Four things Arteta got right as Arsenal finally beat Man City with late strike

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    It wasn't quite the classic that last season's title race suggested it could be, but Arsenal have become quite the champions when it comes to grandstand finishes.

    Earlier this season they raised the roof of the Emirates with a late victory over Manchester United – and now they gave the same treatment to City.

    Gabriel Martinelli came off the bench at half-time and was ultimately the difference maker when his cannoned shot rifled off the face of Nathan Ake with 10 minutes remaining. Some will question whether either team deserved to win – both missing key players and both playing far from their scintillating best.

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    Arsenal will be irked by the fact that City midfielder Mateo Kovacic was not sent off in the first-half. Firstly because of a studs-up tackle which was deemed marginally on the right side of the law, then for another tackle which could have earned him a second yellow.

    But Arsenal rallied and picked up the intensity, eventually getting their reward for nullifying City's attack in the final stages of the game.

    Here is what we believe Arteta got right during the game.

    Raya the right man – despite shaking

    After Mikel Arteta first dropped Aaron Ramsdale in favour of David Raya, he claimed that the goalkeeper would be rotated adequately – sometimes even during the game. But six games have since passed and Ramsdale does not have a single second of Premier League action under his belt.

    You could argue that Raya has not deserved to be dropped, but blind loyalty could end up being an issue for Arsenal and Arteta as the Spaniard's shaky performance raised some eyebrows.

    Three errors – including twice passing the ball into danger in the middle of the park – inside the first-half left Arsenal fans raging.

    But in actual fact, slowing the pace of the game out of the back worked nicely for the Gunners, who were able to keep City off their tails for large periods of the game. Arsenal fans voiced their discontent at his slow distribution was, but sometimes it's better not to bite off more than you can chew.

    Jorginho had a point to prove

    It was a brave decision to throw Jorginho straight back into the action in such a big home game after his costly error against Tottenham in his last game here a couple of weeks ago.

    He cut a nervous figure in the middle of the park and even found himself in the referee's notepad after just 10 minutes of the game following a rash challenge on Phil Foden. It could have been worse when he looked to have fouled Mateo Kovacic shortly afterwards, putting the Gunners on edge.

    But ultimately Arteta's faith was deserved. The classy midfielder kept possession and barring some risky passes from Raya, had a positive impact on Arsenal.

    Raise the roof

    It's hardly rocket science, but to really bother a team like Man City, you have to play with a certain level of intensity. Arsenal's sluggish start to the game suggested that Arteta sent the Gunners out with the intention of trying to slow the game and keep possession.

    Raya was slow playing from the back and Arsenal were playing sideways, rather than forwards. That changed in part way through the first half when Martin Odegaard geed up the fans – and the team responded. Lo and behold, Arsenal started troubling City, getting in behind Josko Gvardiol at left-back and giving the centre-backs something to think about.

    It changed the course of the game and set Arsenal on their way to victory.

    Martinelli on the mark

    Gabriel Martinelli being back to fitness was a huge boost for the Gunners, but perhaps Arteta could have used him from the start. Leandro Trossard's contribution was anonymous at best and was subsequently hooked at half-time.

    While Martinelli looked rusty after making it onto the pitch, he offered a new threat and a greater quality in possession that Trossard did not – and ultimately it won the game for Arsenal.

    • Arsenal FC
    • Manchester City FC
    • Premier League
    • Mikel Arteta

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