Unai Emery defends decision to start Petr Cech

Sherman Parsons
August 13, 2018

Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva scored as City began their title defense with a 2-0 away win that spoiled Unai Emery's debut as Arsenal manager.

Wenger scaled heights with the Gunners in his first decade in charge but in the last few years he brought the club to its knees. "Manchester City have given me a fantastic squad".

It took a double save from Cech to keep Arsenal in the match, first saving a Riyad Mahrez free kick and then deflecting Aymeric Laporte's follow up out for a corner. The Arsenal goalkeeper also did well to deny Sergio Aguero in the second half.

City were brilliant in parts - and controlled in others - and killed off the game when Benjamin Mendy, who assisted both goals, pulled the ball back for Bernardo Silva to blast in a second.

A selection dilemma of a different kind has confronted Emery at left-back after a collision with Kyle Walker saw Ainsley Maitland-Niles limp out of the action before half-time.

"Many players did a sacrifice, Stones, Walker, we trained for only one week, but the spirit is there". We wanted to build with the ball and break their lines. Today is the first step.

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"We just start again". "I think the best thing is for him to play 15-20 minutes when the opponents probably are exhausted". The recruitment has been so bad here over the last three or four years, it's going to take two or three, maybe four transfer windows to sort this out. Emery's Gunners were unconvincing in defence, too often absent in midfield and ineffective up front, so if he is to retain confidence the meticulous former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla coach may need to go back to the drawing board.

French World Cup victor Pogba, though, wasn't so effusive in his praise for his boss, claiming "if you're not happy, you can not give your best" and that if he voiced his true feelings he would be fined.

City topped the table by 19 points last time around - 37 clear of Arsenal - but Guardiola, who will not be offering any words of advice to his opposite number this weekend, is confident the men from north London will be in the mix come the end of the season.

"We are disappointed with the defeat but we have to realize it was our first game with a new manager, a new way of playing and I think it will help us to grow". "I think we were better than them and we're very happy for that".

"We arrived after a hard season [in 2016, when Guardiola had made a point of contacting Sterling during Euro 2016 to offer his support] and I told him I wanted to help him and would like him to be happy". We did the job we needed to do.

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