The Premier League title race is shaping as much as be an thrilling run-in after leaders Arsenal and second-placed Manchester Metropolis’s newest away victories.
Arsenal can lengthen their lead over Metropolis to 5 factors in the event that they beat Everton at Emirates Stadium of their subsequent outing on Wednesday, 1 March, after which each title contenders may have performed 25 video games.
Metropolis’s Rico Lewis mentioned the victory at Bournemouth – their two hundredth away win within the Premier League – “sends a message” to the league leaders, and with the season about two-thirds over, issues are intriguingly poised.
Arsenal ‘have title-winning credentials’
Late January and early February noticed the Gunners endure a four-game winless run bookended by defeats by Metropolis, first within the FA Cup after which within the league.
In addition they dropped factors in a 1-0 defeat by Everton and a 1-1 draw with Brentford, however wins on the highway at Aston Villa and Leicester have ensured Mikel Arteta stays simply forward of his one-time mentor Pep Guardiola.
Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta informed BBC Match of the Day: “I’m actually happy with the efficiency. We dominated the sport, we attacked rather a lot, we had been excessive up the pitch however we did not handle to create sufficient massive alternatives.
“To win away at Villa, then at Leicester, within the Premier League is extraordinarily troublesome to do and we deserved to win each video games.”
Former Metropolis defender Nedum Onuoha believes Arsenal nonetheless maintain the higher hand regardless of his outdated membership just lately inflicting Arsenal’s third league defeat of the season.
“A number of questions had been being requested of them, individuals had been backing Man Metropolis,” he informed the BBC. “For them to come back against Villa was an enormous increase. The celebrations confirmed what it meant – it steadied the ship. It looks like Arsenal are again in whole management of the title race as a result of in the event that they win their sport in hand it might be 5 factors clear and that could be a massive benefit.”
Glenn Murray, former Crystal Palace and Brighton striker, thinks whereas each groups are nonetheless concerned in European competitors, Arsenal’s want for a primary title since 2003-04 shall be their focus.
“There shall be twists and turns within the title race. It’s about who will maintain their nerve,” he mentioned. “Metropolis could take their eyes off the ball, Arsenal will prioritise the Premier League, however Manchester Metropolis clearly actually need the Champions League. It will be a particularly thrilling watch.”
Arsenal’s resurgence following the wobble that included the defeat by Metropolis has impressed former Swansea and Wales defender Ashley Williams.
“You are all the time going to have setbacks, and I feel they’ve proven a capability to beat adversity,” he mentioned.
“Arteta is so pushed and you’ll see that beginning to come out now. Over the course of the season, if you are going to win the Premier League, you must take care of the nice and the unhealthy. They’re exhibiting they have the credentials to get it finished in the long run.”
Imperious Metropolis staying on Arsenal’s coat-tails
Metropolis’s 3-1 win at Arsenal despatched them again to the highest of the Premier League desk, however a disappointing draw at Nottingham Forest three days later coupled with the Gunners’ win at Aston Villa noticed Guardiola slip behind his former Manchester Metropolis assistant Arteta.
One issue that might swing the title race in Metropolis’s favour is the prolific type of Erling Haaland. The Norway striker scored his twenty seventh league purpose of the season towards Bournemouth, taking him previous Sergio Aguero’s report for many Premier League targets in a season for Metropolis.
“Erling Haaland, his impression has been unbelievable,” mentioned Guardiola. “We love him and he’s serving to us. At present we discovered him extra and he’s an unbelievable menace.
“We’re nonetheless going to be preventing for the Premier League and we have now a troublesome contender [in Arsenal], however many issues may occur.”
Metropolis defender Lewis informed Sky Sports activities: “The very best factor to do to come back again from a number of poor outcomes is to win. We’re gutted to not get a clear sheet however it sends out a message. The early purpose set the tone and we may have had extra in the long run.”
However the Blues’ snug win impressed former Bournemouth supervisor Tony Pulis, who informed BBC Radio 5 Sports activities Further: “A really complete efficiency from Manchester Metropolis. They might have turned up and been sloppy however they had been fabulous.”