Pep Guardiola praises 'masters' Arsenal as Man City left frustrated by goalless draw

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The Manchester City manager made a frank admission after his side's goalless draw with Premier League title rivals Arsenal.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised Arsenal’s disciplined approach after the Gunners earned a point from their visit to the Etihad Stadium.

Much was expected of Sunday’s meeting of the two Premier League title rivals - but they failed to live up to expectations as the two defences came out in top in a surprisingly low-key affair. Indeed, the main winners on Sunday were Liverpool, who have ended the weekend sat on top of the table after Mo Salah and Luis Diaz scored in their 2-1 victory against Brighton and Hove Albion.

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Rather than focusing on the below-par nature of the Etihad contest, City boss Guardiola praised the way his former number two Mikel Arteta has set up his side and described the Gunners as ‘a master’ of pressing.

He told BBC Sport: “(It was a) tough game. Quite similar game to the last ones, take the point and onto the next. They make a really good pressing. They are a master of that. It is what it is. In the end we tried. They have really top players in defensive, defending perfectly compact. Low block. We tried.”

There was a blow for Guardiola midway through the first-half when Dutch international Nathan Ake was forced out of the action with an injury. The former Chelsea and Bournemouth star was replaced by Rico Lewis as an already depleted City defender was further stretched. Guardiola gave little away over the severity of the injury and focused his attention on preparing for the midway home game with an Aston Villa side pushing for a place in next season’s Champions League.

The City boss said: "A lot of games. It happens sometimes. I didn't speak with the doctors but if he decided to go out it is because something happened. Now is just to relax, recovery and Wednesday we will come back."

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