So here we go again, another loss against City in the EPL. The first 15 minutes were rather embarrassing, conceding an early and silly goal, hardly touching the ball and running like headless chickens. After that, City was not very dangerous but always in control and we hardly created a chance. The gap between City and AFC is rather big and it does not seem to get narrower. City exposed our limits but also this game showed that we could, at times, also compete with the best of the best so I suppose there are some positives to take from the game as well, including:
- Saka is just too good
- We managed to keep City at bay for quite a while after we conceded the goal.
I thought the line-up was odd and the omission of ESR and Laca really stood out for me for this game.
So another loss and almost the end of our hope to qualify for Europe via the league this year. We have to put in a good shift in the Europa League now. Here are the ratings:
Leno – 6 – Not a bad outing and a good save.
Bellerin – 4 – Another yellow and another average performance
Holding – 5.5 – Not great on the goal but then a steady performance before being substituted by Luiz who brought nothing to the party.
Mari – 6 – Rather solid
Tierney – 4.5 – Torrid first 15 mins and then struggled also going forward.
Xhaka – 6 – Rather solid
El Neny – 5.5 – Rather solid but lacked quality passing or dribbling
Pepe – 4.5 – Not helped by Bellerin and not doing enough overall. A game to forget.
Odegaard – 5 – A mistake to play him in this game. Looked lost, at best.
Saka – 8 – Our shining star
Auba – 4.5 – Even less involved than Pepe…not a good outing
Arteta – 4. Poor team selection and not getting results against big team. I don’t think he will be able to continue on this run of form comes Jan 2022. We need results and improvement, now – also in the EPL!
So let us aim to finish in the top 10, ideally above Tottenham.