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Arsenal End Winless Streak Against Man City In Statement Win

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Even though it is only one win and three points, Arsenal’s 1-0 triumph over Manchester City on Sunday may have a significant effect. Since January 2015, the Gunners had not defeated City in any of their previous 15 Premier League encounters. They had lost 12 games in a row during that stretch, including two last season when Pep Guardiola’s team won its fifth title in six years despite being overwhelmed and outmuscled.

The celebrations following Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected 86th-minute winner had a cathartic quality to them in light of that: eight years of sorrow and misery were expunged in a moment that resembled the shattered of a glass ceiling.

Arsenal managed to defeat English football’s top team and break a hoodoo that has gradually eroded their confidence despite playing without talismanic winger Bukayo Saka for the first time in 88 straight league games. City were significantly below average, but more on that later. Instead, they now have recollections of an event to rival any Arsenal have had inside Emirates Stadium, which was a picture of jubilation at the final whistle, as a positive reference point for upcoming difficulties.

“I don’t know if it was a barrier but obviously it was something we needed to go through,” said Arteta. “To beat them we have to lose against them, we have to lose probably the way we lost at the Etihad. We lost in two different ways last season, here where we were the better team.

The team showed a real maturity today, that comes from experiences. Sometimes you need that to become a better team. Certainly it sends a message to the team to keep believing in what they’re doing because they’re a fantastic group of players. They way they try and the chemistry that they have, you need it to be there. So I’m really proud.”

The game on Sunday was a cagey, tactical contest for significant stretches. In some parts of the second half, it was just plain boring.

This was Arsenal’s first league clean sheet at home this year, which is almost ridiculous given the caliber of opposition. Arteta attributed the weak record to his team’s inability to control their emotions at specific times, their hasty attempts to attack, and the vulnerability that resulted.

They played much more evenly here, limiting City to just four attempts and one shot on goal, all of which occurred in the fourth minute when Josko Gvardiol attempted to score but Declan Rice cleared it off the line before Nathan Aké missed.

It was the most dangerous. The fact that William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes kept Erling Haaland quiet and that Rice made 13 defensive interventions—a total only surpassed by Gvardiol on either side—helped City remain in control throughout the afternoon. Individual Expected Goals for Haaland were 0.00 at the conclusion.

David Raya, the goalkeeper for Arsenal, repeatedly faced annoyance from the home crowd as he waited to play the ball while in possession; Arteta accepted responsibility for this.

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