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Gary Neville was not happy with important Arsenal star against Manchester City

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville was not pleased with the passing of one Arsenal star against Manchester City on Sunday

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Gary Neville on Arsenal
Image credit: Getty Images

Gary Neville expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of one Arsenal player attempting to play out from the back against Manchester City in a crucial showdown at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. 

As the match kicked off, Arsenal faced a sluggish start while Pep Guardiola’s men asserted dominance in the early stages. Despite the initial struggle, the Gunners gradually found their footing, with Gabriel Jesus creating opportunities to test Stefan Ortega in the first half.

However, Arsenal had difficulties in building their play from the back during the opening period, facing relentless pressure from City’s pressing game. This forced Mikel Arteta’s side to resort to long balls, resulting in a few unsuccessful attempts from goalkeeper David Raya to find his intended targets.

In the 39th minute, Neville took note of yet another misplaced kick from Raya, which fell straight to Rico Lewis. During Sky Sports‘ coverage of the game, the former Manchester United defender criticised the Arsenal shot-stopper’s passing, describing it as “terrible.”

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“Raya’s kicking these last few minutes has been terrible,” Neville remarked. “It’s not helping that he keeps falling over as he kicks it.”

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya (Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite Raya’s struggles in the first half, Arsenal showed improvement in the second period. The £30 million goalkeeper’s distribution saw an uptick as Arteta’s side pressed with more intent and resumed playing their possession-based game, often building from the back.

READ MORE: Manchester City star makes title confession after goalless draw with Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in his assessment of the game was satisfied to return to London with a point, while lamenting his team not taking their chances in the game.

“It was a thrilling game, a really tough match, a very demanding opponent but I think we competed really well. Defensively, I think we were outstanding. We had to go and put them under pressure higher up the pitch – I think we were really good and created a lot of difficulties. 

“When they are that good that they get you in this low block, it’s very difficult to get out of that, they drop a lot of players and I think we prevented the spaces really well and that’s the difficulty. 

“It’s the first time they haven’t scored at home in three years, so that’s the outstanding team that they are. And then the downside is that we had some big situations to score, we didn’t make the most out of them and the next step is with the ball to have much more composure, especially in the first phase to attack better,” Arteta said.

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