Unai Emery makes two shock selections for first Arsenal game

Rex Christensen
August 13, 2018

Mahrez was inches away from opening his account three minutes before half time when he curled a left-footed effort just past Cech's far post as City continued to dominate, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's effort nearly brought Arsenal level moments later but his long-distance strike sailed just wide.

Perhaps it was too much, too soon for a player who was an unused substitute in a Ligue 2 meeting between Lorient and Gazelec Ajaccio this time past year, but Lucas Torreira was not deemed fit enough to start and Emery is likely to be more concerned by the displays of some of Arsenal's senior players.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are in a new era following the appointment of Unai Emery as well as several new signings this summer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starts up front, with Alexandre Lacazette among the subs.

However, Emery is adamant that the aggressive style of play he will bring to the club will be the deciding factor this season.

"I think we were better than them today", Bernardo Silva told Sky Sports.

"Defensively: first it is to be organised, recover the ball quickly". Working to help when we need quick pressing against the opposition.

While others bemoaned their lack of signings and questioned their club hierarchy's pre-season preparations, most notably Guardiola's nemesis in the red half of Manchester Jose Mourinho, the Catalan had nothing but praise for his squad and his employers, saying: "I can not complain for one minute".

"First game of the season, away at Arsenal with a new manager after 20 years?"

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"Winning is the best motivation and we will try to continue what we have done. We defended very well and were a very compact team".

"Everyone is going to play a lot of minutes and, in every moment, they have to be ready".

"We finished with the spirit I want". I want those two moments to feel the same for all players.

And, despite just a week of sessions on the practice pitch, City picked up where they left off last term with a confident display that easily put Arsenal to the sword. "For me, that is very important".

Arsenal were handed a hard start to the season when they hosted Manchester City on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.

"I like to work with these guys, I enjoy it".

"We are delighted with him and would like Raheem to stay", Guardiola said.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates with teammate Raheem Sterling, right, after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates stadium in London, England, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018.

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