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Five things we learned as Arsenal lose 2-1 to Manchester City

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal suffered a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates this afternoon and we have to say, it was completely undeserved.

The Gunners started the game brilliantly. We were undoubtedly the best team in the first half and on another day, we could easily have scored three goals. Sadly, we just went into the break 1-0 up.

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City got one back in the second half through a controversial penalty. Gabriel Magalhaes saw a red card soon after and Rodri broke all our hearts with a stoppage-time winner. This really is a hard one to take.

Here are five things we learned from the game…

Football is a cruel game

Any football fan who watched the game today will agree that Arsenal were the better side, especially in the first half. The Gunners’ pressing and intensity rattled City and we deservedly took the lead through Saka.

Arsenal should’ve had a penalty as well when Ederson brought Martin Odegaard down, but the VAR, for whatever reason, decided not to intervene.

In the second half, Gabriel was given a very harsh red card, City got a penalty that never was and just when it looked like we’d pick up a point, City slotted home an undeserved winner. Hurts, doesn’t it?

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Shambolic refereeing

Isn’t it a shame that the best league in the world has the worst standard of refereeing?

Yes, football is a subjective game and no two opinions are the same, but there’s just no way that the same referee can refuse to give a penalty when Odegaard was brought down and then give Bernardo Silva a spot-kick after Xhaka’s challenge on him.

It just makes no sense and the players have every reason to feel hard done by after such a good performance.

Lots of positives to take

As much as the defeat hurts, every Arsenal fan will be proud of how well the lads played today.

Every player was at it from the very first minute and we made the best team in the world look ordinary in the first half.

Mikel Arteta, who watched the game from home, would’ve loved that first-half display. If we play like that every week, a top-four finish will be easy at the end of this season.

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Thomas Partey’s best game in an Arsenal shirt

If there’s one player who deserves special praise for his performance today, it’s Partey.

The Ghanaian dominated the game from the middle of the park. He barely put a foot wrong in the first half and it was undoubtedly his best game since he joined us back in 2020.

He was first to every ball, recovered possession effortlessly and also helped us out in attack at times. It’s now time for Partey to build on this performance. He needs to perform at this level consistently. If he does, we’ll be the favourites to win almost every game we play.

Gabriel Martinelli

Joao Cancelo is the best full-back in the Premier League at the moment, but Gabriel Martinelli made him look average in the first half. The Brazilian caused City’s defence all sorts of problems and he almost scored one of the goals of the season.

Martinelli then had a chance to score a much simpler goal in the second half. The goal was at his mercy after Nathan Ake cleared the ball off the line, but the Brazilian could only hit the post.

That really is a shame as we would likely have won the game, but Martinelli deserves praise, not criticism. The way he’s developing is absolutely incredible and even though the miss may haunt him for a few days, he will get over it and we believe that he’ll become one of the best players in the world in the coming years.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
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