Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has pinpointed the moments and matches where his side’s Premier League title charge fell apart.
The Gunners’ limp 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening confirmed that Manchester City will finish in first place, bringing an end to the north Londoners’ hopes of lifting a first league title since 2004.
Despite spending a record 248 days at the top of the table, Arsenal have fallen short in their bid to become champions of England in large part due to their form nosediving down the final stretch of the season.
Speaking after Saturday’s loss at the City Ground, Arteta was asked to pick out the ‘key moments’ in which Arsenal lost the title race.
“It started with what happened at Anfield in the 90th minute,” he said, referring to Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at Liverpool having been two goals up back in April.
“Then at West Ham if you put it [Bukayo Saka’s penalty] away to make 3-1 everything changes. We have conceded a lot of goals. We have given 16 goals away in those matches. It’s a lot. You cannot sustain that.
“In this league, you have to be exceptional with everything because there are no margins. That team doesn’t give you any margins. We have extended those margins to much and that’s why we lost the league.”
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When asked what was the reason behind Arsenal conceding so many more goals since April, Arteta answered: “My responsibility. Because at the end I’m responsible for the team to score many more goals than the opponent and we haven’t done that.”
It was also put to Arteta that a back injury sustained by starting centre-back William Saliba during their Europa League exit to Sporting CP was a factor in their collapse.
“Yeah, we can look at that,” Arteta agreed. “But there are other things that we should have done better.”
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