Unai Emery kicked off his tenure at Arsenal with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League, as goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva gave the title holders the victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Sterling made Man City’s first-half dominance count with an opening goal in the 13th minute, giving Pep Guardiola’s men a 1-0 lead going into half-time.
The story promised to be different in the second-half, with Arsenal growing into the game, but Bernardo Silva’s second-half strike, somewhat against the run of play, complicated matters for the hosts, who’d eventually succumb to a 2-0 defeat.
Sterling didn’t take long to cause chaos, as the England international danced his way into the box before pulling a save out of Petr Čech at his near-post, eight minutes in.
The Arsenal goalkeeper could do little to keep out the ex-Liverpool winger in the 13th minute, however, with Sterling finding the opening goal with a strike from the edge of the box, cutting in from the left.
City pressed on, prompting Čech to a double-save from Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick and Aymeric Laporte’s follow-up, as the Gunners looked to tame the Premier League champions.
A better finish to the half saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flash a shot from range wide in the 44th minute, as Emery’s men entered the break a goal down.
Arsenal picked up where they left off in the second period, with Alexandre Lacazette coming close to making an instant impact from the bench in the 57th minute with a measured volley roaming wide from the edge of the area.
City looked to take advantage of a Guendouzi misjudgment past the half-hour mark, as Sergio Agüero raced through on goal before another important save from Čech kept things at 1-0.
Guardiola’s men wouldn’t be so forgiving a couple of minutes later, however, as Benjamin Mendy picked out Bernardo Silva with a cut-back before the Portuguese playmaker’s left-footed strike doubled the visitors’ lead.
Despite some encouraging signs, with Mesut Özil and Lacazette in the mix, Arsenal would fail to land any blows on City, as the Manchester outfit walked away from the Emirates with a 2-0 victory.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Starting Line-up: Petr Čech (7) – Héctor Bellerín (5), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Sokratis (5), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (5) – Granit Xhaka (5), Mattéo Guendouzi (6), Aaron Ramsey (5) – Mesut Özil (5), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (4) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (4)
Subs: Stephan Lichtsteiner (6), Alexandre Lacazette (5), Lucas Torreira (6)