EPL

Guardiola: Arsenal win important for Man City mentally

By Sports Desk October 17, 2020

Pep Guardiola felt the manner of Manchester City's 1-0 win over Arsenal will help to rebuild confidence and reserved praise for his defensive unit.

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal after 23 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, converting on the rebound after Bernd Leno blocked Phil Foden's shot.

But City also broke the deadlock in their previous Premier League games against Leicester City and Leeds United, matches that ended in a 5-2 defeat and 1-1 draw respectively.

On Saturday, despite the absence of influential centre-back Aymeric Laporte, Guardiola's side dug in to earn their victory.

Ederson completed a brilliant trio of first-half saves before Arsenal could only manage a solitary shot on target during the second half, when a back three of Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake grew in stature.

"It was a tight game as we expected. It was for our heads, so important this victory, for the problems that we have," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

"In the game against Leeds, Ederson made outstanding saves and again today.

"What we have done today, without the ball, defending together. I think Nathan and Ruben were incredible, and Kyle as a central defender.

"We could not train one session on the build-up [with this back three]. We need more time to grow as a team, but it's okay

"I think this game is going to help us to make a step forward."

The result was Guardiola's 500th victory of his coaching career, including his stint in charge of Barcelona B.

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