Why Arteta Still has ‘more belief’ Arsenal can win title


Arsenal have now lost all their last 11 Premier League games against Manchester City, this is their longest losing run against an opponent in their league history.

Mikel Arteta, who is the manager of Arsenal football club has made it clear that he now has “more belief” Arsenal can win the title, despite their 3-1 defeat by Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

The loss sees City replace them at the top of the table on goal difference.

“They still have it [the belief], I can sense it. They feel they can do it,” Arteta said.

After beating Manchester United on 22 January, Arsenal were five points clear with a game in hand, but have taken just one point from nine since.

Kevin de Bruyne opened the scoring after latching onto a Takehiro Tomiyasu backpass in a predictably tense match between the league’s top two sides, but was later pelted with bottles by supporters after being substituted in the second half.

Bukayo Saka equalized from the penalty spot after Ederson fouled Eddie Nketiah, before Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland scored to give City three crucial points.

“I have more belief than I had before the game,” Arteta told BBC Sport. “With the performance and the level the team put in, we had the feeling we could beat them. Until the second goal we had them.

“But we gave them three goals and the game at the end. Certain errors at this level, you can’t make. At the same time, the team put the level very high.

“The difference was in the boxes, they had three chances and they put them away. We had chances and we didn’t put them away.”

The Spanish manager added that he was “disappointed” with the loss but told Amazon Prime: “They [City] are the best team in the world and we matched that level. After it is just about doing certain things better to beat them.

“I have more belief [to win the league] because I see a team going head-to-head with them. You have to go to the next one and in three days we have another game. I have more belief in my players.”

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard echoed that his side needed to be “more clinical” with only one of their 10 attempted shots on target.

“We were not sharp enough, in front of the goal and in our own as well. Sometimes chances go in, sometimes not. But that is where we need to improve and be more clinical and defend our box,” the Norwegian said.

“As we have said all season, work hard and take it game by game. It is the same now. It is one game we have lost here today and now we look to the next one.”

‘Massive blow for Arsenal’

The reaction of the Arsenal players and fans at full-time was one of disappointment and they have now failed to win their past three league games as they bid for their first title in almost 20 years

“This is a massive blow for Arsenal, how will they recover?” said former Premier League winner Chris Sutton on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Yes they have a game in hand but I thought City were excellent in the second half.

“They’ve flexed their muscles and said to Arsenal ‘we are the team to beat’.”

City boss Pep Guardiola was keen to play down the significance of the result.

“If they win the game in hand they are top of the league,” said Guardiola.

“What they have done is incredible and we are still there. This league will be decided for the last eight or 10 games. There are 15 to go. It is a lot and the Champions League is coming. Many games and tiring for the players.

“It is important that we are here because six points if we lose and maybe nine points hypothetically, it is not easy,” the Spaniard added.

Arsenal could return to the top of the league with victory at Aston Villa on Saturday (12:30 GMT), with City facing Nottingham Forest away later in the day, and the two teams meet again at Etihad Stadium in April.

Source: bbc.com


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