Arsenal 0 Man City 2: Raheem Sterling and Bernado Silva punish Unai Emery’s Gunners

NEW coach, new approach – but same old Arsenal.

The Arsenal reign of boss Unai Emery started in depressingly familiar style yesterday for Gunners fans.

‘The Gooner’ magazine had a picture of the 46-year-old on the cover, above the headline ‘After 22 years, new coach, new approach’.

That was all true. But the outcome was the same as at home last season in the league under former boss Arsene Wenger – a defeat to City without a goal to their name.

In March it was a 3-0 loss when at least they managed to threaten the visitors, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having a penalty saved by Ederson.

Yesterday the Brazilian goalkeeper did not have a serious effort from the Gunners to contend with.

Unai is a popular Basque name for boys meaning ‘shepherd’.

But Emery’s new flock were like lambs to the slaughter against City.

The Gunners may have had a different tactical approach than under Wenger.

But they still looked like football paupers, compared to the Pep Guardiola’s aristocrats.

City won thanks to goal from Raheem Sterling and Bernando Silva.

But in terms of quality the two teams were as far apart as Manchester is from London.

Can you imagine Guardiola showing even the slightest interest in signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Matteo Guendouzi, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira, who made their Premier League bows for the Gunners yesterday?

Yet these are the types of players who are supposed to help the Gunners close the 37 point gap City had over them last season.

The last time Arsenal played a competitive match without Wenger in charge was in September 1996, when Pat Rice was caretaker for a 2-0 Premier League win over Sunderland.

That sort of result never looked like a possibility, especially with their supposed star player, Mesut Ozil, clearly suffering from a crisis of confidence following his World Cup horror show with Germany.

Arsenal 0 Man City 2: Raheem Sterling and Bernado Silva punish Unai Emery's GunnersREUTERS

Arsenal 0 Man City 2: Raheem Sterling celebrates his goal

Sterling, who has had his own fair share of stick from England fans, was first to signal a threat, twice rounding Shkodran Mustafi, before testing Petr Cech at his near post with a left-foot shot.

In the 14th minute he improved on that with a superb goal.

Picking up a pass from supposed left-back Benjamin Mendy – who spent much of the game pushing forward into all manner of positions – he powered across goal past Hector Bellerin and Guendouzi before driving a low powerful shot which whizzed in to the left of the unsighted Cech.

Bellerin almost made up for his weak defending in the 21st minute, skipping past Mendy then firing a shot which Ederson beat away with both fists.

It was about as good as it got for Arsenal although they were spared embarrassment when Cech narrowly avoided scoring a bizarre own goal when instead of finding a team-mate he came within inches of passing the ball into his own net.

That shaky moment aside, Cech stood firm.

He kept out a Riyad Mahrez free-kick then denied Aymeric Laporte following up when the ball broke loose.

Next Ozil gifted possession again, City raced to the other end and Mahrez bent a shot just past the far post.

Cech rescued Arsenal in the 63rd minute when their exposed backline – basically just Guendouzi – failed to deal with a punt from Kyle Walker and Sergio Aguero was clean through.

But skipper Cech guessed correctly getting down low to his right to keep out the Argentine’s low shot.

It was a brief reprieve as a minute later the champions broke down the left, with the excellent Mendy exchanging passes with Sterling then teeing up Silva to lash high into the net with a first-time left foot shot.

Ozil did get into the box in the 81st minute when he was set up by Lichtsteiner.

But he produced an air shot, with the ball hitting his standing right leg. It summed up his match.

It seems daft to speculate on a season after just one game.

But based on this, Emery has no chance of guiding Arsenal to the title and it will take a brave man to bet against City running away with the title again.

ARSENAL VS MAN CITY LINE UPS

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Papastathopoulos, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles (Lichtsteiner 35), Guendouzi, Xhaka (Torreira 70), Mkhitaryan, Ramsey (Lacazette 54), Ozil, Aubameyang

Subs: Elneny, Lacazette, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Iwobi, Leno

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Mahrez (De Bruyne 60), Aguero (Gabriel Jesus 79), Sterling (Sane 87)

Subs: Bravo, Kompany, De Bruyne, Sane, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Foden

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