Unai Emery decides first-choice goalkeeper for new season

Pep Guardiola has underlined his desire to keep Raheem Sterling at Manchester City, despite talks over a new contract remaining on hold, after the England forward excelled to ruin Unai Emery's first Premier League game in charge of Arsenal.

"We arrived after a hard season [in 2016, when Guardiola had made a point of contacting Sterling during Euro 2016 to offer his support] and I told him I wanted to help him and would like him to be happy".

"But we are starting a new way, a new process with the same players and the new players, the new coaches".

Cech was at fault for the opener after remaining rooted to the spot as Sterling's curling shot flew into the net.

"Everyone is going to play a lot of minutes and, in every moment, they have to be ready".

"The same when we are thinking defensively, I want our strikers to be thinking: "We need to protect the goalkeepers". Yes, it's only one game and it was against as formidable an opponent as possible, but there is a ton of room for improvement if Petr Cech and company are to rise above last year's sixth place finish.

It was a game that showed Arsenal are very much a work in progress under Emery, who took over from Arsene Wenger this summer, but Emery was confident they are heading in the right direction. "But I think this process today is normal, especially against a team like Manchester City".

"Also he has this experience to continue defending our goal". He's working very well.

Another worry for Arsenal is that their left-back situation worsened when Ainsley Maitland-Niles hobbled off in the first half with a leg injury.

The winger cut inside from the left flank and turned Arsenal's defence inside-out before firing past Petr Cech.

"Nacho started working with the group yesterday, and maybe he can arrive for the next match", Emery said.

Vanessa Coleman

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