Arsenal must do ‘something miraculous’ if they’re to beat Manchester City to the title, but it’s still very much possible.
That’s the view following the Gunners’ disappointing 3-3 draw against Southampton on Friday night.
Mikel Arteta’s side made a torrid start and were 2-0 down after 14 minutes and 3-1 down after 66 minutes as the north London side showed more evidence that the pressure at the top was starting to get to them.
However late goals from Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka earned a valuable point and offered the belief that Arsenal are still in the title race – for now at least.
Next up is a mammoth match against title rivals Man City on Wednesday night – a clash that is exclusively live on talkSPORT.
Arsenal go into the game at the top of the table with a five-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side.
However with City having two games in hand, Sam Matterface believes that the draw with Southampton has heaped extra pressure on an already-tricky trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Describing the scenes at full-time, he told talkSPORT: “Arsenal sink to their knees and some of their players think the title hunt is over.
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“They look like forlorn figures, [Ben] White is on his back, [Bukayo] Saka on his haunches, [Gabriel] Jesus has ripped his shirt off.
“They have had an incredible season, but they’re wobbling at the last, they’re going to need these fans at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
“They’ve led the Premier League for 163 of the last 166 nights, but you get the feeling that unless they win on Wednesday they aren’t going to be there much longer.
“A season that has promised to much with a wonderful group of players, but their fans are starting to get a sense of foreboding. When they go to Man City, they will quite simply, have to win.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports, who suggested that Arsenal were punished for making the clash with Southampton ’emotional’.
He explained: “Whether the point makes that much difference, I’m not quite sure.
“They’ve got to go to City now and you’d think they’ll need to get three points if they’re to go on and win the league.
“We said how it’s still in Arsenal’s hands, It just shows how far ahead they were. They dropped six points basically in the last three games and it’s still in their hands, so they did have a sizeable lead.
“They’re going to have to do something miraculous between now and the end of the season but we’ve seen them go on runs before.
“They’ve got that to go between now and the end of the season and they’ll need to do something really special.”
Carragher added: “The way that game was tonight was everything they didn’t want. It was end-to-end, it was emotional.
“They just wanted to come and win the game two or three nil, as everyone expected against Southampton who are bottom of the league but when you go 1-0 down after 30 seconds it just turns into a game which is what you don’t want.”
While Arsenal know that Man City perhaps hold the cards in the Premier League title race, star striker Gabriel Jesus insists that the Gunners must be proud regardless of what happens in the title race.
He told Sky Sports: “We are having a great season. It’s not over and a lot of things can happen between now and the end of the season.
“Obviously we know we are not happy with the last three games, we’ve dropped points and that’s the truth. We know this, no one has to tell us because we are men here and understand.
“This is the Premier League, it’s so difficult to win this competition. You can see that over the last 10 years when big, big clubs don’t win and it’s so difficult.
“They are good. Not just now, but in the past years they’ve been doing so good.
“I understand everyone talking about me and [Oleksandr] Zinchenko because we won the league and this and that, but everyone has the experience to go there and play.
“They’re doing so well and keep doing so well. We are here fighting with a big team and so we need to be proud of ourselves.
“I’m not here to talk about it being over because we’re still there, we’re still fighting and we’ll fight until the end.”
Mikel Arteta shared that confidence going into the clash with City, but did admit that they would now need to win to stand a realistic chance of securing their first Premier League title in 19 years.
Asked about his players’ forlorn reaction at full-time, Arteta told talkSPORT: “They are tired because they gave absolutely everything.
“Emotionally it was really intense, right from the beginning you start to play against the clock and things come into your mind and after that they still showed incredible maturity and character and belief to win the game.
“But now we have to reset. Me the first one, I was very emotional, tomorrow we need some clarity, and prepare the game well to go and win in Manchester.
“If you watched the game after minute 20 and you tell me that’s the second youngest team in the league playing that way 2-0 at home I would not believe you. So they’re young, but they’re incredible and I love them, that’s all I can say.
“I already said to them how much I love them, it’s an absolute joy to work with them and to see what I have experienced today on that pitch, and whoever needs a cuddle, I’m here to give that cuddle because they fully deserve it because I could not be more proud of them.
“I don’t measure the way I feel about somebody because he wins or loses or draws, it’s about how they are every day, how much they care about their profession, how much they care about their football and what they’ve done today on that pitch gave me even more reason to do that.”
When asked about the Emirates crowd, Arteta said: “It’s incredible, it gives sense to everything we do, all the hours that we put in, all the passion that we put in, all the bad times just to experience that.
“What we experienced at the stadium tonight was incredible and these people deserve reward for what they did, but it’s still incredible to go through that.”
There was one final question for the Gunners boss, can you still win this title?
“Yes,” he simply replied.
Manchester City vs Arsenal is exclusively live on talkSPORT on Wednesday, April 26th at 8pm.