Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has told Football London that Arsenal’s Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka were very unlucky to pick up injuries so early on yesterday.
Arsenal were forced to make two subs in the first 20 minutes as Xhaka first hurt his ankle, and then Mari appeared to pull up with a hamstring issue.
Mari’s injury proved particularly costly for Arsenal, as it led to David Luiz’s introduction.
Luiz went on to have a nightmare, as he was at fault for the first two goals that Arsenal conceded and was sent off.
And Guardiola admits that he felt that the Gunners were unfortunate yesterday.
“We knew exactly what they were going to do but it was a mystery about the team after more than two months out. Arsenal were unlucky with Xhaka and Mari. We played a good game,” he said.
“In general after two months, we didn’t know exactly how the team, how it’s going to feel, we make a good performance against a good team,” he added in the Guardian.
“Absolutely we can get better. We have respect for Arsenal because we know exactly what they want to do but it was little bit of a mystery to know how the team would be after more than two months out.”
Arsenal’s defeat to City was their first of 2020, and it has led to frustrations already at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s flaws defensively have been all too evident for too long, and the time off does not appear to have changed anything.
Arsenal currently sit in ninth place in the Premier League table.