Manchester City recorded their first win of the season last Saturday by thumping Norwich City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium. This weekend, the blues welcome Pep Guardiola’s former apprentice Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal team as City look to pile the pressure on the former number two.
The Gunners have not had a great start to the season. They lost their opening match at newly promoted Brentford, before succumbing to a 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea. Although it is still early days, it’s an odd league table with Arsenal currently sitting second from bottom and being one of four teams not to score a goal so far this season.
City are unbeaten in 6 home matches with Arsenal and have only lost 2 in the last 14 matches against the Gunners at home. The last time Arsenal won on City soil was January 2015, when a first half penalty by Santi Cazorla was added to by Olivier Giroud in the second half to give Arsene Wenger’s men a 2-0 victory.
The blues have won the last five in this fixture by an aggregate of 12-3. Within those five matches, City have hit three goals on three occasions, and have kept clean sheets from the last two fixtures, quite ominous for the visitors considering their problems in front of goal.
In the Premier League era, City have faced Arsenal in their second home match of the season on four occasions, and the gods are with City. The blues have won three of these meetings – 1-0 last season, 4-2 in September 20009 and 1-0 in August 2006. The other match was a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in 2003.
One of City’s worst home runs against Arsenal came between January 1993 and May 2006. The two faced each other on 10 occasions, with City losing 9 and the other being a goalless draw.
There are usually goals in this fixture and the last goalless draw was in January 1994 at Maine Road.
City’s biggest win in this fixture was 6-3 back in December 2013, while their heaviest defeat came in February 2003, then Thierry Henry received a standing ovation from the City fans due to an outstanding performance in Arsenal’s 5-1 win at Maine Road.
These two have met four times in August in the past, with a draw the main outcome. Their first two matches in August ended in draws, with both teams winning one apiece.
The opening matches for both teams are a reverse of last season. The Gunners won both their opening matches as opposed to losing them this time around, while City won their opening match and lost their second. But while the blues drew their third match away at Leeds, Arsenal lost at Liverpool. An omen maybe?
What will Saturday bring?