Mikel Arteta puts pressure on Man City in title race – “It can happen to any team”

Mikel Arteta has reflected on a potentially defining day in the Premier League title race, insisting “any team” can still slip up like Arsenal and Liverpool.

The weekend just gone saw Man City handed a major advantage as, after thrashing Luton 5-1 on Saturday, both Liverpool and Arsenal lost on Sunday.

Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield, before Arsenal broke down to a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa at the Emirates.

Man City are therefore clear at the top of the Premier League for the first time since November, with six games left to play before the end of the season.

It puts pressure on both Liverpool and Arsenal, who realistically now must win all of their games in the hope that Man City drop points – and speaking after the defeat to Villa, Arteta expressed that.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 17, 2023: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta (R) celebrates with captain Martin Ødegaard after the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park. Arsenal won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“When you look at the schedule, the games we have to play every three days, it’s crazy,” he told reporters.

“So it can happen to any team. It’s happened in the past. We cannot control that all. We can control how we’re going to be now.”

Asked if he was still confident control could shift again at the top, Arteta replied: “Yeah that’s a possibility.

“That’s the reality now. It’s been the same for a few months.

“We knew this moment could come and now it’s about reacting and keeping believing and doing what we can do.”

In his own post-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp took a similar stance, admitting that Liverpool can only hope to capitalise “when the other guys now struggle.”

“Of course you have to ask these questions – what does it mean for the title race and stuff like this. I am not dumb, I know that,” he explained.

“The answer is pretty easy: if we play like we did in the first half, why should we win the league?

“If you play like in the second half, we can win football games. So if we can win football games then we will see how many we can win.

“We have to be around when the other guys now struggle, if they struggle, so that’s how it is.

“For us, obviously we have to win football games anyway.”

Of the three title contenders, Arsenal play next in the Premier League, with their visit to Wolves on Saturday night coming before Liverpool head to Fulham on Sunday.

Man City are not in action in the league again until next Thursday.