Guardiola: Ederson penalty save key to Arsenal win

Arsenal already trailed 3-0 to Manchester City when Ederson denied Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang, but Pep Guardiola said it was a key moment.

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson   -  Getty Images

Ederson's penalty save from Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang was a decisive moment in Manchester City's 3-0 win at Arsenal, according to manager Pep Guardiola.

City, having battered Arsenal 3-0 in Sunday's EFL Cup final at Wembley, led by the same scoreline before the break at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday.

But Arsenal had a chance to get a foothold in the match shortly after the restart, Nicolas Otamendi having clumsily brought down Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the box.

Ederson dived low to his left to deny Arsenal's club-record signing Aubamayang, allowing City to close out a comprehensive victory with ease to stretch their lead atop the table to 16 points.

And Guardiola - who oversaw his 100th game in charge of City - believes the penalty could have been a turning point for struggling Arsenal.

"If Ederson had not saved the penalty the game would have been completely open," Guardiola told a post-match news conference.

"We made an amazing three goals, nice goals. We can't deny it was a tough game after beating Arsenal four days ago."

Wenger's side have now lost four of their last five games in all competitions, with their seven 2018 defeats more than any other Premier League club.

But despite inflicting a second heavy defeat on Wenger in the space of five days, Guardiola sympathised with the under-fire Frenchman.

"He knows my admiration of him," Guardiola added. "We fight and play many times at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here in the Premier League.

"I know all the managers can be in that situation. I'm sure he is going to take the right decision for him, for the players, for the club."

Arsenal's all-time record goalscorer Thierry Henry says it is his "dream" to manage Arsenal, with the former striker currently employed in a coaching role with Belgium.

And Guardiola, who managed Henry at Barcelona, believes the 40-year-old has what it takes to succeed in a coaching career.

"If he wants to be manager, he has the talent to do it," Guardiola said. "But he has to decide, not me."

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