Arsenal vs Manchester City was billed as the highlight clash of the opening Premier League weekend and Sunday’s fixture at the Emirates didn’t disappoint.

Unless you’re a Gunners fan of course.

For the defending champions picked up where they left off last season by cruising to a 2-0 win thanks to cracking goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

The hosts had half-chances, at best, and on another day, the Sky Blues could have matched Liverpool’s romp over West Ham United earlier in the day.

Here are The Statesman’s player ratings from the first match of the Unai Emery era in North London:

Arsenal

Petr Cech

Made a couple of smart stops to deny City running riot.

Wasn’t really at fault for either of the Sky Blues’ goals.

Rating: 7/10

Ainsley-Maitland Niles

Did a fine job of filling in at left-back, before his outing was cut short with an unfortunate injury.

Rating: 6/10

Sokratis

Tough first outing in England, but the Greek defender did keep close tabs on Aguero throughout.

Got cautioned for a professional foul on the Argentine after Xhaka had been ponderous in possession.

Rating: 6/10

Shkodran Mustafi

Not exactly the best beginning for his partnership with Sokratis, but the German did an okay job overall.

Rating: 6/10

Hector Bellerin

Fashioned Arsenal’s first real chance of the game after beating Mendy, but couldn’t beat Ederson despite firing in a thunderbolt.

Defensively struggled to cope with Sterling and shouldn’t have been beaten so easily for the opener.

Rating: 6/10

Matteo Guendouzi

While he’s not quite Patrick Viera, the 19-year-old was far from the worst outfield player for the hosts.

Was solid in possession, except for one near-disastrous incident when Aguero was clean through.

Promising from the French youngster and he should definitely start the coming games.

Rating: 6/10

Granit Xhaka

New season, same old Xhaka.

Why didn’t Emery start Torreia, or at least send him on earlier?

A liability, pure and simple.

Rating: 4/10

Aaron Ramsey

Plenty of endeavour, but no result.

Not necessarily his fault, but the Welshman is supposed to be a leader for this Arsenal side and he was nowhere near his influential best.

Rating: 5/10

Mesut Ozil

Poor display from the German.

Wasn’t in sync with his teammates at all.

Rating: 4/10

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Marginally better than Ozil, but that isn’t saying much.

Rating: 5/10

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

After his pre-season, to say this display was a letdown would be an understatement.

Rating: 5/10

Substitutes

Stephan Lichsteiner

Not the best way to make your debut, but the experienced Swiss international did well enough, even though Mahrez was giving him trouble each time he had ran at him.

Rating: 6/10

Alexandre Lacazette

Very nearly changed the complexion of the tie after coming on.

Shows real chemistry with Aubameyang, surely Emery will start the two together next week?


Rating: 6/10


Lucas Torreia

Rating: N/A

Manchester City

Ederson

Apart from a few shaky moments, did fine.

Not his busiest afternoon, but his save from Bellerin in the first-half was pretty good.

Rating: 7/10

Benjamin Mendy

‘Le Shark’ smelt blood in the water and made merry with two assists.

Did switch off at times, but the Frenchman looks set to take the Premier League by storm in his second season.

Rating: 9/10

Aymeric Laporte

Apart from his clash with Lichsteiner, the French defender was largely assured against the Gunners.

Rating: 7/10

John Stones

Stopped Aubameyang in his tracks a couple of times and that’s not a small thing.

Against all odds, looks like he could form a steely partnership with Laporte this season.

Rating: 8/10

Kyle Walker

While Mendy was the better of the City fullbacks, Walker was arguably more balanced.

Bombed forward but crucially, didn’t look shaky even once when defending.

Rating: 8/10

Ilkay Guendogan

Good outing in the middle of the park, but didn’t make enough of those late runs as he would have wanted.

Rating: 7/10

Fernandinho

City’s enforcer picked up where he left off and put in another tidy shift.

Rating: 7/10

Bernardo Silva

David Silva who?

As stated earlier, the Portuguese is primed to dominate the English top-flight and his excellent goal was just reward for his efforts.

Troubled the Arsenal backline with his guile all game long.

Rating: 8/10

Raheem Sterling

He’ll get plenty of stick for his lack of end product, but when he scores goals like these, it’s like all the criticism will land on deaf ears.

Rating: 8/10

Sergio Aguero

Poor outting from the Argentine.

Should’ve squared to De Bruyne at 1-0, but luckily City managed to secure three points despite their all-time top scorer misfiring.

Rating: 5/10

Riyad Mahrez

Not a bad debut.

Plenty of scope for improvement, but with Guardiola’s affinity towards tinkering, one wonders if he’ll get an extended run in the squad, especially with Sane on the bench.

Rating: 6/10

Substitutes

Kevin De Bruyne

Came on for the final half-hour and very nearly scored a cracker, only for Cech to deny him with a fingertip save.

Rating: 6/10

Gabriel Jesus

Didn’t really get enough of the ball in the areas he would have wanted.

Rating: 6/10

Leroy Sane

Replaced Sterling with just three minutes of regulation time left.

Rating: N/A