PLAYER RATINGS: Rodri ran the game and Arsenal’s defenders dealt with Erling Haaland… but one Gunners star had a very quiet afternoon

  • Manchester City were unable to find a way through Arsenal’s dogged defence
  • Result leaves Guardiola’s side three points off the top and a point behind Arsenal
  • Why a defeat against Arsenal will be curtains for Man City’s title defence – Listen
  • Manchester City and Arsenal refused to be separated as they played out a tense and cagey goalless draw at the Etihad on Sunday evening.

    Liverpool‘s 2-1 win over Brighton earlier in the day had pushed the Gunners down into second place in the Premier League but the visitors looked more than happy to take a point back with them to north London.

    Pep Guardiola‘s side struggled to break down the division’s best defence, enjoying precious few half chances, let alone anything substantial in front goal.

  • The gap between the Premier League’s top three may have widened to three points following the result but there are sure to be more twists and turns in what promises to be an enthralling run-in.

    Here, Mail Sport’s Jack Gaughan has given his expert player ratings…

    Rodri ran the game for the home side but they were unable to find a way through the Arsenal defence

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    Rodri ran the game for the home side but they were unable to find a way through the Arsenal defence

    Manchester City could not find a way past Arsenal's imposing centre-back William Saliba

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    Manchester City could not find a way past Arsenal’s imposing centre-back William Saliba

    Pep Guardiola cut a frustrated figure at times as his side struggled to create openings against the dogged Gunners rearguard

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    Pep Guardiola cut a frustrated figure at times as his side struggled to create openings against the dogged Gunners rearguad

    MANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1)

    Stefan Ortega – 6

    One big take from a set play early on settled the nerves. The German’s distribution could have been crisper.

    Manuel Akanji – 7.5

    Big performance again by Akanji. Strong in the challenge and good on the ball, he keeps standing tall.

    Ruben Dias – 7.5

    Kept Kai Havertz fairly quiet and followed him everywhere. Reliable once again at centre half.

    Nathan Ake – 5.5

    Forced off with a calf injury after 27 minutes. Hadn’t really got to the pace of the game before then.

    Josko Gvardiol – 7

    Often the out ball for City. Went forward with purpose and completed a couple of big recovery tackles.

    Josko Gvardiol (right) was surprisingly City's best attacking outlet from left back in the first half

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    Josko Gvardiol (right) was surprisingly City’s best attacking outlet from left back in the first half

    Rodri (centre) was ever present at the base of City's midfield as they attempted to breach the Gunners defence

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    Rodri (centre) was ever present at the base of City’s midfield as they attempted to breach the Gunners defence

    Rodri – 8

    Ran the game. Superb positioning when Arsenal countered and looked like City’s driving force.

    Mateo Kovacic – 5.5

    A fair reflection of his debut season. Tidy enough with a couple of mistakes but largely passive.

    Bernardo Silva – 6.5

    Quick start to the game, faded slightly before then taking a more active role after the break.

    Kevin De Bruyne – 6

    Didn’t get going until the final quarter. His influence then grew and the Belgian looked the most likely.

    Bernardo Silva looked the most likely to find a way past the deep Arsenal defence and produced a few trademark moments of brilliance

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    Bernardo Silva looked the most likely to find a way past the deep Arsenal defence and produced a few trademark moments of brilliance

    Kevin de Bruyne (middle) was well contained by the away side's disciplined defensive posture

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    Kevin de Bruyne (middle) was well contained by the away side’s disciplined defensive posture

    Phil Foden – 6

    Probably unfortunate to be hooked. Looked bright without anything coming off in tight spaces.

    Erling Haaland – 6

    Good when involved. But not involved enough and couldn’t sort his feet out for a late chance.

    Subs

    Rico Lewis (for Ake, 27) – 7

    Jeremy Doku (for Foden, 61) – 6.5

    Jack Grealish (for Kovacic, 61) – 6.5

    Manager: Pep Guardiola – 6

    Bold changes on the hour tried to force the issue. City didn’t really do enough to emerge victorious.

    ARSENAL ( 4-3-3)

    David Raya – 5.5

    A few hairy moments, including one dropped cross, and may have started the build-up better.

    Ben White – 7

    The most dangerous going forward in red, finding himself presentable areas in behind City’s back four.

    William Saliba – 7.5

    Very smart covering of the space when City’s midfielders attempted to find space in the inside channels.

    Gabriel – 7.5

    Clearly enjoyed the physical battle with Haaland and constantly found himself on the end of things.

    Gabriel (left) didn't give Erling Haaland an inch, reducing the league's top marksman to a quiet evening

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    Gabriel (left) didn’t give Erling Haaland an inch, reducing the league’s top marksman to a quiet evening

    Saliba make life difficult for City's attackers including Phil Foden (right) in a nervy stalemate

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    Saliba make life difficult for City’s attackers including Phil Foden (right) in a nervy stalemate

    Jakub Kiwior – 6

    Noticeable that Mikel Arteta turned to his bench as soon as Doku came on for the champions.

    Declan Rice – 7.5

    Always available and manfully matched City’s tenacity. One big reason the hosts didn’t steam through centrally.

    Jorginho – 6

    Tidy display, as you’d expect, without really standing out in midfield. Organised Arsenal in their low block.

    Bukayo Saka – 5.5

    Left you wanting more. One cross that Gabriel Jesus might’ve latched onto but a very quiet afternoon.

    Martin Odegaard – 5.5

    Appeared a little loose on the ball when it truly mattered for the Gunners. Not the only one though.

    Gabriel Jesus – 6

    Enjoyed a couple of sights of goal coming off the left but lacked conviction to finish chances.

    Bukayo Saka endured a quiet afternoon at the Etihad and struggle to impose himself on the game

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    Bukayo Saka endured a quiet afternoon at the Etihad and struggle to impose himself on the game

    Gabriel Jesus (right) started on the right flank against his former side on Sunday evening

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    Gabriel Jesus (right) started on the right flank against his former side on Sunday evening

    Mikel Arteta (left) faced off against his old boss Pep Guardiola when he led his Arsenal team to the Etihad

    Mikel Arteta (left) faced off against his old boss Pep Guardiola when he led his Arsenal team to the Etihad

    Kai Havertz – 6

    While not all of his own doing, Arsenal possession didn’t stick enough with the centre forward.

    Subs

    Takehiro Tomiyasu (for Kiwior, 66) – 6

    Thomas Partey (for Jorginho, 66) – 6

    Leandro Trossard (for Jesus, 72) – 6

    Gabriel Martinelli (for Saka, 78)

    Manager: Mikel Arteta – 6

    Set his team up to sit in and try to nick something on the break. Almost worked perfectly.

    Referee: Anthony Taylor – 6

    Allowed the game to flow to such an extent that both sides seemed mystified at the lack of yellow cards.

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