After recent away victories by league leaders Arsenal and second-place Manchester City, the Premier League title race is shaping up to be an entertaining finish.
The Arsenal defeated Leicester City with a valiant 1-0 victory, while City dominated on the south coast as they defeated Bournemouth 4-1.
If Arsenal defeats Everton at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, March 1, both championship contenders will have played 25 games, increasing Arsenal’s advantage over City to five points.
Ricardo Lewis of City claimed that the victory against Bournemouth, their 200th away triumph in the Premier League, “sends a message” to the league’s top teams. With around two thirds of the season remaining, the situation is intriguingly placed.
Arsenal “has a history of winning championships”
The Gunners suffered a four-game losing streak in late January and early February, which was punctuated by losses to City, first in the FA Cup and then in the league.
Even though they lost 1-0 to Everton and drew 1-1 with Brentford, they also dropped points, but victories away at Aston Villa and Leicester have kept Mikel Arteta barely ahead of his former coach Pep Guardiola.
Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, said on BBC Match of the Day: “I’m incredibly happy with how it turned out. We controlled the game, attacked frequently, and were positioned high up the field, but we were unable to generate enough significant chances.
It is very difficult to win away at Villa and then at Leicester in the Premier League, but we deserved to win both games.
Nedum Onuoha, a former City defender, thinks Arsenal still have the upper hand despite the fact that his previous team recently handed Arsenal its third league loss of the year.
Many were supporting Man City, and they were the subject of some inquiries, he told the BBC. “Their comeback victory over Villa was a major victory for them. The parties demonstrated its significance, which helped to steady the ship. Arsenal would be five points clear if they won their game in hand, which is a significant advantage and gives the impression that they are once again in complete control of the title race.”
Former Crystal Palace and Brighton striker Glenn Murray believes that even if both teams are still competing in European play, Arsenal’s pursuit of their first championship since 2003–04 would take precedence.
“The race for the championship will take unexpected turns. Who will maintain their composure, “asked he. “Arsenal will put the Premier League first, City may lose focus on the game, but Manchester City clearly wants to win the Champions League. It will make for a really thrilling watch.”
Ashley Williams, a former Swansea and Wales defender, was impressed by Arsenal’s turnaround after a slump that included a loss to City.
You will always encounter obstacles, but I believe they have demonstrated the ability to overcome them.
“Arteta is extremely motivated, and that is now beginning to show. If you want to win the Premier League, you have to deal with both the good and the bad throughout the course of the season. They are demonstrating that they have the credentials to complete the task successfully.”
Stupid City continuing to follow Arsenal’s lead
After returning to the top of the Premier League standings with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal, Guardiola fell behind Arteta as a result of a poor stalemate against Nottingham Forest three days later and the Gunners’ victory over Aston Villa.
The prolific play of Erling Haaland is one aspect that could tip the title battle in City’s favor. The Norwegian striker broke Sergio Aguero’s City record for most Premier League goals in a season with his 27th league goal against Bournemouth.
Guardiola praised Erling Haaland, saying that he had made a significant influence. “He is assisting us and we adore him. He is a huge menace that we have discovered today.
We will continue to compete for the Premier League, and Arsenal is a formidable opponent. Yet, anything might happen.
Lewis, a City defender, said to Sky Sports: “Winning is the best way to bounce back after a few disappointing performances. Although we are devastated not to have a clean sheet, a message is sent. We may have had more in the end, but the early goal set the tone well.”
But, Tony Pulis, a former manager of Bournemouth, was pleased with the Blues’ easy victory and told BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra: “A very thorough effort from Manchester City. They could have shown up and been unprofessional, but they were amazing.”