Premier League: Paul Merson brushes off Arsenal's Premier League hopes, says 'it's 100 per cent over'

Former England footballer turned broadcaster Paul Merson said Arsenal are completely out of the Premier League title race after a late defeat to Aston Villa on April 14. The team managed by Mikel Arteta suffered a 2–0 defeat to Unai Emery's Villa. Courtesy of two late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins. Following the defeat, the Gunners are now two points behind table toppers Manchester City, who have 73 points compared to Arsenal's 71, with only six matches left for both sides this season. Merson highlighted poor defending from the likes of Ben White and Kai Havertz in the disappointing defeat to Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

A day after Pep Guardiola's Manchester City earned a 5-1 win over Luton Town, Arsenal took to the field with a unique objective: to win with a substantial goal difference. However, in the first half, the Gunners' attack appeared to lack effectiveness, as they missed several goalscoring opportunities. Their shortcomings were duly punished when Bailly converted a corner in the 84th minute.

Merson highlighted Arsenal's weak defence, and pointed to the likes of Ben White and Kai Havertz for not clearing crosses.

“You've got to stop that cross! There was a time when Ben White jumped out of the tackle before it landed. You've got to stop these things. These chances in a lifetime to win the league don't come that often and you've got to get out there And it has to stop,” Merson told Sky Sports.

Merson explained that the Gunners' mistakes during the Villa clash ultimately cost them the Premier League title, which they initially looked set to win.

“You go home tonight and think he's gone. To me, he's gone. You've worked hard in 32 games to go that extra yard, just one yard to intercept that cross. This is lazy. [The title] It's 100 percent finished.”

Arteta disappointed with defeat

Arsenal manager Arteta reflected on the defeat to Villa on Saturday while talking about his team's shortcomings.

“We struggled to get the ball into certain areas and we were very loose with the ball and not a lot was happening in the game. A couple of corners for them and then we conceded a very bad goal and then, on top of that, we were chasing it and then we conceded another corner and it was a painful defeat… Now after that defeat, you How to show “Your character and your leadership and going to Munich, we have a beautiful opportunity to do that,” Arteta said in the post-match press conference.

Arsenal play Bayern Munich in their second leg tie in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on April 18, where they are facing the German giants after a 2-2 stalemate in the first leg.

published by:

Debodinna Chakraborty

Published on:

15 April 2024

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