It’s difficult to decide whether this result can be seen as progress for Arsenal against a top-four side or if it was an opportunity lost. Last season saw Arsenal implode against the better sides at extremely important points of the season. Included in those big losses was a 6-3 thrashing at the hands of Saturday’s opponents at Etihad Stadium. Considering those results, this can be seen as progress as Arsenal dominated for long periods of the game. However, after going ahead with 16 minutes to go, thanks to a great goal from Alexis Sanchez, they will be disappointed that they were not able to hang on. Manchester City showed the championship pedigree that is missing in the Arsenal squad. They weathered the Gunners’s attacks when the north London side were in the ascendancy. They remained confident and were in the game at all times. Winning breeds confidence and the Manchester side is full of players that have won the league. That confidence was evident when they fell behind, as they got the goal they needed. The game was full of positives for Arsenal, but in their opponents, perhaps, they also saw how far they are still away from challenging for the title.
What a player Sergio Aguero is. The Argentinean striker is peerless and a delight to watch when he leads the attack for City; he is a constant goal threat, always on the move and constantly challenging the opposing defence. The only question left for Aguero to answer is whether he can stay fit. Now at the beginning of his fourth season for City, injuries have plagued Aguero. If he can put the fitness woes behind him and play the entire season, he should become the dominant player in the league. He was substituted today looking unhappy, so hopefully he has not picked up another injury. His goal-scoring record is incredible; he has the best goal-to-minutes ratio in Premier League history and a record of 78 goals in 126 games for City in all competitions. He is perhaps the best finisher in England, as today’s game showed. He finished his chance with great confidence, nobody ever considered that he would miss. The Premier League has lost its last two winners of the PFA player of the year award, in Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez. As a result, there is a need for a new flagship superstar in the league. Aguero can be that man if he stays fit.
There was huge excitement around Danny Welbeck’s £16m move from Manchester United. It meant a fresh start for young English talent that was clearly out of favour at his old club. In his Arsenal debut, it was more of the same for Welbeck. He is a tremendously talented player, but he lacks the most important attribute in any striker, never mind someone leading the line for a top-four club. He is not a finisher, he never has been. His two goals for England against Switzerland bred a sense of excitement amongst the Arsenal fans. The belief was that he could flourish under Arsene Wenger playing in a more central role. He may still do so, but his debut was not a good start. He displayed the pace and power that we saw at United and he was always a willing runner for the team. But in front of goal, he let his team down again. At the beginning of the first half, he found himself through after a mistake from David Silva. He looked confident, but his chip hit the post. He could learn from watching Aguero today. Until he proves that he can score consistently, he is not the answer for Arsenal who need an out-and-out goalscorer that all the other title challengers have at their disposal.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news