Mikel Arteta: Arsenal must be at best in every department to beat Manchester City

mikel areta and pep

Arsenal beat Pep Guardiola’s treble side on penalties in August after Leandro Trossard’s dramatic stoppage-time equalizer canceled out Cole Palmer’s opener at Wembley.

However, this result between the teams has been an exception in recent years. City have beaten Arsenal in eight consecutive games heading into the Community Shield, while Guardiola’s men are currently on a 12-match winning streak against the Gunners in the Premier League.

Indeed, Arsenal have to go back to 2015 when they last managed a win over City in the league, and Arteta knows the level of performance his side must produce on Sunday if they are to end that winless run.

“It was important for us (winning the Community Shield),” Arteta said.

“Success against City is something you have to respect as well as the way we played and it gave us confidence and encouragement to beat them.

“One thing is for sure, we know we will have to be at our best in every department for 100 minutes and then we will have a chance.”

A win for Arsenal this weekend would see them move two points clear of current leaders City, but Arteta dismissed any suggestion it would be a season-defining result.

“It will be a big boost in energy and confidence, but apart from that and the three points, nothing else,” he said.

Arteta highlighted Guardiola’s strengths as a manager, noting that his fellow Spaniard’s decision to play Bernardo Silva at left-back in previous meetings was unexpected.

And the Gunners boss, who was Guardiola’s assistant at City between 2016 and 2019, praised his compatriot’s willingness to change tactics in games.

“Every year we have new tools, new players and different things,” Arteta said.

“We know each other, we expect things from each other, but it’s up to the players.

“I didn’t expect him to play Bernard at left-back.

“Yes (I expect Pep to make big changes in games) and he does it in big games.

“He was able to do it this season as well. He does different things against different opponents and that’s their big quality (City) because they can change.

“They can do it during the game, at half-time and that’s the strength, they can dominate.

Although City have dominated this fixture in recent years, Arteta took encouragement from his side’s performance in the Emirates clash between the two on New Year’s Day 2022.

Bukayo Saka put Arsenal ahead but City equalized with a Riyad Mahrez penalty and with the Gunners down to 10 men after Gabriel’s red card, they grabbed a stoppage time winner through Rodri.

Arteta, who missed the game after testing positive for Covid, believes the match was a big step forward for Arsenal and that they learned valuable lessons.

He said: “I felt it from home and it was a huge step. It was big, with the way we played, but in the end we lost the game and we also took a big lesson from it, but a lot of positives.

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