Arteta says Man City clash will not ‘define the season’ and insists he ‘100%’ believes despite Arsenal wobble

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City will not ‘define’ the club’s season and insists he ‘100%’ believes in his side despite their recent dip in form.

Arsenal have drawn three consecutive Premier League fixture to see their lead at the top reduced to five points, ahead of Wednesday’s huge clash with title rivals City at the Etihad.


Pep Guardiola’s side have two games in hand on the Gunners, with tomorrow’s meeting shaping as a definitive fixture in this season’s Premier League title race. Manchester City enter the game in fine form and are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions, as the club chase a historic treble this season.

Arteta insists he still has belief in Arsenal to come out on top in the title race, despite their recent run of results which included a 3-3 draw with struggling Southampton at the weekend.

“100%!” he said when asked if he retains belief at his pre-match press conference. “But we knew from the beginning that City were the team to beat and probably with Liverpool, because of what those teams have done in the last five, six, seven years, and they fully deserve that credit and to be at the top.

“We are the ones who wanted to close the gap as much as we possibly could. We are toe-to-toe with them.

“We know we have to go to the Etihad and we know after that they will have five very difficult games. That game will be really important. Will it define the season? The answer is no.”

Arteta discussed the importance of belief and Arsenal’s mentality heading into a difficult run of fixtures, with the Gunners set to face Chelsea, Newcastle and Brighton after their trip to City.

“It plays a huge part,” he said. “The belief is there. When I look at how they train, how they react, the mood in the dressing room, how they defend each other in every moment…we really want it. We are going to show that tomorrow night.

“But then you have to deliver in the right moment, the right performance and it has to be perfection, because that is what this last level demands…absolute perfection.”

Arsenal were beaten at home when facing City earlier this season and Arteta admits it will be a ‘tough night’ for his side at the Premier League champions this week. However, he called on his side to rise to the challenge with the title remaining in Arsenal’s own hands.

“It is going to be a tough night and challenge, but the opportunity is incredible for us. But if you want to win the Premier League, we knew from the beginning, you have to go to Spurs and beat them, go to Chelsea and beat them, and this is what we have been doing. This is why we are here.

“Now we have to go to City and beat them, if you want to be champions you have to win those matches, it’s as simple as that.”

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