Manchester City edged past Arsenal 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium in a match that was settled by England striker Raheem Sterling’s 23rd-minute goal.
Title hopefuls City owed much to an inspired showing by goalkeeper Ederson, whose superb saves prevented Arsenal from threatening to end their 29-game winless run against the ‘top six’.
Granit Xhaka toiled as Arsenal struggled to find the inspiration needed to threaten City, while Bukayo Saka was central to many of the Gunners’ best attacks. Sportsmail takes a look at the player ratings from the meeting between former coaching colleagues Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta…
Man City (3-4-3)
Ederson – 9
Series of brilliant, reflex saves kept Arsenal at bay in the first half. Good handling and punching and superb footwork.
Ederson kept the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at bay as Manchester City beat Arsenal
Kyle Walker – 6
Full-back played in a back three and looked comfortable though enjoyed a slice of luck with a high boot challenge on Gabriel.
Ruben Dias – 7
One of four defenders who cost a combined £207 million but looking comfortable in new surroundings. Booked for a foul on Saka.
Nathan Ake – 7
Showed pace and composure and made a couple of key challenges that kept Pepe at bay but booked for time wasting.
Joao Cancelo played in a new role for City and saw yellow for a late challenge on Kieran Tierney
Joao Cancelo – 6
Full-back played in an advanced role and was required to cover a lot of ground. Showed discipline but booked for nasty foul on Tierney.
Rodri – 7
Fluid role deep in midfield, often slotting into the defensive line. In an experimental defensive formation, offered protection.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Playing deeper and more central than normal but was efficient and tidy with the ball, rarely wasting a pass.
Bernardo Silva played in a deeper role and hardly played a pass astray during a slick showing
Phil Foden – 7
Strong showing on the left-wing, should have scored one, his shot led to the opener and looked a constant threat.
Riyad Mahrez – 8
Very lively game, hitting some good form at the moment and deserved a goal for his work rate and ambition.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Big miss for England in midweek but wasn’t going to miss the open goal that came his way in the first half.
Striker Sergio Aguero made his bow for the season for Manchester City following injury woes
Sergio Aguero – 7
Been a big miss for City and reminded Guardiola why, starting the move for the opener and setting Foden up for what should have been a second.
Ilkay Gündoğan (for Aguero, 64mins) – 6
Fernandinho (for Foden 88mins) – 5
Subs (not used): Stones, Steffen, Torres, Fernandinho, Delap, Garcia.
Bernd Leno – 7
Busier of the two keepers and made a couple of decent stops, particularly from the busy Mahrez.
Hector Bellerin – 5
Tortured by Foden down the right and barely able to get out of his own half.
Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin had a tough night as he competed with England prospect Phil Foden
David Luiz – 6
Called off the bench when Holding was injured in warm-up and recovered well from his nightmare outing last time at the Etihad.
Gabriel Maghalhaes – 6
Came close with late first half shot and appealed for a pen as Walker made a high challenge.
Kieran Tierney – 7
Allowed to play despite Covid confusion and Mahrez gave him a tough test. One of the best battles of the night.
Tierney was involved in a compelling tussle with City winger Riyad Mahrez as both played well
Dani Ceballos – 5
Primarily forced into defensive duties in front of his back four and covered a lot of ground in a rearguard action.
Granit Xhaka – 5
A lack of midfield creativity was obvious and Xhaka was not the answer as City dominated possession.
Granit Xhaka (left) was part of a midfield that could not produce the creativity to unsettle City
Bukayo Saka – 7
Arsenal’s best two chances fell to him only for Ederson to better him both times but was pivotal in many of Arsenal’s best moments.
Nicolas Pepe – 6
Rare sight of goal but headed straight at Ederson seconds after the restart, picking up an injury in the process.
Willian – 6
Played through the middle up front but his best moments came from wide positions with his customary dead-eye delivery.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6
Had a first half one-on-one with Ederson which was flagged for offside but would probably have stood … but was denied by the keeper.
Alexandre Lacazette (for Willian, 69mins) – 6
Thomas Partey (for Xhaka, 82mins) – 5
Eddie Nketiah (for Pepe, 82mins) – 5
Subs (not used): Runarsson, Maitland-Niles, Elneny.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh 7