Arsenal’s Emery era begins with a loss
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.