Arsenal played ‘like a pre-season friendly’ with title race ‘over’ as Arteta’s men cave under City ‘pressure’

Jason Soutar
Arsenal duo Emile Smith Rowe and Ben White look dejected

Sky Sports trio Micah Richards, Gary Neville and Roy Keane have admitted that the title race is over after Arsenal lost 3-0 at home to Brighton on Sunday.

The Seagulls were absolutely superb against an Arsenal side that looked tired, out of ideas, and deflated following Manchester City’s comfortable win away to Everton earlier on in the day.

The title race is all but over as a result with the reigning champions handed the opportunity to claim the title next weekend.

Should the Gunners lose at Nottingham Forest next Saturday, City will be crowned champions. A draw at the City Ground means City could draw against Chelsea at home and an Arsenal win would mean Pep Guardiola’s side would have to win that fixture.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the loss to Brighton, Manchester United legend said Arsenal are simply not as good as City having “come up just short” in the title race but did praise the Seagulls – who dominated at the Emirates from start to finish.

“Arsenal don’t have the strength and depth of Manchester City,” Keane said. “They have come up short. It’s as simple as that.

“They need to get the right players with the right character so if they get in this position again, pole position, they will have a chance to see it through.

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“As bad as Arsenal were, we need to credit Brighton. They were outstanding and they were up for that battle.

“Arsenal look like they’ve run out of steam mentally and physically. They look like they’ve come off a tough European game.

“They’ve given it a good go this season but they’ve come up just short.”

Keane’s former United teammate Gary Neville said he thinks the title race is over after City won a “difficult game”, which “had an impact” on the Gunners.

“I think that’s it [the title race] finished today,” he said.

“It was a difficult game for Manchester City on paper but they strolled and that has had an impact on those Arsenal players. It has been too much for them over the past few weeks.

“This moment was always going to come where Arsenal find it difficult and they haven’t been able to get through it.”

And Micah Richards was critical of Arsenal’s lethargy and believes they struggled following City’s win at Goodison Park.

“It’s a good feeling for Manchester City,” Richards said.

“City have applied the pressure today and Arsenal didn’t turn up. I was disappointed in Arsenal today because from minute one it was like a pre-season friendly.

“Credit to Brighton, they stopped Arsenal’s flow. I thought Arsenal could give more today.”

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