Arse­nal’s Emery era be­gins with a loss

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - ROB HAR­RIS

All that’s changed for Arse­nal fans is they can no longer blame Arsene Wenger.

And Unai Emery will be re­lieved that he doesn’t have to come up against Pep Guardi­ola’s Manchester City ev­ery week.

City rarely looked trou­bled by Arse­nal as the cham­pi­ons opened their Premier League ti­tle de­fence with a 2-0 vic­tory on Sun­day.

Ra­heem Ster­ling cut through the de­fence with ease be­fore putting City ahead in the 14th minute, and Bernardo Silva curled in the sec­ond goal in the 64th minute at Emi­rates Sta­dium. It was the first time since 1996 Arse­nal has opened a season with­out Wenger in charge.

The Gun­ners goal this season is a re­turn to the top four — to qual­ify for the Cham­pi­ons League — af­ter slump­ing to sixth in Wenger’s fi­nal cam­paign.

Emery now has a clear sense of the task he faces.

“Manchester City’s per­for­mance is show­ing us we need to con­tinue in our process, im­prov­ing,” the former Paris Saint- Ger­main and Sevilla coach said.

“They de­served this, the re­sult. But we were im­prov­ing (across) the 90 min­utes. I think we need (that) for the next week.”

Next up is a chal­leng­ing trip across Lon­don to Chelsea, which opened the season un­der new man­ager Maurizio Sarri with a 3-0 vic­tory at Huddersfield on Satur­day.

Mean­while, it was a serene af­ter­noon on the touch­line for Guardi­ola, just like so much of last season, which ended with City set­ting a se­ries of Premier League records, no­tably by amass­ing 100 points.

Mean­while, Liver­pool opened with a 4-0 vic­tory over West Ham.

Mo­hamed Salah, who scored 44 times in his first season at Liver­pool, took only 19 min­utes to get off the mark at An­field.

Sa­dio Mane, with a pair, and Daniel Stur­ridge rounded out the scor­ing.

Liver­pool hasn’t won the English ti­tle since 1990.

Also Sun­day, Southamp­ton and Burn­ley drew 0-0.

Unai Emery

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