Guardiola salutes City's sacrifice as champs subdue Arsenal

Naby Keita

GETTY Wright reckons Naby Keita will be a big player for Liverpool

Pep Guardiola insists Raheem Sterling's representatives are well aware how much Manchester City want the player to sign a new deal with the club. A strong bench contains Kevin de Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus.

When asked if City had fashioned a flawless performance, Guardiolan told the BBC's Match Of The Day: "Yes".

"It's clear today Manchester City was demanding our best performance, and today we [can see] we have to continue working, but I am happy with the players because they run, they fight". We need to improve this personality with better performances on the pitch.

Manchester City continued their impressive form from the Community Shield and repeated the scoreline, beating Arsenal 2-0.

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The first game of Arsenal's new era under Unai Emery often proved a thankless task but there were moments of encouragement before Silva settled the issue with a brilliantly taken second in the 64th minute.

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After 14 minutes City showed they will likely be the team to beat this campaign too.

Bernardo Silva (8.5/10): A rather ineffective first-half was followed by an impressive second-half that saw Bernardo Silva double his side's lead over Arsenal. Within 60 seconds Lacazette had City goalkeeper Ederson anxiously watching the ball drift past him from the Frenchman's shot with the outside of his right foot.

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Soon afterwards Sergio Aguero was guilty of shooting instead of playing in De Bruyne but in the next attack Benjamin Mendy, making his first league start since last September, set up Bernardo Silva to score. He laid the ball back to Cech as Arsenal began another slow move forward, but the former Chelsea man's intended pass to Hector Bellerin was miscued and the ball trickled just wide of his own post and out for a corner.

In the end it mattered little.

For Arsenal, their biggest concern will be at left-back with two specialist players in that position out for the fixture.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a goal ruled out for offside and blazed over at close quarters as late lethargy brought errors into City's game - something that will not have escaped their perfectionist manager. But we are delighted with him and would like Raheem to stay. "Hopefully we can convince him to be calm and forget the social media!" It was always going to be a tough match. Inevitably, you can make a few mistakes. And we do count on him.

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Guardiola said of his fellow Spaniard: "No advice (from me) - I think he has enough experience to know exactly (what to do)".

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