Jamie Carragher pokes fun at Arsenal and makes Champions League prediction

Jamie Carragher poked fun at Arsenal after they were comfortably seen off by Manchester City – and delivered a brutal prediction on their Champions League chances.

Arsenal were beaten 3-0 by City as both teams made their Premier League return following football's enforced hiatus, with a calamitous performance from David Luiz gifting two goals to the Etihad Stadium hosts.

Luiz made a glaring error for Raheem Sterling's opener, before fouling Riyad Mahrez and the box, earning himself a red card within half an hour of coming on as a replacement for the injured Pablo Mari.

Kevin de Bruyne doubled City's lead from the spot, and Pep Guardiola's side dominated from that point with Phil Foden adding a late third.

With no fans in the stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was a 'new normal' for top-flight football – but Carragher joked that Arsenal's performance showed some things hadn't changed.

And the former Liverpool defender said Gunners boss Mikel Arteta now had "a huge job on his hands" to turn his side back into a footballing force.

"I didn't think it was too different – I've seen Arsenal do that for the last 10 years!" Carragher joked on Sky Sports.

"I didn't expect anything different to what I saw to be honest. I know there's no crowd here but I didn't have great faith in Arsenal coming here and doing anything.

"It's not just about Arsenal – Man City are a great team, we know that. Obviously they were not at their best – no one's going to be at their best yet coming straight back in.

"But Arsenal are not good enough and there's a huge job for Mikel Arteta to do."

Carragher said Wednesday night's performance showed Arsenal were "not good enough" to mount a credible challenge for the Champions League places over their remaining nine games of the Premier League campaign.

The defeat was Arsenal's first of 2020, and a first on the road since Arteta took over the hotseat in December – but Carragher said it showed the extent of the gap between the Gunners and the teams at the top of the Premier League.

And he suggested the club could struggle to attract the calibre of players they need over the summer, highlighting centre-half as a particular problem position following Luiz's horror show.

Of the challenge facing Arteta, Carragher said: "He's got to get through these nine games. I think there was hope at the start of these nine games, before today, that they could make some sort of challenge for the Champions League.

"But they're not good enough to make the top four, so forget where they are in the league and how many points difference there is to Chelsea or Manchester United. They're not good enough and I think that was evident tonight.

"Obviously they've got big problems at centre-back but that was before Arteta came in. It might be difficult for them in the summer now with financial implications, no Champions League, in terms of how they go about it.

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"I think we're all probably impressed with Mikel Arteta in some ways with what he's done since he came into the job, but he's got a huge job."

The defeat leaves Arsenal ninth in the Premier League, eight points off fourth-placed Chelsea and five behind Manchester United in fifth, after playing their game in hand over the teams around them.

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