Thursday, April 27, 2023

Mikel Arteta refusing to give up in Premier League title race after Man City defeat

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is refusing to give up in the Premier League title race following Wednesday night’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.

Arteta had played down suggestions beforehand that it would be a title decider. But the result now leaves Arsenal, who have suddenly gone four league games without a win, only two points ahead of City and having also played two games more.

Pep Guardiola stated immediately after the final whistle that City’s next three games – the first of which is their first game in hand – will be crucial in deciding where the title goes.

“We were beaten by the better team, that’s for sure,” Arteta reflected to BT Sport, before suggesting that Arsenal didn’t even get the basics right.

“[Man City] were exceptional and when that’s the case, it’s extremely difficult to reach that level and we were no way near our level. When you open that gap against them, you get punished.

“You have to compete and win your duels, and all the very basic things – we didn’t do them in the first half. We were punished and could have been even more punished.”

Having taken only three points from the last 12 on offer, Arsenal have thrown the door wide open for City and will now have to rely on results from others. At this stage, even if the Gunners win all of their remaining games it still may not be enough.

Arteta is fully realistic about how hard it will be to finish as champions now, but is holding onto hope.

“It’s very difficult after the way we lost, but we have to stand up, look at the bigger picture, and the fact that we are competing toe to toe with [Man City] is incredible,” he said.

“We are not going to give up. There are five games to go and, in this league, anything can happen.”

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