Tactics Column: What worked and what didn’t against Man City

Note: I’ve used yellow on some of the still images from the game where I have previously used red. This is because of a couple Arsenal fans who got in touch mentioning red arrows on the green pitch can be difficult for some with colour-blindness — let me know if there’s anything else I can change to accommodate more people!

“We got something [tactical] wrong, we talked about something and then didn’t do it in the first five or 10 minutes and they used the overloads down the side.” – Mikel Arteta

Manchester City don’t need any help to win, so getting something wrong and going behind within 90 seconds really is shooting yourself in the foot.

But that’s exactly what happened in the 1-0 defeat at the Emirates yesterday. Kieran Tierney was preoccupied by the positioning of Kevin De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva on a few occasions and pulled inside, allowing City to find Riyad Mahrez outside him with ease. Arsenal got away with it in the opening minute of the match, when Raheem Sterling couldn’t convert after Mahrez had found space out wide to deliver a ball into the box.

They didn’t get away with it again, with Mahrez hanging wide once more, De Bruyne’s…