3 months of no football, but it was like Arsenal were never away. Manchester City beat the Gunners 3-0 at the Etihad last night, with David Luiz the man who pretty much single handedly threw away the game for his side. The team news before the game provided some surprises, with Mesut Ozil omitted from the squad, and Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Mukayo Saka all starting for the Gunners. I could spend some time talking about Ozil, but it's really becoming a chore now. The man is evidently finished at the highest level and is clearly causing problems and not working hard in training. Yet every Arsenal manager is unable to rid of him due to his massive wages. This stems back to the shocking decisions that Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis made. Now they are paying the price.
City started with no Sergio Aguero, but their team is just so stacked it really made little difference. Kevin De Bruyne was yet again outstanding as he ran the game in midfield. I thought Ilkay Gundogan also had a really good game, while Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez were both lively. This wasn't actually the case for the first 40 minutes or so though. I thought Arsenal were pretty good for the majority of the first half. They kept City at bay and despite not creating any chances themselves, they didn't really let City have any clear cut chances either. I think Mikel Arteta would have been pretty pleased had they gone in at the half 0-0.
But we know that didn't happen. And that was all down to David Luiz. The Brazilian started the game on the bench, but came on for the injured Pablo Mari sometime during the first 45. It's not an understatement to say that he put in one of the worst substitute cameos I have ever seen in the Premier League. His shocker on the stroke of half time allowed Sterling through on goal and he made no mistake as he thumped home. That was just the start of the masterclass from Luiz though, as he allowed Mahrez to go past him easily and ended up pulling him down and conceding a penalty early on in the second half. He was then sent off to cap off his superb display. KDB scored the penalty and the game was basically dead. Phil Foden would go on to scored third in added time.
It really is just the same old story for Arsenal. A joke of an excuse of a defence just continues to cost them. None of the centre backs at the club are good enough. I'll let Mari off considering he just joined and hasn't had many opportunities. Arteta has to be backed in the summer and the defence needs to be totally revamped. Of course William Saliba is joining, but he is so young and they need a partner for him. Arteta's comments after the game about Luiz were a bit strange to me. It sounds like that he is keen on keeping him and his thoughts haven't changed on the player. Listen, we all know David Luiz. He can be good on his day, but he is always, ALWAYS a liability. If I was Arteta I would get rid of him without any hesitation, but I have a feeling he may look to keep him. Perhaps if he is going to be 4th choice centre back, then I can somewhat understand. But i'm just not too sure if that would be the right decision.
However, this was not the first game of the restart. Earlier on, Sheffield United drew 0-0 with Aston Villa at Villa park. The game was a pretty dull affair, but it was overshadowed by a really strange incident. Goal line technology has been pretty much perfect since it has been introduced in to the Premier League. However, the error yesterday was a real shocker. For whatever reason, the referee was not alerted when the ball CLEARLY went over the line for Sheffield United. Everyone could see it was a goal. The United players reeled off in celebration, the Villa players look dejected, yet no goal was given. Look, if the technology doesn't work, that's one thing. But why on earth didn't they just use common sense and go to VAR. What's the point of having technology if you're not gonna use it? Just use common sense and don't be confined to using VAR for just penalties and offsides. Referees really are dumb in England.This goal would have given United the 3 points, and at the end of the season it could be the difference between them getting a spot in Europe. It definitely is a really big blow for Chris Wilder.
I really enjoyed the return of the Premier League overall, and I'm delighted to have it back. I thought Sky Sports' coverage was really good and both channels with fan noise and without fan noise were pretty watchable. I thought it took a while to get used to the one with fan noise, but eventually I quite liked it.
I'm really looking forward to the next 3 days of football, and my next post will be on Monday to review the weekend's action. So see you all then, and THE PREMIER LEAGUE IS WELL AND TRULY BACK!