Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier League took a severe blow as they were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Manchester City. The Gunners had known for weeks that they needed a perfect performance at the Etihad Stadium to keep their title aspirations alive, but they fell well short. Arsenal’s recent run of draws and nervy performances had left them lacking the self-belief needed to compete against a ruthless City side, who won their seventh league game in a row, scoring 21 goals in the process.
The absence of injured defenders William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu proved to be a significant blow, and Rob Holding struggled to contain City’s star striker Erling Haaland. Arsenal’s recent defensive frailties have been a concern, conceding two or more goals in eight of their 19 Premier League games since the World Cup. They have also been giving up more shots and better chances to their opponents, a stark contrast to their previously sound defensive performances earlier in the season.
Manager Mikel Arteta’s side has been heavily reliant on a core group of players, lacking the depth available to City, who have made the fifth-most lineup changes in the Premier League this season. The physical and mental toll of their recent tight victories and setbacks has left Arsenal’s squad fatigued, while City’s rotation policy has kept their players fresh for the crucial stages of the season.
Arsenal’s dream of winning the Premier League this season may have slipped away, but they have shown resilience in the past, winning seven consecutive league games after their 3-1 defeat to City earlier in the season. Arteta’s challenge now is to ensure his side bounces back from this defeat and finishes the campaign strongly. While the title may no longer be in Arsenal’s owns hands, Arsenal must regain there form and win the remaining matches, and they can only hope Manchester City Lose two league games which would give gunners the title.