With just over a minute played in today’s marquee Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Manchester City, Pep Guardiola’s side carved open their opponents to take the lead.
Summer recruit Ruben Dias continued to impress as he launched a cross-field pass into Riyad Mahrez, the tricky winger expertly controlled the ball before facing off against Kieran Tierney.
Tierney stood off the Algerian star and was duly punished, Mahrez created enough space to float in a cross after some tidy dribbling and the use of a step-over to dazzle the non-committal Scotsman.
The Arsenal left-back’s defensive partners ensured that Mahrez would net a goal contribution on his birthday as Rob Holding looked across to Raheem Sterling, but didn’t pressure the ace.
Sterling was unchallenged as he leapt up and headed the ball into the back of the net from inside the six-yard area.
Hector Bellerin was also near the forward, but the right-back perhaps shouldn’t be blamed too much as he appeared to drop back a little to cover Bernardo Silva.
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— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 21, 2021
Pictures from Sky Sports and DAZN.
Tierney was at fault for not applying any pressure to Mahrez on the wing but the lack of communication between Holding and Bellerin is what caused Sterling a free header at goal here.
Mikel Arteta’s game-plan against his former employers has been thrown out the window almost immediately, Pep Guardiola’s men are something else, they made this look effortless.