open Arsenal’s defence? Guardiola: “Kill someone? Playing with nine people? Yes, they defended a lot with many people. Haaland always well secured. All we could do was be patient and wait for that one pass. The right intention was there.”

Just because we have been champions five times in the past six years does not mean that we will win the title this year with a difference of ten points. That is not possible, because Klopp and Arteta are exceptionally good with their teams.

Pep Guardiola

After which the teacher also indirectly sneered at Arteta, the leader of his class who understands Guardiola’s tactics like no other. “Arsenal are an exceptional team. Well coached, with very, very, very good players. But if, as a coach, you claim to be exceptionally good every season and every match for five years… sorry, I couldn’t do that at all. I don’t think any other coach can do that, or any team can always be that way. I, on the other hand, will die with my principles (meaning that he would never defend so low and with so many players, ed.). Ok, we could have been a little cleaner, a little cleaner in the structure.”

Guardiola and Arteta with a warm hug before the cracker at the Etihad Stadium. © Photo News

Striking: where City scored 16 points in the matches against the top five teams last season, this season there are only four points for the time being. “It was also not that it was always 7-0 in those matches in recent years… Just as it is not that because we have been champions five times in the past six years, we will take the title this year with a ten-point difference. That is not possible, because Klopp and Arteta are exceptionally good with their teams.”

“All we can do now is watch Aston Villa on Wednesday. No, we are not the favorite in this title race. That’s Liverpool, because they’re first. And then Arsenal, because they are second. We are now dependent on their possible missteps.” Liverpool has two points more than Arsenal, City follows on three.

De Bruyne also isolated

So Arsenal knew how to absorb Manchester City. In a similar field formation, with good organization and well briefed on the running lines. Kevin De Bruyne, who was back in the starting line-up after the break during the international break, was isolated.

Arsenal had the better chances at the Etihad Stadium before halftime. Jesus kicked into the side netting and wide, and Odegaard and co did not benefit from a rare sloppiness by Kovacic. The only chance for the home team came through De Bruyne’s foot, albeit from a corner kick. Aké headed from close range at goalkeeper Raya – the only ball between City’s posts.

© AP

Two coaches looking for a can opener. A flash of class from one of their stars. De Bruyne looked to the right side more often, but Odegaard and Saka in particular stuck their noses to the window more often after the break. The English winger almost found Jesus with a low cross, but the Brazilian just missed it.

And so the coaches started playing chess. Guardiola threw an extra runner on the field on the hour with Jérémy Doku. On the other side, Arteta countered a little later with Leandro Trossard. The latter eagerly joined in and also had an opportunity, but was stopped just in time by Akanji.

That game of chess no longer presented much target danger. Before that, no one dared to play that splitting pass, that crucial dribble. Haaland missed the ball with City’s biggest opportunity. And so Liverpool are the laughing third, because after their victory against Brighton earlier in the day, they are now alone in the lead.

© AP
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© Photo News
© AP

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End of second half


Arsenal under stress

The visitors now limit themselves to kicking balls away. City are given opportunity after opportunity to rebuild. But the clock is ticking.


Good move Doku

Tomiyasu completely covers Trossard in the wrong way, and so Doku can easily pass. He reaches the end line, but then runs into a block.


Trossard almost

Trossard is lurking, Odegaard sees it. The Red Devil dives into Akanji’s back and is able to shoot for goal, but the Swiss returns in time to close the door. Trossard then steps on Ortega.

Photo News
© Photo News


Haaland swears!

Gvardiol heads De Bruyne’s corner towards the far post. Well done, because Haaland stands alone there. The Norwegian can press, but just misses the ball. A Norse curse follows.


Almost Martinelli

Trossard and Martinelli immediately show themselves. The latter can also kick, but is blocked. Is anyone going to take a risk in this final phase?


Yellow card for David Raya


Bukayo Saka is replaced by Gabriel Martinelli


Dismisser Doku

De Bruyne shakes off Partey and shifts the game to Doku. He comes in for his left, but kicks very far over and wide.


Cross De Bruyne

City are now camping in Arsenal’s box. De Bruyne steals the ball from Saka and does not hesitate to cross, but Gabriel stands in the way.


Gabriel Jesus is replaced by Leandro Trossard


Barely any space

City has the ball in their own league more often, but Arsenal catches them in a low block and at times there is no way through. Tapping and knitting, who will find an opening?


Yellow card for Gabriel Jesus


Jorginho is replaced by Thomas Partey


Jakub Kiwior is replaced by Takehiro Tomiyasu


De Bruyne sloppy

For now they find him difficult. And when they do find our compatriot, it is not always so pure. He is allowed to cross twice, but cannot find a teammate’s head.


Mateo Kovacic is replaced by Jack Grealish


Phil Foden is replaced by Jéremy Doku


Doku comes

Guardiola has called Doku and Grealish to the bench. The Spaniard feels that City need a flash.


Jesus doesn’t join us

Odegaard guides Saka through it well. He brings it low into the small back line, where Jesus slides in just too late to push the ball in.

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