Silva, Sterling lead City past Arsenal

Arsenal’s reign under Unai Emery got underway in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Hell-bent to maintain its consistency to defend their title, City handed a debut to record-signing Riyad Mahrez with Sergio Aguero leading the attack.

A lukewarm start from both sides ensued early on despite Aaron Ramsey going close with a half-chance in the opening 10 minutes.

Following a gradual integration to the game, City took the lead when Raheem Sterling unleashed a powerful effort on the 18-yard line to beat Peter Cech with a low finish on 14 minutes.

The Gunners were rattled and pressed for an early response, and Hector Bellerin almost pulled them level after connecting with a long cross, but good goalkeeping from Ederson left him disappointed.

Granit Xhaka got dispossessed, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos conceding a foul. Aguero lined up for the free-kick but Cech saved brilliantly on 27 minutes with Aymeric Laporte unable to bury the rebound.

Emery’s game-plan were thrown to further jeopardy when Nathan Maitland-Niles made way through injury for Stephan Lichsteiner signed from Juventus in the close season on a free transfer.

Four minutes to halftime, Mahrez found space on the left side after latching on to a long ball and tried to curl to the bottom corner but his effort skipped the left-hand post.

With four minutes additional time to halftime, Henrikh Mkhitharyan made a goal-ward stride to a long ball but efforts to rattle the net was put off by stern defending from Benjamin Mendy.

Emery’s first port of call was to alternate his formula. So on came Alexandre Lacazette to inject more firepower upfront.

And the Frenchman nearly got off to a dream start when he received a ball from inside the box, but failed to find the top corner.

All the while, the Citizens threatened to add a second after Aguero connected with a loose ball before running goalwards where instead of passing to a free teammate, shot straight at Cech.

It would come soon and it was Bernardo Silva handing it to them with a left-footed curler, giving Cech no chance on 63 minutes.

As the Londoners, pressed for a way back. None of the sort came forth, as City ran out comfortable winners in their season-opener.