Arsenal lost their first game of 2020 at a rain-soaked Etihad Stadium, substitute David Luiz enduring a horrendous evening in which he gifted the home side two goals and also received his marching orders.
Raheem Sterling capitalized on the Brazilian's first mistake to score his first goal of the year and put City on their way to a comfortable 3-0 home victory, while Kevin De Bruyne's penalty -- after Luiz had brought down Riyadh Mahrez -- effectively ended the contest. Phil Foden compounded the visitors' misery with a late third.
The visitors lost two players to injury inside the opening 22 minutes and the enforced substitutions saw their strong start quickly unravel. City dominated the second half and even a flurry of Arsenal substitutions couldn't change the outcome.
Arsenal started the better of the two sides and adapted well to the wet surface. Eddie Nketiah in particular was lively and caused City problems as he led alone from the front. Bernd Leno was superb in goal, making five excellent saves, but he could do little about the three goals.
Despite starting well, Arsenal unraveled as City started to work their way through the gears. And, once again, defensive mistakes ultimately proved their undoing; the Luiz horror show ensuring a hapless return to action for Mikel Arteta's side. It's now 25 matches since the Gunners won away against a team in the top six.
Manager rating out of 10
Mikel Arteta 5, -- The Spaniard will have been enthused by the way in which his side started the game, but his game plan was affected when he lost Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka to injury. After having looked better defensively before the lockdown, this was a case of 'same old Arsenal', with mistakes ultimately costing them the game. Even his second-half chances had little to no effect.
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Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Bernd Leno, 7 -- Leno was called into action just after the half hour mark when he dived to his left to parry Raheem Sterling's effort from inside the area. Moments later, he made an even more impressive stop when he saved low to his left, showing a strong wrist to keep out David Silva. He came off his line quickly minutes later to block at the feet of Mahrez, but he could do little as Sterling smashed home the opener before the break. Arsenal's best player by some considerable distance, but again he could do little about City's second.
DF Hector Bellerin, 3 -- The Spanish defender had a quiet game and did little to help his keeper or affect the game going forward. City looked dangerous in and around the box and in wide areas, and there was little Bellerin and Co. could do about it.
DF Pablo Mari, NR -- After dishing out a hefty challenge to Raheem Sterling in the opening exchanges, the Spaniard then went down with an Achilles problem, and was subsequently substituted.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 3 - The German was strong in the air but less confident when the ball was on the floor. He managed to get forward before the break but couldn't quite get on the end of a Bukayo Saka free-kick. He took a knock in the second half and moved out of the centre of defence to recover.
DF Kieran Tierney, 4 -- The youngster enjoyed a solid start. In the opening half hour he looked good going forward and strong in the challenge at the back. He covered in the centre of defence after Mustafi took a knock.
MF Granit Xhaka, NR -- The Swiss midfielder was substituted early on after being stretchered off.
MF Matteo Guendouzi, 4 -- The youngster looked alert in the opening half hour but went missing as City stepped up the tempo. He just couldn't do anything to prevent City from dominating the middle of the park, and was taken off with 24 minutes remaining.
MF Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, 3 -- All the talk before the game was about the Gabonese striker's future, but his wayward effort on goal on 25 minutes was his only contribution. Deployed on the left, he was largely anonymous.
MF Joe Willock 2 -- It's hard to recall any meaningful contribution from the 20-year-old. Overrun in the middle, Willock was substituted on 66 minutes.
MF Bukayo Saka, 4 -- The Ealing-born winger crossed to Eddie Nketiah for Arsenal's best chance of the first half, and again delivered a wicked outswinging free-kick that Mustafi couldn't quite convert. Looked lively in small patches.
FW Eddie Nketiah, 4 -- Started brightly, looked sharp, and eluded his markers, though offside, to get an early shot at goal. He then volleyed wide from Saka's cross having got in front of Eric Garcia. Couldn't get into the game in the second half.
David Luiz, 1 -- Came on after 23 minutes following an injury to Sari. Still yet to agree an extension beyond the end of his contract on June 30, Luiz may not get the chance after this performance; he was at fault for City's opener, the ball deflecting off his body and into the path of Raheem Sterling. He then brought down Mahrez for the second and was red carded.
Dani Ceballos, 5 -- On as early as the seventh minute following injury to Xhaka, he looked a little shaky as City grew into the game but had good energy and his work rate impressed.
Alex Maitland-Niles, 3 -- Came on after 66 minutes to his preferred central midfield position, but did little to assert himself on the game.
Alexandre Lacazette, 3 -- The Frenchman came on to lead the attack with 24 minutes remaining but he couldn't muster an effort on goal, though he was starved of any meaningful ammunition.
Reiss Nelson, 4 -- Nelson came on with 24 minutes remaining and was full of energy but didn't enjoy any real time on the ball.