Sterling cupped his ears to the Arsenal fans in celebration of his goal but said it was a response to all those critics who suggested the 23-year-old had failed to live up to his Manchester City form while on worldwide duty in Russian Federation this summer. "It helps, if we're together, for the players to show their best performance and to transmit with every supporter the quality, the energy and the spirit to go forward against Manchester City", Emery told reporters. Arsenal are likely to welcome another debutant, the feisty but creative Lucas Torreira, in their deepest role. There was the odd mistake, most notably from goalkeeper Petr Cech, but Emery's influence is already visible and had they not been playing Guardiola's team, Arsenal would probably have taken something from the game.
Arsenal kick off their 2018/19 campaign when they welcome Man City to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. "And today is the first step in that". "I think the best thing is for him to play 15-20 minutes when the opponents probably are exhausted".
"The result was 2-0 but I think on the pitch over the 90 minutes we were getting better", said the Spaniard afterwards. I know exactly what we did to achieve that and that is where we start from. "I play in an attacking position, it's what I get judged on [scoring goals] and that's all". But, it looks likely that Leno will be the club's first choice for the season over Cech.
Cech made several saves to keep Arsenal in the game but also seemed to struggle a bit when playing with his feet, almost scoring an own goal in the first half when he mishit a back pass from Guendouzi.
'Also he has this experience to continue defending our goal.
Perhaps Emery should start thinking about replacing Cech with Leno, who is clearly much more calm and composed in possession. He's working very well.
'But he can wait to arrive in this moment'.
A selection dilemma of a different kind has confronted Emery at left-back after a collision with Kyle Walker saw Ainsley Maitland-Niles limp out of the action before half-time.
Ten minutes into the second half substitute Alexandre Lacazette nearly levelled matters for Arsenal when he broke into the box, but his 16-yard shot struck the side-netting.
Emery now has another week to work with his players before the London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next weekend.