Pep Guardiola praises Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka and says Gunners made Manchester City ‘suffer’

The Spanish coach was very impressed by Arsenal’s gameplan and setup (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Arsenal’s performance despite the Gunners losing 1-0 on Sunday and singled out Bukayo Saka for causing his side problems.

The north London club went behind inside the first two minutes at the Emirates as Raheem Sterling headed home what proved to be the game’s only goal.

Although City dominated much of the match, they could not add to their lead though were rarely troubled at the back themselves with Arsenal mustering just one shot on target in the 90 minutes.

Sterling’s early goal proved to be decisive as City won 1-0 at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)

Despite City appearing to be in control throughout, Guardiola was keen to stress how difficult a game they were given by Arsenal and highlighted the threat of Saka in transition.

‘The whole team suffered when Arsenal had the ball, and moved with [Granit] Xhaka and [Mohamed] Elneny with the central defenders,’ explained Guardiola after the game.

‘And then after the counter-attack with all the players they have behind [our] midfield players, with Martin Odegaard and especially with Saka. A real tough opponent to play.

‘They have incredible young, talented players, so I see a bright, bright future for Arsenal.

‘And I think if they can [sign] a few players in a few positions they will make an incredible step forward. So they are a team that all the opponents suffer a lot when playing against them.’

Continuing his praise of Arsenal in a further interview with Match of the Day, Guardiola said: ‘They are aggressive with one-to-one pressing. They move really well in the pockets and speed from the sides.

Guardiola was full of praise for Saka and Arsenal’s young squad (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s so difficult to play against. We knew today would be one of the toughest ones but we scored early and we could control it.

‘The first 10-15 minutes were so good then the next half an hour they were much better than us. The feeling is that they are close. In the second half, we needed something to be more effective in our pressing and we were much better.

‘Of course, we could score the second and the third but we scored then they defend well. It’s so difficult to play Arsenal and Mikel [Arteta]. He knows our players so well. It is not easy to play and we play so, so calm and intelligent. It was a good game.’

Alex Scott questions Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for playing ‘bang average’ Martin Odegaard over Emile Smith Rowe

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