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Mikel Arteta said Arsenal’s Community Shield victory over Manchester City was important for confidence but admitted the Gunners will need to be “at our best in every department for 100 minutes” if they are to repeat that success in the Premier League this weekend.
Arsenal beat Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning side on penalties in August after Leandro Trossard’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser cancelled out Cole Palmer’s opener at Wembley.
However, that result between the teams has been the exception in recent years. City had beaten Arsenal in eight successive matches heading into the Community Shield, while Guardiola’s men are currently on a 12-match winning streak against the Gunners in the Premier League.
In fact, Arsenal have to go back to 2015 for the last time they claimed victory over City in the league, and Arteta knows what level of performance his side must produce on Sunday if they are to end that winless run.
“It was an important one for us (winning in Community Shield),” Arteta said.
“Having success against City is something you have to value, the way we played as well and it gave us confidence and a lift that we can beat them.
“One thing for certain is that we know we will have to be at our best in every department for 100 minutes and then we will have a chance.”
An Arsenal victory this weekend would see them move two points clear of current leaders City, but Arteta dismissed any suggestion it would be a season-defining result.
One thing for certain is that we know we will have to be at our best in every department for 100 minutes and then we will have a chance.
“It will be a big boost energy and confidence-wise but apart from that and the three points, nothing else,” he said.
Arteta highlighted Guardiola’s strengths as a manager and noted his fellow Spaniard’s decision to play Bernardo Silva at left-back in previous meetings was unexpected.
And the Gunners boss, who was Guardiola’s assistant at City between 2016 and 2019, credited his compatriot’s willingness to change tactics in games.
“Every year we have new tools, new players and different things,” Arteta said.
“We know each other, we expect things from each other but it is down to the players.
“I didn’t expect him to play Bernardo at left-back.
“Yes (expect Pep do make big changes in games) and he does that in big games.
“He’s done it this season as well. Against different opponents he does different things and that’s a big quality of them (City) because they can change.
“They can do this during the game, at half-time and that’s a strength, they can dominate.”
Although City have dominated this fixture in recent years, Arteta took encouragement from his side’s performance in the Emirates clash between the two on New Year’s Day 2022.
Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal the lead but City levelled through Riyad Mahrez’s penalty and, with the Gunners down to 10 men following Gabriel’s red card, snatched a stoppage-time winner through Rodri.
Arteta, who missed the fixture following a positive Covid test, believes that match was a big step forward for Arsenal and that they learnt some valuable lessons.
He said: “I could feel it from home and it was a huge step. It was a big one, with the way we played but we ended up losing the game and took some big lessons from it as well, but a lot of positives.”
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