Advantage to Liverpool after Man City, Arsenal stalemate

You are currently viewing Advantage to Liverpool after Man City, Arsenal stalemate
  • Post published:April 1, 2024

Manchester City and Arsenal handed Liverpool the advantage in the Premier League title race after they played out to a goalless draw at Etihad Stadium.

With nine games remaining, Liverpool leads the title race by two points over Arsenal and three clear of City after defeating Brighton 2-1. This was the biggest win of the day for Liverpool.

A split of the spoils stops Arsenal’s eight-game Premier League winning streak and maintains City’s unbeaten home run dating back to November 2022.

For the first time in two years, the Gunners will be content with a point because they kept Pep Guardiola’s team from scoring at the Etihad.

“Defensively we were outstanding,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

“The next step is with the ball to have more composure to attack better.

“They are the best team in the world by far, best manager by far, and we have to catch up. That’s the challenge for us.”

Despite possessing 72% of the ball, City was unable to capitalise on its advantage against a defence that has allowed the fewest goals in the Premier League this year.

“We didn’t create much but it was almost actions,” said City manager Guardiola. “It’s not easy to break them (down) but I recognise the intention was there.”

In Jurgen Klopp’s last season, Guardiola declared that Liverpool were now “favourites” to win the championship.

In order to maintain their title hopes, City needs to snap their six-match losing streak against teams in the Premier League’s top five when they visit fourth-place Aston Villa on Wednesday.

“Always who is first is favourite, second favourite is Arsenal,” added Guardiola.

“It is not in our hands. All we can do is win against Aston Villa.”

Arsenal have also been scoring goals freely, scoring 33 goals in their previous eight games of victories.

The visitors chose a counterattacking strategy, though, considering they had lost their previous eight visits to the Etihad, including a 4-1 thumping when the title race definitively shifted in City’s favour the previous season.

“Eleven months ago we were here and the story was very different, we have to keep making steps,” added Arteta, who said his side still have to improve to match the standards City have set in winning five Premier League titles in six seasons.

“We are improving, competing better, understanding how you have to play these games.

“We have to come here and win. Today we draw and we still have to improve to be able to do that.”

In the first half, Nathan Ake squandered the home team’s greatest opportunity when he mishandled a dangerous corner from Kevin De Bruyne.

Due to injuries sustained while playing for England internationally, Kyle Walker and John Stones—two essential members of City’s defense—were already out.

Even more improvised defence had to be put together by Guardiola after Ake went off after 27 minutes.

But Arsenal hardly ever put the City defenders to the test.

Gabriel Jesus was unable to extend his arm sufficiently to meet Bukayo Saka’s cross, which was the England international’s only indication of life.

On the other side, Arsenal’s reliable center-back duo of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes did a great job of marshalling Erling Haaland.

And seven minutes from time, the Norwegian misplayed his lines when he did receive a rare glimpse of goal, failing to connect with a corner at the back post.

Leandro Trossard, an Arsenal substitute, had the finest opportunity to steal all three points late in the game when he blasted straight at Stefan Ortega.

However, with three points separating the top three, the title race is still in the balance due to a split of the prizes.

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