Arsenal faced off against Premier League champions Manchester City in a cagey encounter. Going into the game, the Gunners had not beaten Manchester City in the Premier League in their previous 15 attempts, with City even doing the double over them last season.

Injuries to Kevin de Bruyne and a suspension for Rodri saw City line-up with a midfield of Kovacic and Rico Lewis with Bernardo Silva occasionally dropping in. 

Arsenal saw Bukayo Saka drop out of the squad after 87 consecutive games meaning Gabriel Jesus was shifted out to the right, and Nketiah leading the line. 

The first half was slow with both teams not taking too many risks. The first corner of the game saw Gvardiol hook the ball towards the goal but Declan Rice managed to clear it off the line. Following on from that incident came the biggest chance of the half with Haaland winning a flick on in the Arsenal box into Nathan Ake who blazed the ball over the crossbar from close range. This half only mustered 1 shot on target, coming from Manchester CIty.

The second half saw Arsenal come out stronger with help from the crowd and Gabriel Martinelli who came on for Leandro Trossard at halftime. The Gunners ramped up the pressure managing to get into City's final third but without any true conviction. The match turned around when City and Arsenal both made triple substitiuons. City brought on Jeremy Doku, John Stones, and Matheus Nunes for Julian Alvarez, Mateo Kovacic, and Rico Lewis. In response to this, Arteta subbed on a more defensively capable Takehiro Tomiyasu for Oleksandr Zinchenko,  Thomas Partey for a booked Jorginho, and Kai Havertz for Eddie Nketiah. 

All 4 of Arsenal substitues combined for the only goal of the game as Thomas Partey clipped a ball into Tomiyasu who headed it to Kai Havertz who laid it off for Gabriel Martinelli who's shot deflected against Nathan Ake which guided the ball into the goal. Manchester City only registered a single shot in the second half. 

Arteta celebrating towards the Arsenal crows (GettyImages / David Price)
Arteta celebrating towards the Arsenal crows (GettyImages / David Price)

Mikel Arteta's Post Match Comments

The Feeling of Victory

After 12 consecutive defeats to Man City in the league, the Arsenal boss had this to say about the Gunners "statement victory".

"A great feeling obviously, you could sense you know it's been so many years without beating them and today we have beat in my opinion without a doubt the best team in the world."

Emotional Control

Arsenal have previously been accused of having a soft underbelly, the young nature of the team has been heralded as a reason for them not being able to see out games. Arteta  spoke on managing the game state by having his team control their emotions. 

"There are (Manchester City) constantly asking questions and provoking you, and the crowd wants you to go and go and go and we don't go and we have to manage that and we have to understand that emotionally it is not easy to chase 15, 20 passes and you have to be able to do that and to have the courage to play."

The Kovacic Incident

"It looked a big challenge, but I have not seen the replay , but im not bothered today, I just want to enjoy the win... Thankfully we managed to win the game".

Kovacic fouls Declan Rice at the Emirates (GettyImages / Ryan Pierse)
Kovacic fouls Declan Rice at the Emirates (GettyImages / Ryan Pierse)

Substitutes Impact

"The subs were excellent again, they were involved in the goal, they brought so much physicality and so much energy and quality to the team"

Mikel Arteta on Gabriel Martinelli 

Martinelli has been on the side lines for Arsenal since Manchester United in game week 4. His winning goal today saw Arsenal continue their undefeated streak in the Premier League. 

"Martinelli made a huge effort to be in the game - as nobody believed he would there. The medical staff were trembling but he was there and he was excellent". 

"It sends a message to our team, to keep doing what we are doing and also stay humble". 

Martinelli dribbling down the wing vs <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/10/06/premier-league/1158326-eddie-howe-focus-has-to-return-back-to-west-ham.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/10/06/premier-league/1158326-eddie-howe-focus-has-to-return-back-to-west-ham.html'>Manchester City</a></strong> (H) (GettyImages / Stuart MacFarlane)
Martinelli dribbling down the wing vs Manchester City (H) (GettyImages / Stuart MacFarlane)

Update on Saka's Injury

"He could not make it, he has not had a single training session so he will be out (of the England Squad)".