The Premier League served us a mouth-watering opening fixture on New Year's day between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium. Manchester City were in full confidence, following ten consecutive league wins, while Arsenal were coming into the game thrashing Norwich 5-0.
We will look at five things we learned from the game:
(1) Bukayo Saka is Pure Class:
The Arsenal youngster who scored the opening goal for Arsenal has shown that he is an integral part of Mikel Arteta's team. He has now scored in two games in a row after scoring in the league game against Norwich, he has now scored four goals in his last three games. The Gunners will have to keep him fit and away from any team that might want to keep up away from the Emirates.
(2) Arsenal extra days of rest was Key in the Game:
The Gunners' mid-week fixture against Wolves was called off because of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Wolves squad. Manchester City played against Brentford in the league on Wednesday, December 29th, 2021. This means City just had two days of rest while Arsenal had eight days to rest coming into the game.
(3) Arsenal's Youngsters are Magical:
The Gunners youngsters have been key since the turnaround of their season. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith-Rowe have been fantastic all season, and they have been fantastic this season. If Arsenal will make the top four or give a shout for winning the Premier League, then these four players will play a huge part in that success.
(4) Xhaka and Gabriel Ruined Arteta's Game Plan
The Gunners' game plan changed following Xhaka's foul on Bernardo Silva in the Penalty box, which was converted by Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel's Red Card on the hour mark after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Gabriel Jesus. Arsenal had to take out Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette to bring a bit of stability to the team for the remaining minutes of the game.
(5) Manchester City Quest to Win the Premier League Continues:
Manchester City showed their never say die spirit as they were able to snatch three points from the Gunners with less than two minutes to go. Rodri snatched the winner for the away team which left Arsenal in total disgust and pain. Manchester City now less second-place Chelsea with 11 points and are 12 points ahead of Liverpool in third-place.