Man City vs Arsenal: Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta go head-to-head in title clash
The Premier League title could well be decided on Wednesday evening when England’s top two face off at the Etihad Stadium.
The Etihad Stadium will play host to a crucial title decider on Wednesday night as league leaders Arsenal travel to reigning champions Manchester City.
Arsenal have upset the odds to mount an unexpected title charge this season but in recent weeks have been drawn in by the blistering form of Pep Guardiola’s side. For Guardiola, Wednesday’s game represents a special challenge against his former protégé, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta.
Speaking before the match, Guardiola said of Arteta: “The affection and the respect I have with him will remain forever, he knows that. [Wednesday] is a final against a team who have been the best team in England so far.”
Arteta left City in December 2019 to take the Arsenal job and has brought about an incredible turnaround in the club’s fortunes. But despite the improvement, his record against his former boss will not make happy reading for Arsenal fans.
Pep Guardiola vs Mikel Arteta: Head-to-head
Manchester City have won the league title in both of the full league seasons since Arteta left the club. City have been perhaps the most consistent team in Europe during that period, but Arteta’s record against his former side is underwhelming nevertheless.
Arteta has faced Guardiola as a coach on eight occasions, losing seven times and winning once. That win came in a 2-0 FA Cup semi-final in the pandemic-affected 2019/20 season, thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aside from that win, Arsenal have scored just twice in their other seven meetings with City.
Earlier this season Arteta highlighted the impact that Guardiola has had on his journey into coaching. The Arsenal boss said: “I think the influence that Pep had in football in the last 20 years is just incredibly powerful.”
“We have learned a lot from him, we have been inspired by a lot of things he’s done and then everyone has to build his own career and his own pathway,” Arteta added.
Manchester City vs Arsenal: Head-to-head
Wednesday’s hosts have dominated the Premier League in recent years, winning four of the past five league titles and becoming the first side to reach 100 points in a campaign. Since the start of that run in 2017/18 Man City have won every single league meeting with Arsenal.
That run, stretching back 11 matches, will be a major concern for Arsenal fans going into Wednesday’s must-win game.
The Gunners’ last league win against City came in December 2015, when goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud secured the three points for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. Of the players involved that day, only Kevin de Bruyne remains in either squad.
City won 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the most recent league fixture between the two sides. But Arsenal did manage to dominate the ball against Pep Guardiola’s team and they will take confidence from they way that they managed to disrupt City’s play.
In the league Manchester City have been on an imperious run of form in recent months, winning nine and drawing one of their past ten games. But speaking ahead of Wednesday’s clash, Arteta said that his team have shown that they can compete with this incredible City team.
“We knew from the beginning that City was the team to beat, with Liverpool, because of what those teams have done,” he said. “We wanted to close that gap as much as we could and we’re toe-to-toe with them.”
Arteta added: “We knew we had to go to the Etihad. Is it going to define the season? The answer is no.”