Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s Arsenal revival short-lived as flaws emerge in Man City loss

Arsenal v Man City: Match in pictures

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Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s revival appears to have been short-lived after his disappointing display in Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side ran out comfortable 1-0 winners, with Aubameyang barely having a touch of the ball.

The striker had come into the come full of confidence after scoring his first Premier League hat-trick against Leeds United last week.

But after keeping his place in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI, Aubameyang proceeded to put in a disappointing performance, with Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville singling out his hold-up play for particular criticism.

City boss Guardiola had highlighted Aubameyang as one of Arsenal’s danger-men heading into the Premier League clash.

“They have an exceptional build-up, they move with many, many sense, all the movements they have for the build-up to the final third,” Guardiola said.

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“The quality for incredible energy, for Aubameyang, especially with his runs in behind, and all the players that they have with the quality in the middle.”

Aubameyang failed to deliver on Guardiola’s praise though, frequently looking isolated at the spearhead of the Gunners’ attack.

That attack failed to spark, with the hosts having just one shot on target, although they were facing one of the top-flight’s best defences.

That lack of spark was highlighted by the main attacking trio of Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard and Nicolas Pepe receiving just six passes combined in the attacking third in the opening 45 minutes – left-back Kieran Tierney by comparison received 11.

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The Frenchman’s fairly anonymous display followed a disappointing performance in Thursday night’s Europa League draw with Benfica when he missed numerous chances.

He apologised for his poor showing in Rome on social media, but failed to bounce back against City.

Aubameyang’s afternoon was perhaps best summed up when he blocked Bakary Saka’s first-half shot, one of the Gunners’ best chances of the game.

The striker had just 11 touches in the first-half at the Emirates, with Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno having seven more than the 31-year-old.

He also attempted just six passes in the entire first-half, with only two of them coming in City’s half.

Aubameyang’s goal-less performance means his run of failing to find the back of the net against Guardiola’s men continues, with the Arsenal man still yet to score against them in the Premier League.

Despite his inefectual display, Arsenal boss Arteta elected to keep Aubameyang on the pitch for the duration of the defeat.

Though they are still clinging onto a place in the top half of the Premier League, the loss means the Gunners are now nine points adrift of top-five.

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