Here are three things we learned:
1 - A vision of the future
Astonishment swept across City fans’ faces when they stepped out with Jesús Navas at full-back to defend Alexis Sánchez.
In total, seven attack-minded players started in Pep Guardiola’s bold statement of purpose at the Emirates.
In many ways, the ability to run around Arsenal proved the tactic worthwhile, but the lack of finishing quality and inevitable pressure from the Gunners shows where City’s new system needs to improve.
2 - Better under pressure
Until their Champions League loss at Monaco, the Blues had done well to claw and fight whenever they went behind. On most of those occasions, the dire need for a goal was quenched by one or another of City’s stars.
Arsenal turned the game on City and muscled the necessary equalizers, leaving the Blues’ seven attacking players incapable of running away with the game.
Yaya Touré helped give his team a better mentality, but the last touch evaded them to the end.
3 - Genuine optimism
Both of these teams are incredible. The drama surrounding Arsène Wenger, Pep Guardiola and their respective clubs has to give way to appreciation of the style and capability inherent in each team.
Mistakes were minimal and desire was high as the two teams sought to institute their own brand of domination.
Both are in desperate need of points, so neither will be ultimately pleased with the result. With a keen focus on how to improve, both managers will have their qualms with how their team played, but for neutrals this match proved that Arsenal and City will not go without a fight.