It's fair to say we weren't overly impressed with the first game back after 100 days, with a fairly drab 0-0 draw between Aston Villa and Sheffield United hardly getting the pulses racing.
Which is why it was a good thing that the fixture list coughed up a tastier affair with Manchester City hosting Arsenal.
Two of the biggest clubs in the country going head to head. Were we set for a level game with two sides dealing blow after blow at each other? Or was it going to be immensely one-side with mistakes galore?
Twas the latter, in case you didn't know.
David Luiz-inspired, I may add.
But prior to kick off we saw another magnificent display of solidarity from both sets of players, who all took a knee in protest of racial discrimination. A moving scene for an issue that must be addressed.
Then, the football. That we've been longing for.
An unfortunate opening for Arsenal, in which Pablo Mari absolutely clattered Raheem Sterling, got worse when Granit Xhaka's Premier League return was ended after just seven minutes. The midfielder suffered an injury and was forced off, but Twitter took no prisoners.
Granit Xhaka heatmap vs Man City ?| the swiss Iniesta?? ??☄️ pic.twitter.com/AAjR5eCtRk— ??? ? (@sfcdannnn) June 17, 2020
Xhaka’s Premier League return pic.twitter.com/GaSMESEBnz— Simpsons Arsenal (@SimpsonsArsenal) June 17, 2020
Then it was Pablo Mari's turn. Sure, he looked nowhere neat reaching Kyle Walker, but suffering an ankle strain during it clearly didn't help.
20 minutes in, two players down for Arsenal. Not a great start.
Pablo Mari, goodness me— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) June 17, 2020
Can we use all 9 subs?!— arseblog (@arseblog) June 17, 2020
But while Arsenal had looked decent during the opening exchanges - more than most expected - it was City who started turning the screw. Raheem Sterling was the first to test Bernd Leno, who saved well but then it was David Silva's turn.....and then Sterling again.
It was worrying for the Gunners.
? 34': Bernd Leno saves from Raheem Sterling— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2020
? 35': Bernd Leno saves from David Silva
? 37': Bernd Leno saves from Riyad Mahrez
The shots are raining down (so is the actual rain). pic.twitter.com/tnURKngSbY
The interwebs were quick to single out Sterling for his misses. Based on them all, you'd think he never scores...
Sterling robs KDB of an assist, in other news, the sky is blue...— Jerrish Jebaraj (@JerrishJebaraj) June 17, 2020
Leno when he sees sterling coming and Tierney is still chewing his fingernails pic.twitter.com/NdZSCT5LIM— Tomiwa (@Thormiwa_04) June 17, 2020
Sterling when the ball isnt 5mm away from an open goal pic.twitter.com/ad8JPMVCcp— Niall (@NVero99) June 17, 2020
How long was it going to take for an Arsenal player to make a mistake?
More specifically, how long was it going to take for an Arsenal defender to make a mistake?
Turns out, not long. And in David Luiz's case, 22 minutes into his appearance.
Sterling profits, 1-0 to City.
David Luiz has not changed much.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) June 17, 2020
David Luiz's face there! 'Ah bollocks'— Sam Lee (@SamLee) June 17, 2020
Leno looking at David Luiz after all the work he’s done pic.twitter.com/6SvtsZEJIu— Jack. (@Utd_Jxck) June 17, 2020
Did you think he was done there? Did you think the error-strewn Arsenal defence were going to stop? If so, you were gravely mistaken.
A fine cross-field pass found Riyad Mahrez in the second half and Luiz, eager to continue impressing, hauled him down in the box and got sent off.
So much for a comeback.
Oh, by the way, De Bruyne scored the spot-kick. Obviously.
24'—David Luiz comes on— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 17, 2020
45'—Error leads to Man City goal
49'—Concedes penalty and gets sent off
David Luiz vs Man City (A) | Skills & Highlights | The next Tony Adams? pic.twitter.com/9ahAETaQbz— - (@AnfieldRd96) June 17, 2020
David Luiz is 2020 if 2020 was a football player pic.twitter.com/eFzehT3fn3— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 17, 2020
But while Luiz's performance will likely grab much of the attention post-match, it's also worth highlighting that De Bruyne was at his usual best.
With very little happening - barring City dominating the ball - as the game played out, it was Twitter's turn to praise the finest midfielder in world football right now.
He is, isn't he?
Kevin De Bruyne is on pace to set a new record for most assists ever in a PL season— ⚡️?? (@Priceless_Silva) June 17, 2020
He’s clearly the best midfielder in the world and fully deserves the POTY award pic.twitter.com/xK2R2LCmCs
How can you watch De Bruyne and think he's not the best midfielder in the world....— Rohit (@MessiFC10i) June 17, 2020
⚽️ Kevin De Bruyne has scored 5 of his 32 PL goals against Arsenal, 2 more than against any other team.— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) June 17, 2020
⚽️ Has now scored 9 PL goals this season, a personal best
⚽️ Missed his only previous PL penalty, in Oct 2016 v Everton pic.twitter.com/Y8XVu9m4iS
There was time for another goal, however, as Phil Foden finished off a slick City move to bag the third. It came in stoppage time, following a nasty looking collision that forced Eric Garcia off.
Wishing Garcia a full and swift recovery after that juddering collision with Ederson. #mcfc centre back taken off on a stretcher, strapped in, neck brace. Now playing 11 minutes' added time, Foden the poacher makes it 3-0. #MCIARS— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 17, 2020
Foden gotta bright bright future ahead of him— justin (@justin_hmf300) June 17, 2020
£72m Pépé not even getting Foden Time minutes while Foden gets some actual substantial minutes— Sim (@SimeonV2) June 17, 2020
Football came back, alright.
Source : 90min