At the end of January, Arsenal won two successive matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, and the title dream became alive. A broad progression of competition, attacking football and belief among fans. Things really can’t get any worse for Arsenal in their quest for their first Premier League title since 2004.
Less than three weeks later, the world looks very different for The Gunners. The FA Cup loss to Manchester City was not yet a global disaster, but in February they also lost to Everton and drew against Brentford. Arsenal’s lead suddenly disappeared like snow in the sun.
Tomiyasu helps City
Therefore, the match between leaders Arsenal and runner-up Manchester City became more important and it was the away team that achieved victory and first place. City took the lead in the first half after a fatal error by Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Japanese made a mistake in passing the ball to Aaron Ramsdale and Kevin De Bruyne was able to exploit it.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Arsenal responded after the London club received a penalty kick from referee Anthony Taylor after a foul on Eddie Nketiah. Young Bukayo Saka took responsibility and calmly scored the equalizer into the ropes at the Emirates Stadium. But in the second half, City strengthened its performance and dealt a strong blow to Arsenal.
First, it was Jack Grealish who scored the 1-2 equalizer in the 72nd minute after a beautiful attack through Ilkay Gundogan and Haaland. Ten minutes later, Haaland finished the match with a pass from De Bruyne, scoring his 26th goal this season.
With this victory, Manchester City temporarily takes first place from Arsenal. The Citizens have the same number of points, but can boast a better goal difference. Arsenal have played one game less and can regain first place with a win in the catch-up match against Everton.
The title battle in England will happily continue this weekend. Arsenal visits Aston Villa and Manchester City plays an away match with relegation candidate Nottingham Forest.
Premier League standings
- 1. Manchester City 23-51 (+36)
- 2. Arsenal 22-51 (+26)
- 3. Manchester United 23-46 (+10)
- 4. Newcastle United 22-41 (+25)
- 5. Tottenham Hotspur 23-39 (+7)
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