Arsenal suffered their third defeat in their last four Premier League outings on Sunday afternoon, going down 1-0 at home to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Raheem Sterling’s 13th goal of the season after just two minutes was enough to seal all three points for City, sealing an 18th consecutive win in all competitions in the process.
Despite falling behind so early on, Arsenal did not show any real signs of a collapse, but they offered very little threat in the final third at the same time, meaning Pep Guardiola’s side escaped north London with three points and a clean sheet in tow.
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But whilst the Gunners’ performance was not one that their supporters are likely to watch back in years to come, one of the biggest positives of the afternoon was seeing left-back Kieran Tierney back in Premier League action.
The Scotland international, who has been one of the Gunners’ most influential players this term, featured in the league for the first time since the 3-0 win over Newcastle United in mid-January.
The former Celtic man had made his return to action in midweek, stepping off the bench during the second half of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Benfica, meaning manager Mikel Arteta felt he was fit enough to start.
Although the left-back, like his team-mates, struggled to contain City’s blistering start in the opening exchanges, Tierney did grow into the contest and proved to be one of Arsenal’s most adventurous outlets in the final third, finding himself on the receiving end of 11 passes by the half time whistle.
He was constantly trying to exploit the space that had been left vacant by City’s Joao Cancelo down Arsenal’s left flank, but it was to no avail, as Arsenal failed to impose themselves in the final third.
Whilst Tierney did have plenty to contend with…