Let’s analyze Arsenal against Man City with Guardiola introducing a novelty against Arsenal’s press. 2-3-5, Bernardo Silva as defensive midfielder accompanying the Portuguese, Rico Lewis and Kovacic.

Declan Rice decided to jump on Bernardo Silva and the 2 players in the first line of pressu narrow. This created space behind the Arsenal midfielders that Éderson tried to take advantage of, but Arteta’s center backs did a great job intercepting those passes.

Both teams played with narrow blocks with a lot of traffic in the central channel, a plan that Man City was able to carry out thanks to the absences of Martinelli and Saka. Guardiola tried to attack through Ben White’s zone with Josko Gvardiol appearing in behind overlapping, although none of these actions ended in a chance.

Manchester City took risks out of possession, pressing frequently with 6 players, with Rico Lewis being the most aggressive in the first line, having Arsenal serious problems in the build-up, leaving Guardiola the 4 players on the back to defend the long balls. Gvardiol was one of the best players to anticipate preventing Arsenal from playing comfortably, in addition to Bernardo Silva, who gave support, since he maintained his position as a defensive midfielder in the defensive phase.

We can see here the consequences of Man City’s press, with Julián Álvarez jumping on David Raya, blocking the Spaniard’s pass, in a play that could have ended in a goal.

In the few times that Arsenal were able to progress, it was with David Raya generating superiority in the build-up, throwing long balls and switching plays like this one from Trossard to Gabriel Jesus, who had a lot of space.

An interesting move of Arsenal’s attack can be seen in this play on the left wing. Declan Rice pushing to overload Ruben Dias who was marking Nketiah, receiving the forward a great pass.

Man City’s 2 best chances came from a set piece, the biggest being this finish by Aké, who came in from behind unmarked.

2nd half

After the break, Arteta adjusted the press to counter Guardiola’s 2-3-5 with a top man-to-man press. Jorginho dropped into the last line to defend City’’s front 5. Ben White and Zinchenko were very aggressive, jumping on Walker and Gvardiol.

Martinelli came on for Trossard, overloading Arsenal the left wing, being the Gunners’ best minutes with some dangerous attacks.

Guardiola brought on Doku, Stones and Matheus Nunes in the 68th minute, regaining control of the match, with Doku being a possible threat as he’s a very different profile than Julián Álvarez.

Martinelli came on for Trossard, overloading Arsenal the left wing, being the Gunners’ best minutes with some dangerous attacks.

Minutes later, Arteta reacted again with Havertz, Tomiyasu and Partey entering, who were key in Arsenal’s winning goal. Great long pass from Partey, Tomiyasu attacks the space, brings the ball down to Havertz who makes a great decision playing with his back to goal waiting for Martinelli to get into the edge of the box. The Brazilian finishes and a deflection by Aké leaves Ederson with no options to save the shot.

Great tactical battle! Arteta beat Guardiola for Arsenal’s victory.

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