Gabriel singled out as main culprit for Arsenal’s loss to Man City

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Arsenal defender Gabriel has been singled out as the main culprit for Wednesday’s damaging loss at home to Manchester City. Former Aston Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor singled out the Brazilian for criticism for his role in City’s two second-half goals.

City have gone top of the Premier League table after their 3-1 win at the Emirates. Arsenal slip down to second having picked up just one point from their last three matches.

Takehiro Tomiyasu was guilty of a huge error for City’s opener. The Japan star’s pass back to Aaron Ramsdale was underhit and Kevin De Bruyne took advantage with a sublime chip over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Arsenal drew level through a Bukayo Saka penalty but the hosts were unable to keep up their performance after half-time. Gabriel gave the ball away in the build-up to Jack Grealish’s strike, which made it 2-1 to City.

Mikel Arteta reviews Man City defeat

Agbonlahor was also not impressed with how he defended Erling Haaland’s goal which sealed the win for Pep Guardiola’s side. But he gave Tomiyasu a pass for his error.

The pundit said on talkSPORT: “A lot of mistakes from Arsenal. The first one, Tomiyasu, it happens. Jack Grealish is pressing him, he doesn’t see Kevin De Bruyne running through.

“But it’s Gabriel for me. Every time I watch him, he’s the one that you always think has got a mistake in him.

“Yesterday the penalty that wasn’t given because it was offside, he got away with one there. He wanted to fight and battle Haaland and gives away a penalty.

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“And then the goal, the goal that Haaland scores. It’s just poor defending all round, giving the ball away when you shouldn’t be.

“I’m all for playing from the back at times but sometimes – and Man City did it yesterday – sometimes it’s not on, hit the big man up front and play off him.”

Mikel Arteta doesn’t regret playing out from the back against City but admits his team didn’t execute in the way they needed to. He said: “When errors happen as part of the risks we take, the risk and reward is understanding what we have to do.

“We didn’t understand well what we had to do, especially in the second half, when they changed their formation and went in a different shape.  But we came out of there a lot of times and created big problems for them, so it’s always that balance.”

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