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Three things Mikel Arteta got wrong as Man City thrash woeful Arsenal

Arsenal’s nightmare start to the season continued as Mikel Arteta’s sorry side were thrashed 5-0 by Premier League champions Manchester City.

Arteta’s job is surely hanging by a thread after yet another embarrassing defeat where nothing went right.

City had doubled their lead inside 12 minutes before reaching second gear, with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres scoring to capitalise on calamitous defending.

And Granit Xhaka compounded the Gunners misery by receiving a red card for a reckless challenge before half-time.

Gabriel Jesus added a simple third before the break, before Rodri and Torres netted to make it five.

Here, Daily Star Sport looks at three things Arteta got wrong at the Etihad Stadium….

Defensive disaster

Arsenal’s defence folded in the opening exchanges

There will be some sympathy for Arteta as his two best central defenders Ben White and Gabriel were missing.

But the personnel selected must be questioned, with a renewed confidence in Saed Kolisanic and continued faith in Cedric predictably punished.

Individual errors cannot be blamed on Arteta but a consistent failure to set up a solid defensive unit leaves the inexperienced Spaniard under a mountain of pressure heading into the international break.

Red card reaction

Granit Xhaka was sent off before the break leaving Arsenal in big trouble
Granit Xhaka was sent off before the break leaving Arsenal in big trouble

No Gunners player has been sent off more than Xhaka in the last five league seasons.

A senior figure in a young side, the Switzerland captain let down Arteta once again after lunging in on Joao Cancelo.

Arteta cannot account for such mindlessness from his midfielder, but it was his responsibility to take action after his dismissal ten minutes before the break.

Instead, he waited until half-time, as City cruised through a defence being protected only by Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe.

The Spaniard was perhaps lucky that City only capitalised with one more before the pause.

Mohamed Elneny replaced Bukayo Saka at half-time, but by then it was too little too late.

What was the plan?

It was hard to see Arteta's plan up against Pep Guardiola
It was hard to see Arteta’s plan up against Pep Guardiola

Winless and goalless, Arteta’s plan for the thankless task of turning around Arsenal remains a mystery.

The trip to the home of the champions was unenviable, but Arteta’s tactical setup still seemed bizarre, even before Xhaka was sent for an early bath.

There was no protection for a vulnerable back three with Xhaka and Odegaard left to screen.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had absolutely no support, while there was a distinct lack of intensity with a half-hearted attempted press.

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