Manchester City is on the verge of securing the Premier League title after Arsenal suffered a stunning 3-0 defeat against Brighton on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s side was left reeling after second-half goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav, and Pervis Estupinan at the Emirates Stadium. With second-placed Arsenal now trailing City by four points, a loss for the Gunners against Nottingham Forest on Saturday would hand Pep Guardiola’s men their fifth title in six years.
City’s path to glory was further cleared by their own impressive 3-0 victory over Everton earlier on Sunday, fueled by Ilkay Gundogan’s brace and Erling Haaland’s goal. Arsenal’s dismal loss has virtually sealed the silverware for Manchester City.
Even if Arsenal manages to secure a win against Forest, Manchester City will be crowned champions for a third successive season if they defeat Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in their next game on May 21.
Speaking after City’s triumphant performance at Goodison Park, Pep Guardiola celebrated his team’s ability to dominate in the title race while also juggling the Champions League and the FA Cup. City is set to face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday, with the tie level at 1-1, and will also clash with Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
“It’s a dream come true being here. The only team in Europe to be fighting in all competitions,” said Guardiola.
“From minute one we took the game in our hands. It was a brilliant performance at the end of the season. Still, it is not over. In the Premier League, it is never over. I said to the players, try to relax and just do what you have done for the last four or five years.”
With three games left to play, City’s upcoming fixtures include the highly anticipated match against Chelsea, followed by trips to Brighton and Brentford. In contrast, Arsenal only has a home match against Wolves after their clash with Nottingham Forest.
While Manchester City, battle-tested and determined, surges towards the finish line, Arsenal’s young team has faltered in their bid to secure their first title since 2004. Arsenal’s recent four-game winless streak, including a 4-1 defeat against City, provided an opportunity for their rivals to seize the top spot—an opportunity Manchester City has ruthlessly exploited.
“We have a very experienced team, and it’s not really a new situation for us, competing in the final stages of the season with someone else,” commented City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
“The margin for mistakes is very slim, we know that, and the fact that we have already experienced these moments in the past helps us a lot.”
Although Arsenal’s unexpected title challenge seems destined to fall short, it has still been an encouraging season for the North Londoners after over a decade of underachievement. Coming second to a team of Manchester City’s caliber is no small feat, but Arteta will be frustrated that his team failed to maintain their position at the top after leading the table for extended periods.
“We gave a silly goal away, and the team had no answers from 2-0. We have to apologize to our people for the second half. It was not acceptable,” Arteta said.
“Mathematically, it’s still possible, but it’s impossible to think about it. We need to digest the result, understand why, and have a different reaction. I have no idea if Man City will lose it, but I have to think about what we can do to beat Nottingham Forest.”