Post-game analysis – Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal

Written by Chris Ells

June 18, 2020

Good day all. Last night, just after Foden made it 3-0, I frantically ran around my living room in search of my laptop for the sole purpose of typing every derogatory sentence known to man next to the words ‘David Luiz is a…’. However, I was wise enough to at least sleep on it first before publishing something that would have likely attracted the attention of my local police. Instead, after a good night’s sleep, I’m in a much better mindset to write this properly.

Let’s start from the top. I thought the game started pretty well. Following his hat-trick against Charlton a couple of weeks back, Nketiah earned himself a start ahead of Lacazette and it wasn’t long before he found a bit of space behind the City back line. If it wasn’t for his eagerness to impress he may have been a little smarter against their offside trap and found himself one on one with Ederson. I don’t think we saw him again after that. 

Although Luiz definitely had the biggest impact on the game, he didn’t even start it. His replacement was loanee Pablo Marí and to say his start to the game was a little shaky would be an understatement. His first inclusion was to turn up 5 minutes late to a tackle on Sterling and give away a dangerous free kick. His second was a one on one with Kyle Walker where he pulled up with an Achilles injury, ending his day. This forced Arteta into his second substitution following Xhaka’s ankle giving way through a collision with Guendouzi. Not an ideal start to say the least. 

Anyway, here comes David Luiz. Firstly, following my night’s sleep, I’m not 100% holding him responsible for what happened last night. Rather 99%. Even before his sending off I thought we looked like we’d spent the last 3 months sitting on the sofa playing FIFA. We were slow, lethargic and creating very little. You could argue that Arteta got the line up wrong but, for me, the kids deserved their chance and considering our recent performance against top 6 sides, you can’t exactly say our more experienced players have fared any better. Saying that, he was pretty awful.

The first mistake came from a very simple interception that bounced off his knee and into the path of Raheem Sterling. Was he trying to clear it? I really can’t tell what he was trying to do. The ground was wet and the ball did skid off the surface but for someone with the experience he has, this was a ridiculous goal to concede. I don’t think anyone would say City didn’t deserve to take a lead into the break but after Leno’s heroic efforts it did seem a real shame to go behind the way we did. 

I’m sure the boys would have done what they could to lift his head at half time but 4 minutes later he was at it again. It took a simple touch from Mahrez’s head to leave Luiz in the dust and force him to bring him down in the box. It looked like a squirrel running past a sloth who had been up all night with his screaming sloth baby. That’s his fourth penalty he has conceded this season. Double any other player in the league and surely the full stop on his brief Arsenal career. 

It’s hard to say much more about the rest of the game. It was barely a fair match up when it was 11 v 11 so after Luiz left the field it simply felt pointless. Late in the game Ederson decided to try and decapitate his team mate Eric Garcia with a Superman punch to the face, leaving the young Spaniard out cold and in desperate need of Oxygen. Fingers crossed the boy is alright. This left 11 minutes on the clock and City with 10 men. A possible sniff of a chance for us to get back into the game and at least walk away with something in the form of dignity. Alas we are Arsenal and no club can Arsenal themselves as much as Arsenal can. It’s laughable. Instead of pushing on, we concede a third and end the game nothing short of humiliated. 

After the game Luiz, obviously feeling responsible for his team’s loss, came out and publicly apologised.

“It’s my fault, the team did well, especially with 10 men. The coach is amazing, all the players are amazing, it was my fault. I want to be here. The coach knows. He wants me to stay. I should have taken a different decision in the last two months but I didn’t. All about my contract, if I stay here or not. I have 14 days to be here and that’s it. I should have tried to decide my future as early as possible, but I didn’t.”

David Luiz

So let me get this straight. We are offering Luiz an extension to his contract and he is saying no. Luiz is saying no to US. How bad of a prospect can we be that we can’t make a player who is as error prone and as down right calamitous as David Luiz make his mind up as to whether to stay or go? How can we ever expect players like Aubameyang to sign a new contract if we can’t entice David Luiz to do the same?

All players can have an off day. They can even have an off season to some extent. I actually thought Luiz had been improving a lot since Arteta arrived. I have written before that I think his experience will have a great influence on the young players at the club. But yesterday was a really bad day and if you look at his career as a whole, there have been too many of these really bad days. If you read out the highlights of his performance but weren’t told who the player was, you would likely guess David Luiz as the man in question. Maybe Mustafi but that’s for another article. Did you see him drop like a newborn bird for their third? 

Anyway, it is what it is. A 3 month gap and we come back to that. Any optimism that may have built up during the season’s hiatus has been well and truly washed away. To be honest we were playing Man City who I wasn’t expecting to beat and who have embarrassed us far too many times in recent years. We have to put this behind us and move on to Brighton where we simply have to win. 

So in conclusion, football is back and although almost everything about the game has been forced to change, we haven’t. David Luiz hasn’t.

Stay safe. 

 

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