Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta left it too late to start the Partey against Man City


MIKEL ARTETA waited until eight minutes from time to get the Partey going for Arsenal.

And with hindsight the Gunners boss will feel he left it a bit too late.

The £45million arrival from Atletico Madrid replaced Granit Xhaka with his team a goal down and chasing the game.

Many Gunners fans would like to have had a glimpse of their latest new face earlier and there was little time for him to make his mark.

And on the face of it, this looked a game that was tailor-made for the 27-year-old former Atletico Madrid man.

When you go to Manchester City you know you will spend a lot of time defending and without the ball.

But that’s exactly the sort of game Partey would have encountered on a regular basis for Diego Simeone’s dogged side in the Spanish capital.

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Instead he opted for Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka – both of whom have impressed in the Gunners encouraging start to the season and were rewarded here.

It was a surprise call from the Emirates chief but in the opening stages at least he would have been pleased with the way things started.

With no Kevin de Bruyne to worry about the duo had to get to grips with Pep Guardiola’s fluid formation and work out exactly who was playing where.

The visitors had a nice defensive shape although they were opened up too easily by RIyad Mahrez and Phil Foden for the opening goal.

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Having gone a goal down, it was Xhaka who almost got them back on terms as his clever one two put Bukayo Saka in on goal but Ederson made a great save.

The game became something of a war of attrition – with much of the action taking place in the middle third of the pitch.

In the end Arteta did not want to change things too early – wanting his team to stay in the game for as long as possible.

Partey looked neat and tidy when he came on – breaking up a couple of City breakaways and keeping things simple with the ball.

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Gunners fans will be urging Arteta to start the Partey against Leicester next weekend.

Credit:thesun.co.uk



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