Football, Premier League

Gary Neville: Arsenal must win at City

In order to control the title race this season, Gary Neville believes Arsenal needs to defeat Manchester City on the road this coming weekend.

On Sunday, Mikel Arteta leads his Arsenal club to the Etihad Stadium in the hopes of winning there for the first time since departing Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff to move to north London in 2019.

Having lost his four Premier League visits as Arsenal’s manager, one of the difficulties the Spaniard has yet to meet is winning at the Etihad.

Arsenal would remain atop the standings with a victory, moving them four points ahead of their rivals. In the meantime, a loss would put City two points ahead of the Gunners, who might slide to third based on Liverpool’s performance against Brighton at home earlier on Sunday.

Neville asserts that Arsenal has to defeat City on the road in order to increase their chances of winning the league for the first time in twenty years as well as to improve their team’s mindset heading into the last few games of the season. This is ahead of another pivotal match in the battle for the championship.

“The reason I believe Arsenal need to go to Manchester City and win is because Arsenal have to go to other grounds – Old Trafford, Tottenham. To really change the psyche of this Manchester City team, you’ve got to damage them yourself and make them believe you’re better than them,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

“We used to feel we’d be champions every year so when Arsenal came to Old Trafford in ’98 when Overmars scored, or in the early 2000s when Wiltord scored, it shook us to the ground and we were stunned.

“They’ve got to leave as winners. That’s not to say a draw is not a respectable result at the Etihad but Manchester City don’t tend to make mistakes.”

City has been at its best in the final stages of the season the last two seasons, winning hotly contested championship races each times.

They defeated Liverpool by one point to win the title in the 2021–2022 season by winning seven of the ten games they had left and drawing the other three. This was their second consecutive title defence in four years.

The next season, City improved even further, defeating Arsenal in all but one of their final ten games to capture a third straight title.

After 28 games, three teams are separated by just one point for the first time since 2014. We are in for another thrilling conclusion to an epic struggle if that season is any indication, as Liverpool defeated City 3-2 at Anfield in mid-April, two weeks prior to Gerrard’s infamous slip in a Chelsea home loss.

“Three really good teams are going for it. They all have different qualities,” said Neville.

“Arsenal are a growing team, emerging as title contenders last season and just falling away at the end. This season, they look stronger, more solid, more reliable.

“Liverpool have this energy, this momentum, this Klopp thing going on, this last dance.

“Then you have Pep Guardiola, a trophy machine. All three look like they have something. They all have to change the mentality of City though, because City have the steel.”



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