Guardiola maintains he has been an advocate of Sterling’s importance to City since his own arrival at the Etihad off the back of England’s disappointing Euro 201 exit. The full-back suffered an injury in the team’s preseason match against Chelsea.
Wenger’s third and final Premier League title came way back in 2003-04, but most people can agree that his overall time at Arsenal was positive.
Playmaker Kevin de Bruyne and striker Gabriel Jesus were also on the bench following their World Cup exploits with Belgium and Brazil respectively, an ominous warning to the rest of the division of the depth of superstars vying for a place in City’s record-breaking squad.
The visitors’ level of performance, given how few weeks there have been since the World Cup and how little time they have had to prepare for the season, was incredible.
Welbeck has struggled for regular football since joining from Manchester United in 2015, making only 12 starts in the top flight last season.
Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, and Benjamin Mendy all shined on opening day too. The wide man cut inside from the left wing and drilled the ball beyond the routed Czech goalkeeper on 14 minutes.
Cech made several saves to keep Arsenal in the game but also seemed to struggle a bit when playing with his feet, almost scoring an own goal in the first half when he mishit a back pass from Guendouzi.
Cech bailed out his ailing team-mates by thwarting Aymeric Laporte at point-blank range having parried Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick. The shadow cast over Arsenal’s new manager is not a 22-year reign so much as a decade of poor recruitment that could take many seasons to correct.
New centre-back Sokratis looked as shaky as partner Shkodran Mustafi, while game but jittery youngster Guendouzi and serial offender Granit Xhaka – giving a greatest hits performance that involved giving the ball away in risky areas, a lazy booking and needlessly embellished sideways passes – offered only a flimsy screen. “Hopefully we can convince him to be calm and forget the social media!” “And the second half is the moment we had chances for doing a better result”.
Arsenal have displayed an interesting shape off the ball with Ramsey in the centre on top, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan either side of him in a narrow 4-3-3.
“I like this spirit”.
And the best thing for Guardiola is, this wasn’t even the Champions at their best.
Manchester City welcome Huddersfield to the Etihad, one of the only sides to pick up a point at City past year which the ferocious attacking outfit will look to soon rectify.