• Sports - Football - Gossips
  • Updated: March 02, 2023

Premier League Title Race: Arsenal Heading In One Direction

Premier League Title Race: Arsenal Heading In One Direction

With a 4-0 thumping of Everton at the Emirates on Wednesday night, Arsenal made a bold statement that they are in the Premier League title race to stay.

The Gunners had to be patient to carve open an obstinate opposition defence that sat back for the first 40 minutes, waiting to catch the hosts on the breakaway.

Sean Dyche's men had their chances on the counter but were abysmally poor in front of goal.

Arsenal eventually had their big moment when Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bukayo Saka unlocked Everton's defence shortly before half-time.

From this point, the Gunners burst through the defence of Toffees as Gabriel Martinelli doubled the lead on the stroke of the break before Martin Odegaard and again Martinelli added flourishes in the second half.

It was a resounding victory as Arsenal recorded their third straight win since losing 3-1 to second-placed Manchester City to move five points clear at the summit of the table.

With the benefit of hindsight, several bookmakers and pundits had queried the capacity of Arsenal to stamp their authority in the title race having gone on a three-game winless run.

It was at some point suggested that Mikel Arteta's men won't be able to hold their nerve considering the pressure exerted on them by the reigning champions City.

The assumption for a little while did prove to be true as the Gunners had to grapple with their mentality to win games as the second half of the season kicked off.

Against Everton at Goodison Park, they were disjointed and their performance was piss-poor, hence the 1-0 defeat to a side battling to avoid relegation. 

In the game against Brentford at the Emirates, they lacked the fluency that marked out their gameplay in the first half of the season, though they managed to get a goal but the inability of VAR to chalk off Ivan Toney's equaliser ensured that they shared the spoils. 

The all-important game with City on February 15 at the Emirates was totally shambolic in all honesty as the Gunners lacked a clinical edge to capitalise after carving City open and then fluffed up in their own box to ensure that City's performance was an exhibition in ruthlessness.

However, in the face of such a desperate disappointment, Arteta and his team dug deep for needed solutions to bring an immediate end to their conundrum. 

They eventually found the solution at Villa Park following an emphatic 4-2 victory but had to wait until stoppage time before they sealed the win against Aston Villa.

That very game was a defining moment in  Arsenal's season as the emphatic win put out momentarily the narrative of the Gunners crumbling under pressure as a result of not having the mentality of champions.

The takeaway from the match was that Arteta's team displayed steel, resilience and character to complete a comeback in a game where they trailed Aston Villa twice.

All credit goes to Arteta and the entire team for the way they responded but the likes of Jorginho and Leandro Trossard have to be singled out for special recognition.

These players who arrived at the Emirates in January swiftly won over any doubters as their performances helped Arsenal regain momentum in the title race.

While Jorginho's long-range effort which led to the crucial Emiliano Martinez own goal in the win over Villa ensured that Arsenal won their first Premier League game without Thomas Partey since August, Trossard's presence in a false nine position in the Gunners 1-0 at Leicester made it possible for the winner to be scored by Martinelli who loves to cut inside and interchange positions with his striker. 

With 13 games left to play, it would be too early and rash to conclude that Arsenal have clinched the Premier League title they last won in 2004.

Unarguably, there would be twists and turns in the title race as we have seen on several occasions, but make no mistake Arsenal are heading in one direction at the moment and it's to win the league.

The return of Gabriel Jesus, who is back on the grass after knee surgery, would certainly be a boost for the Gunners in the race. 

It cannot be denied that he was greatly missed by the Gunners as his presence in front of goal is menacing to opposition defenders.

Eddie Nketiah did his best as a replacement for the Brazilian but Jesus complements better Saka and Martinelli in attack which makes the Gunners a threat in the final third.

Still, would they be able to achieve such a feat knowing that they've City to play at the Etihad as well as struggling traditional top six sides Liverpool and Chelsea? 

The answer to this lingering question is dependent on how Arteta and his team approach each of the remaining league games.

They have their fate in their hands and it is up to them to throw away their five-point lead if that's their wish.

Now or never, they must stick to the basics, play with confidence, be ruthless in attack and rock solid in defence in order to be crowned the 2022/23 Premier League champions at the end of the season.

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