Apprentice met master on Tuesday night, and it was something of a foregone conclusion.
Mikel Arteta came up against Pep Guardiola as Arsenal took on Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. And in fitting with the theme of the Gunners' season, the north London side walked away from the encounter with nothing to show for it.
Arteta has been under pressure for the past few months now, and as results continue to go against Arsenal, the situation is becoming more desperate.
In the Premier League, Arsenal are in the midst of a relegation battle, and have the second-worst form of any team in the division since match week five.
Guardiola was asked for his opinion on the job Arteta is doing at Arsenal following his side's 4-1 quarter-final victory at the Emirates on Tuesday.
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Arteta worked under Guardiola as his assistant for two seasons at Manchester City, so the former Barcelona boss is very well placed to comment on his compatriot.
"I'm pretty sure they are going to trust him," said Guardiola. "They will do a big mistake if they are thinking [of dismissing him].
"I know his incredible quality as a human being and especially as a manager, how he is involved in everything. It's just a question of time and he will do well.
"Football changes in one week so quick. I can speak about my experience alongside him – one of the most incredible, successful teams in English history we had, and he was part of this success.
"It would not be possible without him. To create something like this you need time like I had in my first season."
It's not surprising that Guardiola has backed Arteta to turn things around.
After all, the duo are friends, and no manager – who understands the pressures of the job – wants to see a contemporary dismissed from their post.
But let's not forget that Guardiola is one of if not the best managers of his generation. And this is not the first time the City boss has shown he rates Arteta highly as a coach.
A brief but telling moment from Amazon's All of Nothing: Manchester City documentary showed what Guardiola thinks of Arteta long before he was in the hotseat at Arsenal.
The clip captures a meeting following Manchester City's 1-1 draw with Burnley in 2018.
In that particular match England international Raheem Sterling missed a sitter that resulted in City failing to put the game to bed.
Guardiola's chat with Arteta showed just how involved the now Arsenal boss was with the day-to-day running of Manchester City.
It also showed how much Guardiola trusted his number two, agreed with the advice he was giving his players, and how much the senior stars at City respected him.
In the video, Guardiola tells Arteta: "Yesterday I talked with Raheem, and I must say, he is such a good guy. He was so p*****, so I asked him four questions. How did you feel after the first action? You failed when the ball went up?
"I said: 'Was the latter a consequence of the former?' And he said: 'No, no, but I didn't do what Mikel said to me. Instead of attacking the ball, I put my foot in. I didn't attack the ball. That's why it went over.'
"I said: 'Were you p***** off?' He said: 'Devastated.' We didn't lose because of you. And he said: "F*** it. We lost because of my fault, of my s***."
Is Mikel Arteta in danger of being sacked? Have your say here.
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