Oh Arsenal: Five games that saw the Gunners surrender the title to Man City

Arsenal’s title dream appears all but over after dropped points in the Premier League last weekend, with the Gunners having seen their lead at the top overhauled across the run-in.

Despite the progress of Mikel Arteta’s team into unexpected title challengers, there will no doubt be a sense of regret from some after Arsenal allowed their advantage at the top to disappear.

The north Londoners faltered at a crucial time in the campaign and Manchester City can be crowned champions with a win over Chelsea this weekend.

We look at where it went wrong for Arsenal, with five fixtures which ended their title dreams.

Here are five games that saw Arsenal surrender their title lead to Manchester City.

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal’s run of seven successive wins came to an end after a pulsating Premier League clash with Liverpool in April.

Roberto Firmino scored a dramatic late equaliser for Liverpool, who fought back from two goals down to earn a point at Anfield. Arsenal had appeared to be cruising to a first win at Anfield in more than a decade as goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus put the Gunners two goals ahead and in control inside 28 minutes.

Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back for Liverpool just before half-time after scrambling home at the far post, before the Egyptian pulled a penalty wide of the post after the break.

Liverpool continued to push forward and Firmino came off the bench to head home an 87th-minute equaliser for the home side, who were unfortunate not to claim all three points as two fantastic late saves from Aaron Ramsdale denied Salah and Ibrahima Konate.

Arsenal breathed a sigh of relief at the full-time whistle, but allowed what would have been a statement win to slip away after an impressive start on Merseyside.

West Ham 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal blew a two-goal lead for the second successive fixture against West Ham the following weekend, as the league leaders allowed their advantage to be wiped out at the London Stadium.

Mikel Arteta’s side again began in perfect fashion after racing into a 2-0 lead, with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard inside the first 10 minutes appearing the perfect response to their setback at Liverpool.

Said Benrahma pulled one back from the penalty spot for West Ham after Gabriel’s rash challenge on Lucas Paqueta inside the area, before Bukayo Saka missed the chance to restore Arsenal’s two-goal cushion after blazing a penalty wide of the post.

Saka’s error was punished in less than three minutes, as Jarrod Bowen volleyed home from Thilo Kehrer’s lofted pass to earn the Hammers a precious point in their survival battle.

Arsenal 3-3 Southampton

Is this the game that truly saw Arsenal’s challenge collapse?

Arsenal drew for the third consecutive Premier League game at home to a Southampton side who entered the clash bottom of the division. The Gunners needed a late fightback to salvage a point against the struggling Saints, who took the lead after just 28 seconds when Carlos Alcaraz capitalised on a mistake from Aaron Ramsdale to score.

Theo Walcott scored against his former side to double Southampton’s lead and Duje Caleta-Car restored the visitor’s two-goal lead after Gabriel Martinelli had pulled one back for Arsenal. Late goals from Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka rescued a point for the Gunners, but this was a result which the north Londoners will look back on with regret.

Southampton had not won in six Premier League games before this fixture and were the first team relegated from the division this season. The draw put the title race in Manchester City’s own hands, ahead of a huge fixture between the title rivals five days later…

Manchester City 4-1 Arsenal

Manchester City delivered a devastating blow to Arsenal’s hopes as the defending champions thrashed the league leaders at the Etihad.

Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland combined in clinical fashion for Pep Guardiola’s side, who produced a dominant performance to take complete control of the title race. The clash was dubbed a title-decider but turned into a one-sided contest, with De Bruyne driving forward to open the scoring inside seven minutes.

The Belgian midfielder scored a second after collecting Haaland’s pass and John Stones headed in a third from De Bruyne’s free-kick before the half-time whistle.

Rob Holding’s goal proved little consolation for Arsenal, who conceded a fourth late on as Haaland scored his 49th goal of the season in all competitions. The champions classy performance underlined their status as the division’s dominant force and left Arsenal facing an uphill task to dethrone them.

Arsenal 0-3 Brighton

Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier League all but ended after a disastrous home defeat to Brighton last weekend, a result which leaves Manchester City one win from reclaiming the title.

The Gunners were under pressure following City’s comfortable win at Everton earlier in the day and crumbled against Roberto De Zerbi’s impressive Brighton side.

The Seagulls produced a clinical second-half performance to enhance their push for European qualification, with Julio Enciso opening the scoring after heading past Aaron Ramsdale from close range.

Substitute Deniz Undav doubled the lead with a lofted finish after Leandro Trossard lost possession in a dangerous area against his former side, before Pervis Estupinan added a stoppage-time third to send the travelling Brighton fans into delight.

City will be crowned champions should Pep Guardiola’s side beat Chelsea this weekend, with Arsenal’s fading hopes ended after a run of two wins from seven Premier League games.

Read – Golazo Merchants: Ian Wright, Arsenal’s irrepressible difference maker

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