Three Things We Learned from Arsenal's battling point at Manchester City

Here's Alan Alger with his series Three Things We Learned as he analyses Arsenal's hard-fought draw at Manchester City

Three Things We Learned from Arsenal's battling point at Manchester City

Gabriel helped the Arsenal backline to a clean sheet against City on Sunday. CREDIT: Simon Stacpoole / Offside

Three things we learned from Manchester City 0 v 0 Arsenal – by Alan Alger

It’s a great result, don’t let anybody tell us otherwise…

It’s been interesting being in title races at the height of social media nonsense and people creating bizarre takes just for attention. Some of those attention seekers are in prominent media positions and should know better.

Becoming the first team to keep a clean-sheet at the Etihad this season is worthy of plenty of praise. We managed the game perfectly and could have nicked it at the end. That’s good enough for me. Regardless of City’s injury woes their back four still cost well into the hundreds of millions.

Don’t let anyone derail Mikel’s planning and blueprint for how this team should play. Sunday was all about not losing and I’m fully behind that strategy.

I do hope this kind of thing eventually dies down. Killing it all off would be helped by everyone following this policy – block and mute anyone that isn’t prepared to debate football rationally with balanced backed-up views. Even if you allow for rival fan engagement it should still leave room to enjoy discussion around the game.

The fact some of our players were slightly off their games is actually a positive…

There were a few below-par performances in our ranks on Sunday, but we still managed to come away unscathed. That’s huge progress from last season where a patched-up team were run ragged by City.

The same idiots I talked about in my first point were on the back of Bukayo Saka – at an extreme extension of their point about our young star having a bad game they were also prepared to settle the debate against Phil Foden and who is better.

Doing that off the back of just one game is ridiculous. Yes, Saka did not play well and City do seem to have the measure of him, but he’s coming back from injury and also still feeling the effects of playing almost non-stop for a few months.

He’ll have bad games, but will still be one of the top wingers in the league and one of the first choices for his country in Germany in the summer. That’s really not up for debate.

A bigger concern would be Gabriel Jesus finding his place back into a team that were scoring freely – albeit against weaker opposition – earlier in the year. We need to find a way to bring him into the game more.

Again we still found a way to stifle City despite the ball not really sticking up front.

Hardest game of the season followed by easiest game of the season…

I have plenty of respect for Luton Town having worked with them when in their darker days of non-league football. But Wednesday night’s game will be our easiest of the season due to the injuries they have in their squad.

Of course I’m talking about on paper, but to go from our hardest game at the Etihad to a game we are favourites to win by at least two goals is a blessing for Mikel Arteta.

I think he can afford to be bold and play a slightly weakened squad and still come away with a decent victory. The Hatters have done fantastically well this season and deservedly ran us close at Kenilworth Road, but on Wednesday night they will barely be able to fill their bench and we should take advantage.

I want to see Eddie Nketiah play a full game along with a nice reset for Thomas Partey in midfield. I’d even be tempted to rest Declan Rice who was used for every single minute of the last International break by England. Play Nelson and Trossard instead of Martinelli and Saka too.

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