Guardiola says Man City 'take the point' after Arsenal draw
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Guardiola says Man City ‘take the point’ after Arsenal draw

Pep Guardiola has said Manchester City ‘take the point’ after a goalless draw with title rivals Arsenal at the Etihad.

The champions endured a frustrating afternoon against the Gunners as they struggled to break down the visitors, who defended deep and restricted Guardiola’s side to a single shot on target.

Manchester City’s failure to score was the first time the treble-winners have blanked in a home Premier League game for two-and-a-half years, a 57-game streak that started in October 2021.

 

Guardiola admits his side struggled to create chances despite having 73% of the possession, with Arsenal’s centre-back pairing of William Saliba and Gabriel dominant in their duel with Erling Haaland.

The Spaniard said his side ‘take a point’ and move on, after a result which leaves the Citizens third in the table, a point behind Arsenal and three adrift of league leaders Liverpool.

“We take the point. We tried. We didn’t create much, they didn’t create much. They defended very compact, we could not regain the balls high pressing because first contact, second contact they were there. They had a lot of quality and physicality,” Guardiola said, speaking to Sky Sports:

“They had one or two chances in transitions when we lost one or two balls. But yes it was a tight game, we were who we are, we missed a little bit in the final third but it is not easy. The strikers run back with Rodri, the crosses they were really good with, the physicality and intensity.

“They always press high, but when you break they drop into a low block. When you arrive in the final third the main target is to not concede a goal, and the more players you can get in there, it is more difficult for the opponent. I think they did that brilliantly.”

City have now failed to beat any of the current top five in seven Premier League fixtures this season. Guardiola’s side lost the reverse fixture to Arsenal 1-0 in north London and the City boss was asked whether he expected another cagey contest this time around.

“Yes. The last game at the Emirates was similar. We tried to create a little bit more but it is not easy. They have good players defending the way they did and they also did high pressing – they are fantastic in what they do.

 

“When we break them in contact with the wingers or with Haaland and then got inside there was Jorginho and Rice there. The spaces were very little. That is why they were top of the league, now is Liverpool, but last season, this season they play really well.”

Asked whether Liverpool are now title favourites, Guardiola added: “They are in first position. They are top of the league so that is how it is. There are still nine games to go so we will see what happens.”

Manchester City return to action at home to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.

Read – Five of the best games between Arsenal and Manchester City

See more – Bernardo admits title out of Manchester City’s hands

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