Arsenal produced a defensive masterclass after they kept Manchester City at bay on Sunday at the Etihad in a tight-knit tactical title battle.

For the first time in 47 Premier League matches, Pep Guardiola’s side failed to score in front of their supporters.

Man of the Match William Saliba and his partner in crime Gabriel Magalhaes were at the heart of Arsenal’s clean sheet.

The duo had to be on point because they were coming up against one of the world’s best finishers – Erling Haaland.

The battle between the trio throughout the match was ferocious, engaging and hard-hitting.

The Arsenal duo ensured that they didn’t give Haaland an inch and he had to overwork for any ball that remotely came close to him.

After shutting Manchester City and Haaland out for 90 minutes plus, the verbals between Haaland and Gabriel continued after the full-time whistle.

It seemed pretty heated before Pep Guardiola had to step in and tell the duo to go their separate ways.

Ian Wright admitted ‘that’s what you want’ from a striker and a centre-half, as he told Premier League Productions (31/03/24 at 6:25 pm).

But then, when he saw the two hug each other after a few verbals, he proceeded to laugh out loud and then state ‘that’s when you should be friends’.

Gabriel Magalhaes v Erling Haaland

“That’s what you want,” reacted Wright to Haaland and Gabriel initially exchanging words after FT.

“You don’t want a centre-half and a centre-forward loving each other coming off, especially when it’s such a heated battle.

And then when Haaland and Gabriel hugged, he changed his mind: “Ayee, that’s what you want,” laughed Wright. “You shouldn’t be friends, but that’s when you should be friends, when the game is over.”

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal’s defence

You can question Arsenal’s approach all you want, but Arteta went for the clean sheet and got what he wanted.

There is a reason why they have the best defence in the Premier League.

From Declan Rice’s durability in the middle of the park, the aggressive press of the forwards in front of him, the calmness of the fullbacks and the concentration levels of his centre-half.

Yes, it’s Liverpool currently sitting top of the Premier League table, but Arsenal are showing signs here that this tense title race could yet be heading to the Emirates.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.