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David Luiz really did ruin everything

Arsenal got battered against Manchester City, but aside from a colossal screw up from David Luiz, were they really that bad? I’d say not.

When Pablo Mari went down with injury and David Luiz came on, you wouldn’t have thought much about it. It was curious that Arsenal favored Mari anyway, given how solid Luiz has been for us this year. But as it turns out, that one instance is what blew the match.

You all know that I’m not one to blow things out of proportion or pin an entire failing on one guy. I literally never do that. But here? I make an exception. Because without David Luiz, this match would never have looked as bad as it did.

It started with a misplayed ball glancing off of David Luiz’s hip and landing perfectly for Raheem Sterling to put it in the back of the net before half. Not the end of the world, but certainly troubling nonetheless.

David Luiz cost Arsenal the match, plain and simple

Next stop was getting beaten by Riyad Mahrez just after half and proceeding to drag Mahrez down for a penalty, red card, and City’s second goal. Just like that, Arsenal had to completely readjust their situation.

Kieran Tierney shifted to centerback, Bukayo Saka went corner to corner from right wing to left back and Arsenal was done for. There was nothing left after that second goal.

But neither of those goals would have happened if Luiz would have been anyone else.

Think about the first half-hour or so—Arsenal were attacking fairly competently. They maintained a steady attacking thrust, particularly through wide angles, and while it wasn’t breeding any results quite yet, City wasn’t either.

Even when the momentum started to change in the final fifteen minutes before half, the Gunners were defending well enough and Bernd Leno was there for the rest. Leno was masterful on the day. Mustafi? Pretty good. Our fullbacks played with composure and athleticism. Our wingers were good until they got separated in the second half and while the midfield as a whole wasn’t that present, Matteo Guendouzi on his own did quite well.

Then there was Eddie Nketiah who showed a lot of life throughout, even defending later on.

Next: Arsenal vs Manchester City player ratings

Against all odds, I have finally seen a soccer match that was decided by one person. And say all you want that Arsenal were never going to keep City out for the full 90, I’ve seen stranger things happen. One goal changes everything. For Luiz, though, it was two goals.

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