⚽️ An Empty Return: Man City v Arsenal - Live Weblog

June 17, 2020 🕸 ⚽️

Although there was a game earlier today, this is the first game for me since The Quarantine Times ended sports. Awesome to see Black Lives Matter on the backs of both teams jerseys instead of their names. It’s a small thing, but important to keep bringing up in various ways.

14:18 - I’ve watched a few Bundesliga games at this point, so I’m used to the empty stands and fake crowd noises, but I can’t imagine how weird it is for players. It’s a huge loss of energy you have to manufacture for yourself.

14:18 - And we’re off, football has returned.”

14:21 - Trying to remember where City was injury-wise before the cut-off. I’m pretty sure Mendy was playing, but Laporte is a big gain to help secure their shaky defense.

14:21 - Sterling takes a HUGE body shot right outside the box. Free kick for De Bruyne right outside the box.

14:22 - On goal and just tipped over by the Arsenal keeper.

14:23 - No jersey names might make this tough for me, so apologies to Arsenal fans. I know most of City’s guys, but for Arsenal I maybe know three by heart.

14:26 - Early sub at 7’ for Arsenal. Xhaka is getting carted off with Ceballos coming in.

14:30 - Weird line-up for Arsenal. Four of their five midfielders are super young. No Maitland-Niles (who I really like), no Lacazette, no Pepe, and Torreira isn’t even available as a sub.

14:41 - Another early sub for Arsenal at 23’. David Luiz coming in for Marí (I think).

14:45 - Dangerous give away by City, but Aubameyang skyed it over the net.

14:51 - Garcia just dragged down one of Arsenal’s attacking midfielders right outside the box, but no free kick… maybe the ref thought they were both getting to handsy, but the replay is pretty clear Garcia put two hands over the guys shoulder and brought him down.

14:52 - Nice strike from Sterling cutting across the top of the box that’s saved by a diving Leno. Was probably a little too weak and centered to have a chance, but probably the best attempt of the game so far.

14:53 - And to quickly top that, Jesus moved the ball from the top of the box to a deep David Silva who had a shot but centered it too directly at Leno.

14:54 - City is definitely knocking on the door now.

14:55 - Arsenal’s counter-attack feels like there is no plan to it. They make their way up the midfield nicely and then just don’t know what to do with it.

14:56 - Leno is earning his money today as he comes off his line to block Mahrez’ tight angle in front of the goal.

14:57 - Beautiful passing from Gabriel Jesus to De Bruyne at the top who slides it passes the defense to a streaking Sterling. Leno comes out just in time forcing Sterling into a tough situation to get it over and it winds up falling behind the net.

15:03 - I like Gundogan a lot as the holding midfielder in place of the beloved Fernandinho. He’s strong defensively and can still find the net from deep. I wonder how many chances he’ll actually get to score from that position though.


GOAL
Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

15:05 - David Luiz completely misses an entry pass from De Bruyne that falls right in front of Sterling in the front of the box who is able to rocket it past Leno into the back of the net.

15:06 - Luiz just isn’t solid enough to be a center back. He makes those types of mistakes at least three times a game.


HALFTIME
Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

15:30 - Missed the first five or so minutes of the second half and apparently missed a lot. David Luiz got send off with a red card and City found the back of the net to make it 2-0.


GOAL
Manchester City 2-0

15:31 - So Luiz red card came in the box and De Bruyne converted to double the lead.

15:34 - With a two goal lead now, City is comfortable and being incredibly patient as they move the ball around the pitch. Few teams are as good as City with a lead.

15:35 - Jesus with a nice strike from just outside the box, but directly into the hands of Leno.

15:36 - Don’t think City have used any of their five subs yet either.

15:40 - David Silva’s touch on the run is a thing of beauty. The way he can lay off a pass at full speed and meet a streaking Walker into the box is pure bliss.

15:41 - Foden and Bernardo Silva coming on for David Silva and Mahrez as City’s first two subs at 65’.

15:43 - Arsenal making their final three subs at 67’. Notably Maitland-Niles and Lacazette in.

15:45 - I’m always impressed when players pull off simple fancy footwork and Foden just pulled that off during his first touch of the game. Quick, subtle movements to get to open space without going crazy.

15:45 - Fernandinho and Rodri on for Laporte and De Bruyne at 70’.

15:50 - They just showed a replay of the red card and second goal during the water break. It’s exactly what I figured. David Luiz making ANOTHER big mistake handling the onslaught and giving away a goal. I said he’s good for three of those a game, the ejection is the only thing keeping him at two today.

15:52 - I’ve only seen Foden play a couple times, but this is the first time I’ve really been super impressed with him. Everyone on tv kept saying he was the heir to David Silva, and now maybe I actually believe it. Going to keep an eye on him for the rest of the game.

15:54 - Foden gave one away trying to dribble through three people. He almost made it, but those are the types of decisions I don’t like to see.

15:55 - Rodri picks up a yellow at 79’ taking out Ceballos’ knee.

15:55 - AGUERO coming in for City’s last sub with Gabriel Jesus coming out.

15:56 - Ederson just took out his own man trying to deflect a ball away to prevent an Arsenal scurry towards goal. Looks like Garcia is the one who got laid out.

15:57 - Feel like Ederson used his hands outside the box though… maybe I’m missing something…

16:00 - Garcia is still down on the field… not looking good…

16:04 - Garcia getting carted off now strapped in to the nines… he’s super young, hope he’s okay.

16:06 - 11 minutes of stoppage time after that long injury stoppage.


GOAL
Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal

16:07 - Give and go between Aguero and Sterling resulted in Aguero’s shot going off the post and Foden followed it up and drilled it into the back of the net.

16:13 - Arsenal is basically just trying to avoid embarrassment during these last few minutes.

16:14 - Beautiful little move by Nelson to get Aubeyang the ball directly in front of the goal, but ends up out for a corner.


FINAL
Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal

16:19 - That’s a wrap. Sterling, hilariously got upset at the ref as he called it exactly at 11’ just as City was starting a run up the right hand side.


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