Arsenal fans concede defeat in their top-flight clash with Manchester City on Wednesday (February 15th) after Thomas Partey was sent off. The Gunners host Pep Guardiola’s men at the Emirates in a game with major title implications.
Mikel Arteta’s side are at the top of the Premier League, but only three points clear of City. That explains the importance of Wednesday night’s game between the two title rivals. This is the first time the two sides have met in the league this season.
Arsenal fans are already throwing in the towel, with Partey completely missing the squad for the game. The Ghanaian midfielder has been key for the Gunners this season, making 23 appearances, scoring twice and helping his side keep 12 clean sheets. The north Londoners have lost just three times in competitions with him in the side.
Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsdale starts in goal, with Takehiro Tomiyasu, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Oleksandr Zinchenko in defense. Arteta chose Jorginho as Partey’s replacement. Topnik’s new reinforcement follows Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard in the midfield. The familiar front three of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah line up in attack.
Nervousness is growing among the Emirates faithful, and Partey’s absence came as a big blow. One fan believes that the Gunners’ chances of winning the title are gone:
“Title collection completed. (Sad face).”
Another is of the opinion that Partey should be sold because of his latest failure:
“Sell it. That’s enough.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the former Atletico Madrid player missing the top-of-the-table battle with Manchester City with a muscle injury:
Arsenal legend Tony Adams has urged Arteta to drop Zinchenko against Manchester City
Zinchenko joined Arsenal from Manchester City last summer for £30 million. The Ukrainian quickly became a hit with Topnik fans with his passion and consistent performances. He made 18 appearances, assisting and helping his team keep seven clean sheets.
However, Adams has advised Arteta to drop the former City man, as he has reservations about how Zinchenko could cope with Riyad Mahrez. Adams told the Sun:
“I would play Tomi at left-back instead of Oleksandr Zinchenko to take care of Mahrez because then Arsenal would have enough in midfield and forward to exploit City’s weakness on the left side of defense and turn them around.”
Tomiyasu was instead selected at right-back, with Ben White on the bench. If Zinchenko was on the bench, the English defender might have started.
The Gunners face a Manchester City side dealing with off-field drama amid allegations they breached the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play rules. They suffered a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on 5 February. However, they responded with a convincing 3-1 win over Aston Villa last weekend, with Mahrez at the center of the action.