South Africa

Community Shield win gives Arsenal belief against City – Arteta

Mikel Arteta Arsenal Manchester City English Premier League

Mikel Arteta said title-chasing Arsenal can take confidence from their Community Shield win over Manchester City as the Gunners face the Premier League champions on Sunday.

Arsenal have not beaten City in the league since 2015, but the Gunners boss said their August victory on penalties in the Community Shield — the annual curtain-raiser to the season — had given his team belief.

“That was an important one for us,” he said. “To win a title against Man City is always something you have to value. The way we did it as well and it gives us confidence and belief that we can beat them.”

Arsenal led the Premier League for long stretches last season but faltered in the final furlong as City overtook them to claim their third consecutive title.

Treble winners City lead the way again after seven games, but the third placed Gunners are just one point behind.

Arteta said he was determined to look forward, rather than back at Arsenal’s poor league record against City.

“We aren’t looking back for sure because there were different players participating in those games, but we know one thing for certain, that we’re going to have to be at our best,” he said.

“We have to be at our best in every department for 100 minutes. Then we have a chance.”

‘It is down to the players’

Arteta, who worked as Guardiola’s City assistant before becoming Arsenal boss, was asked if the two coaches could still surprise each other.

“I’m sure that every year we have new tools and new players that can do different things, but obviously we know each other and we expect something from each other,” he said.

“At the end, it is down to the players and they are the ones that surprise you the most. That’s for sure.”

Arteta said Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka is in contention to play despite being forced off during the midweek 2-1 loss at Lens in the Champions League.