Arsenal lost 2-1 to Lens in the Champions League, but bounced back with a massive 1-0 win against Manchester City in the Premier League. This is Arsenal’s first Premier League win against Manchester City since 2015. Arsenal is now level on points with Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table. Let’s dive into the details.
Arsenal 23-24 Matches 10-11: Arsenal’s Defense Wasn’t Good Enough Against Lens But Was Excellent Against Manchester City
In the game against Lens, Arsenal’s defense was not good enough. The Gunners allowed Lens to get three shots on target and conceded twice. Elye Wahi contributed to both goals against Arsenal. Raya was also a bit shaky against Lens, as well.
However, Arsenal’s defense was far better against Manchester City. The Gunners kept a clean sheet against Manchester City, limiting them to a single shot on target. The entire defense deserves praise, but Saliba and Gabriel deserve a special mention for shutting down Haaland.
Raya’s performance against Manchester City is a bit concerning. He had some shaky moments, particularly in the first half. Thankfully, that did not come back to haunt Arsenal, but Ramsdale is likely to replace Raya in goal after two less than stellar performances from the Spaniard.
Arsenal’s Midfield Played Well in Both Matches
It is encouraging to see Arsenal’s midfield play well in both matches. The Gunners enjoyed 67% possession against Lens and largely controlled the tempo of the game. The defeat was not really on them in this match.
Arsenal’s midfield also played well against Manchester City, despite only having 49% possession. Jorginho and Martin Odegaard had good games, while Kai Havertz and Thomas Partey both contributed to the winning goal. Declan Rice is known to perform well in significant matches and he was fantastic against Manchester City.
It is great to see Partey return from injury. Arsenal’s midfield is made even stronger with his return.
Arsenal’s Attack Did Just Enough to Beat City and Not Enough Against Lens
Arsenal’s attack deserves criticism for the loss against Lens. The Gunners did manage to get six shots on target, but only scored once. That wastefulness in front of goal has to change moving forward.
The game against Manchester City was a game of few chances overall and Arsenal managed only two shots on target. Thankfully, Martinelli’s goal lifted Arsenal to victory. Jesus and Nketiah were decent, but Trossard did little against Manchester City.
Bukayo Saka’s absence is significant and his return will certainly bolster the Arsenal attack.
Arsenal 23-24 Matches 10-11: Manager Ratings of 6/10 Against Lens and 9/10 Against Manchester City
Arsenal did not perform well against Lens. The attack was not clinical enough and the defense was not good enough. Starting Raya also cost Arsenal in that game and the subs made little impact.
However, Arteta did a far better job against Manchester City. The midfield was good and the defense was excellent, while the four subs made a huge impact by contributing to the winning goal. Arteta’s tactics, particularly subbing on Tomiyasu to contain Doku, were also excellent. Arteta receives a well-deserved 9/10 manager rating against Manchester City.
Arsenal Head into the October International Break Joint Top of the League
The Gunners will have two weeks to rest and cover thanks to the October international break. Arsenal is tied on points with Spurs at the top of the league. The Gunners play Chelsea away next and I would bet on Arsenal beating Chelsea once again.
Check back next week for more Arsenal content.