On yet another frustrating afternoon for Arsenal, centre-back Laurent Koscielny was unsurprisingly one of the visitors’ best performers against Manchester City.
The 31-year-old’s game certainly wasn’t going to be an easy one from the offset, especially coming up against the likes of Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling, both of which are tricky attack-minded players who boast plenty of impressive capabilities.
Winning three of his aerial duels, making ten clearances as well as completing two tackles and interceptions, it was evident that the Frenchman worked hard throughout to try and relieve pressure on Petr Cech’s goal, especially during tough periods of the second-half where City went pressing players forward in search of the all-important goal which proved to be their winner.
He couldn’t do much to stop either goal if you analyse both in detail. The first split opinion as to whether it was offside or marginally on, but the speed of City’s transition from defence to attack meant the backline couldn’t react quickly enough to shut out Sané as he advanced forward rapidly, sensing a potential opportunity on the cards.
Sterling beat Nacho Monreal in a one-on-one situation inside the box, and Koscielny came across as soon as he could but was unable to block the shot in time before the 22-year-old struck goalwards.
In spite of the slender defeat, Koscielny handled himself well defensively overall and once more proved why he’s such an integral part of the Arsenal backline. One can only wonder what the presence of Shkodran Mustafi could’ve done alongside him, as opposed to Gabriel who worryingly still shows flashes of an erratic nature in his own defensive third.