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Arsenal usually are not going away this season, writes OLIVER HOLT after title tussle ends in stalemate… the hole between Mikel Arteta’s aspect and the champions has narrowed considerably

Arsenal usually are not going away this season, writes OLIVER HOLT after title tussle ends in stalemate… the hole between Mikel Arteta’s aspect and the champions has narrowed considerably




The daffodils that crowd the central reservation of Princess Highway, the artery that flows into Manchester from the west and skirts Moss Aspect and Manchester Metropolis’s outdated house at Maine Highway, are starting to fade and wilt, the clocks have gone ahead and on Monday, April will likely be upon us.It’s the season of rebirth and English soccer is ready for Pep Guardiola’s aspect to place the hammer down and speed up away from the remainder of the sector on the high of the Premier League as a result of that, too, has turn out to be one of many rites of spring within the age of sky blue domination.Metropolis haven’t misplaced for 117 days so they’re doing their bit however there’s something totally different about this yr. For all their typical indomitability, they can’t see their rivals within the rear-view mirror but. As a result of one thing else has modified, too: Arsenal usually are not going away this season. Positive, if anybody gained this 0-0 stalemate on the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, it was Liverpool. If Jurgen Klopp was delighted on the finish of his workforce’s 2-1 win over Brighton a few hours earlier, he was even happier when this draw between his workforce’s two closest rivals left Liverpool two factors clear on the high.This sport was enthralling at instances and turgid at instances. And if it was not often thrilling, it was nonetheless a high-quality match between two sides who appeared too fearful of the results of shedding to commit all the pieces to successful. It was means too early for it to be a title decider however it’ll have left Liverpool and Arsenal extra inspired than Guardiola’s males. Manchester Metropolis and Arsenal missed out on high spot within the Premier League after a 0-0 draw Nathan Ake got here closest to breaking the impasse however his header was saved out by David Raya Gabriel Jesus hooked an audacious effort large of the close to put up in opposition to his former membership
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It was at this stage final season, do not forget, that Arsenal’s title problem crumbled. That they had misplaced 3-1 to Metropolis on the Emirates in February after which submitted to a 4-1 capitulation right here in April. If there was one factor to remove from this sport, it was that the hole between these two groups has narrowed considerably.Arsenal, who had run all eight of their Premier League video games in 2024 earlier than this match and are nonetheless within the hunt to raise the Champions League for the primary time, look means too good a aspect to crumble now.That’s partly right down to the presence of Declan Rice and William Saliba, who was injured for Arsenal’s run-in final season. Arsenal parked the bus on Sunday afternoon they usually parked it meticulously and effectively. Even Metropolis couldn’t discover a means via.And so the run-in quickens. Some say Metropolis have it best however the fact is, it’s onerous to select while you analyse the fixtures of the highest three. So many video games have hidden traps at this stage of the season. Liverpool have the benefit as a result of they’ve the factors on the board.There have been enthralling contests in every single place, most notably between Rodri and Declan Rice, who had been, by far, the perfect gamers on the pitch. Gabriel marked Haaland out of the sport, Ben White even managed to put on down the good Bernardo Silva in a struggle of attrition. That was typically Arsenal’s modus operandi: they wore Metropolis down.Metropolis had begun the match nonetheless ruing the lack of gamers who suffered accidents throughout England’s worldwide break. Any workforce, nevertheless deep its squad, goes to really feel the absence of defenders of the significance of John Stones and Kyle Walker. Metropolis had been additionally with out goalkeeper Ederson once more, though there had been hopes he could be match.Gabriel Jesus was lucky to flee a reserving inside the primary three minutes for a cynical foul on Bernardo Silva after the Portugal midfielder slalomed via the Arsenal defence. A couple of minutes later, Jesus almost made an influence on the different finish, peeling away from Manuel Akanji on the again put up, taking a cross on his chest and volleying simply large. Erling Haaland was shackled fantastically by the guests, with William Saliba standing agency Substitute Jeremy Doku jinked onto his left foot however bent his effort large of the goal Leandro Trossard was launched into house late on however his shot was straight at Stefan Ortega MATCH FACTS Manchester Metropolis: Ortega, Akanji, Dias, Ake (Lewis 27), Gvardiol, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Kovacic (Grealish 61), Foden (Doku 61), HaalandSubs not used: Stones, Alvarez, Gomez, Nunes, Carson, BobbManager: Pep GuardiolaArsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior (Tomiyasu 66), Odegaard, Jorginho (Partey 66), Rice, Saka (Martinelli 78), Jesus (Trossard 72), HavertzSubs not used: Ramsdale, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Vieira, ZinchenkoBooked: Jesus, RayaManager: Mikel Arteta  Metropolis got here near scoring after quarter-hour when De Bruyne swung in a nook to the congested close to put up space and Nathan Ake rose highest amid the hordes. Ake was solely 4 yards out however he didn’t get the cleanest contact on his header and it hit David Raya on the knee earlier than the keeper gathered it gratefully. If Metropolis had not been disadvantaged of sufficient defenders already, Ake limped off halfway via the half to get replaced by Rico Lewis. Metropolis’s endurance started to be examined as Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne had been subjected to a collection of fouls and the referee Anthony Taylor’s yellow card remained resolutely in his pocket.The sport was enthralling slightly than thrilling. The standard was apparent however each groups had been so conscious of the potential of the opposite that containment dominated. Rodri and Declan Rice had been the perfect two gamers on the pitch.Half possibilities had been few and much between. One intelligent Arsenal transfer discovered Jesus on the sting of the Metropolis space however he dragged his shot throughout Stefan Ortega and large. The opposite aspect of half time, Mateo Kovacic curled a shot simply large of Raya’s left-hand put up.Seven minutes into the second half, although, there have been the primary indicators that the match was coming alive. When Josko Gvardiol misplaced the ball deep in his personal half, Martin Odegaard labored it rapidly to Bukayo Saka and Saka slid it throughout purpose. Declan Rice and Haaland battled in midfield as either side struggled to determine a foothold Martin Odegaard appeared to maintain Arsenal ticking however the guests had been unable to search out the web Ake was pressured off via harm, that means Pep Guardiola has misplaced one other key defenderIt solely wanted a contact to complete it off however Jesus, sliding in on the again put up, couldn’t fairly apply it. Metropolis tried to hit again and Arsenal minimize them down with a quick-fire collection of fouls that notably enraged De Bruyne, who waved three fingers within the referee’s face to recommend he ought to present three yellow playing cards.After an hour, Guardiola went for it. He introduced on Jack Grealish for Kovacic and Jeremy Doku for Phil Foden, who had had a quiet sport. Arteta reacted with two like-for-like substitutions, bringing on Thomas Partey for Jorginho and Takehiro Tomiyasu for Jakub Kiwior.Ironic cheers rang across the floor halfway via the half when Mr Taylor lastly brandished a yellow card, reserving Jesus for kicking the ball away. Jesus appeared to search out his warning bitterly humorous, as if Mr Taylor had informed him a nasty joke. His yellow card was lengthy overdue.Six minutes from the tip, it appeared Metropolis is likely to be about to interrupt the impasse. Gvardiol flicked on a nook on the close to put up and Erling Haaland ran on to it on the far put up. Raya got here out to attempt to block a shot however Haaland appeared to miskick the ball or anticipate a problem from the goalkeeper that by no means got here. He did not make contact with the ball. It was the sport’s final probability. Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, his former No 2 at Metropolis, shared a heat embrace earlier than kick-off



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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