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Man City must solve rare attacking question amid Premier League title fight

In a tense encounter at the top of the table, Manchester City couldn’t find their killer instinct as they limped to an uninspiring goalless draw against Arsenal. Here are seven observations from the match.

A game of chess

Pep Guardiola has clearly taught his former assistant Mikel Arteta well, who’s side play with high energy and look to play on the front foot. This match was always going to be an intriguing encounter given the high stakes leading up to it.

Watching City popping the ball around the box is nothing new, but it was compelling to see how Arsenal managed to withstand this pressure. Gabriel Magalhaes and Erling Haaland were constantly ruffling each-other up.

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Each move Pep made, Arteta reacted, showing why he’s highly regarded by his former boss.

Haaland is human

Some pundits have called Haaland a ‘robot’ since his Premier League bow at the beginning of last season. With a whopping 52 goals in 53 appearances last season, he was almost like a cheat code as City won their third consecutive title.

He cut an anonymous figure against Arsenal with barely a sniff at goal. The one big chance in the game fell to Haaland, and it’s fair to say he fluffed his lines.

Just like all players, Haaland is human.

Jesus didn’t rise

Gabriel Jesus returning to the Etihad could have been a cause for concern. City had to reshuffle the backline in the absence of Kyle Walker and John Stones which presented a golden opportunity for him to be a thorn in his former employer’s side.

In the second half, Jesus was a whisker away from poking the ball in after a cross from Bukaya Saka.

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk