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Monday, August 13, 2018

Champions Manchester City began their Premier League title defence with a well-deserved 2-0 victory at Arsenal.

Gunners boss Unai Emery included summer signings Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matteo Guendouzi in his starting line-up, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the attack.
Citizens head coach Pep Guardiola opted to leave Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane on the bench, while Riyad Mahrez was handed a full league debut for the club.
The opening minutes saw both sides pushing forward in search of a breakthrough and, eight minutes in, Petr Cech had to be alert to block a Raheem Sterling drive at his near post.
However, Cech was left helpless six minutes later as Sterling cut inside from the left and ran across the edge of the area before drilling home a low, right-foot shot.
Midway through the first half Hector Bellerin belted a shot straight at Ederson from just inside the area as the hosts tried to respond to falling behind.
Cech was called into action again to keep out a 20-yard free-kick from Mahrez, with the keeper reacting superbly to divert the follow-up from Aymeric Laporte to safety.
Shortly before half-time Mahrez flashed a shot narrowly wide of the far post, with Cech beaten.
Early in the second half, Sergio Aguero saw his 20-yard effort deflected wide of the far post, before Arsenal substitute Alex Lacazette failed to hit the target with a right-foot shot from the edge of the area.
Just past the hour mark an error from Guendouzi allowed Aguero a free run in on goal, but Cech advanced to make a timely block and deny the Argentinian.
However, that was only a temporary reprieve as Benjamin Mendy pulled the ball back from the left side for Bernardo Silva to rifle home a left-footer which gave City a 2-0 cushion with 25 minutes to play.
The Gunners continued to press to try and find a way back into the game, but come the final whistle the Citizens had run out as comfortable winners.