There have been three games, three losses, and no goals scored for Arsenal to start the 2021/22 EPL season.
Mikel Arteta led the Gunners to their worst-ever start in the Premier League. In the first match of the EPL weekend matches, the Arsenal team was smashed 5-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal were down 2-0 before the 15th minute at the Etihad on Saturday. The concession was so soft it brought questions on Arteta’s competency on the training pitches and the preparation for matches under the Spaniard.
Ilkay Gündoğan scored with a header in the seventh minute but Callum Chambers, at almost a foot taller, should have been better positioned to have made a clearing header, and he made no attempt to affect Gundogan’s leap and header. That was schoolboy defending from Chambers, who has been a Premier League player for nine seasons.
The second goal by Ferran Torres came about as a result of a succession of shambolic defending. First, it was Cedric Soares trying to get his head on a low ball and the theatrics from Chambers, who fell to the pitch as if he had been clobbered. Torres ghosted through the non-existent defensive Arsenal line to prod past Leno.
The deserved red card to Granit Xhaka in the 35th minute was the final nail in the Arsenal coffin and from then on, there was no way back for Arteta and his team.
The third goal by Gabriel Jesus showed the lack of tactical and technical coaching on Arteta’s part. Everyone knows how good maverick City goalkeeper, Ederson is, with the ball.
Though he had committed two mistakes, which could have led to Arsenal goals, his pass to Jesus in midfield opened up a chasm.
He was allowed to run almost 60m and pass unhindered to Jack Grealish, who then dribbled towards the byline before passing to Jesus, who had time to control before scoring with his left foot.
During the time between the Ederson pass and Jesus scoring, no Arsenal player made an attempted tackle.
There was no change to the ebb and flow of the game in the second half as Arteta sent on Mohammed Elneny in place of Bukayo Saka. Pep Guardiola also sent on Oleksandr Zinchenko for Kyle Walker.
Eight minutes after the restart, Rodri was teed up by Torres and he passed the ball in from outside the box. Torres completed the scoring with a deft header with six minutes left on the clock.
City set a record of scoring five goals for the third consecutive home match and went top of the table courtesy of the goals scored column while Arsenal went bottom of the table courtesy of the goals conceded column.
City had 81 per cent of ball possession and 11 shots on target while Arsenal, for the first time in PL history, recorded no shot on target.
With an imminent international break, Arteta has a lot to do on reshaping his team for a basement battle with the visit of Norwich City on September 11.
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