Arsenal looked in for a pasting when Raheem Sterling rose to nod home with barely two minutes on the clock but Arsenal rallied and came away with a 1-0 defeat which was much better than we were all expecting.
After a very ropey opening 10 minutes, Arsenal got a grip of the game and it became a much more even contest.
Speaking after the game, Pep Guardiola was only too happy to praise his former assistant.
“Arsenal put five players in the middle and follow the holding midfielders,” Guardiola said.
“There are not many spaces it’s so difficult. We didn’t do more today because of the quality of the opponent.”
Asked about Martin Odegaard, Guardiola said, “He’s a big talent. He was a brilliant Real Madrid player and when you play for Real Madrid you’re always good.”
About the game, Arteta added, “They are a fantastic team. I think we did well, but for me that means nothing. We prepared to win and I’m disappointed not to take anything from the game.
“Conceding early puts them where they want to be. After that we did really well and created some great opportunities.
“The final quality you need to score goals, we were missing today.”
“I wasn’t sure if I was gonna get the full game but I di and I’m happy to get the 90 minutes under my belt.”