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Pep Guardiola described Mikel Arteta as an “incredible coach” after his Manchester City team beat Arsenal 4-1 to reach the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
Arteta left his role as Guardiola’s assistant a year ago to take over at Arsenal, but is under intense scrutiny after a lousy start to the season, which has left the Gunners 15th in the Premier League.
He didn’t enjoy a respite on Tuesday, with Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte sealing their 18th straight win in the competition for champion City after Alexandre Lacazette canceled Gabriel Jesus’ opener.
Arteta’s position will come under further scrutiny after Arsenal conceded four goals at home in an EFL Cup game for the first time since a 5-0 loss to Chelsea in November 1998, but Guardiola has no doubts. about the talent of the Spanish.
“What can I say, everyone knows that we are judged on the results. He can defend himself perfectly, ”he told Sky Sports.
“I worked with him, we couldn’t have been successful without him. He is an incredible coach. I know your proposals and what you will do. Not even a small run of bad results is going to change my opinion.
18 – Since losing to Manchester United in October 2016, Manchester City have progressed in each of their last 18 League Cup qualifiers, winning the competition in each of the last three seasons. Energized. pic.twitter.com/ThGclrxzh6
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2020
The victory meant that City became the first team to win four consecutive away games against Arsenal in all competitions since Chelsea between 1960 and 1965.
They were helped on their way by Gunners goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson, who allowed Mahrez’s free kick to twist in his hands and gave City a 2-1 lead.
It was Mahrez’s first goal from a free kick since September 2019, and his fifth in all English football competitions, and the Algerian knew he had an element of luck.
“It was a solid performance,” he said. “We started well and then they tied. We got lucky with the free kick and then we got the third and then it was easier for us.
“I was surprised by Runarsson’s position. He was so close to the post and luckily he didn’t catch it well and that was good for us.
“We have been fighting but it is football. It is not always easy to score four or five goals. Today we scored four goals and it was a solid performance.”