Former Manchester City and Arsenal star explains how City gained Premier League title advantage

Steven Chicken
Bukayo Saka tries in vain to get Arsenal going in their defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage
Arsenal fell short in both their encounters with Fulham this season

Former Arsenal and Manchester City full-back Bacary Sagna has highlighted where he feels the Gunners may end up ceding the Premier League title race to City.

Sagna believes Arsenal’s inability to get the job done in either of their games against mid-table Fulham could be the crucial difference in the hunt for the trophy.

Arsenal’s Fulham shortfalls could decide title race in Manchester City’s favour

Arsenal took just a single point from their two games against the Cottagers this season, whereas Manchester City ran out 5-1 winners at Craven Cottage. City will host the reverse fixture in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

If victorious City – who hold a game in hand – would overtake Arsenal until at least Sunday evening, with Arsenal set to visit Manchester United in a 4:30pm kick-off.

Sagna told Paddy Power: “It’s difficult to explain what Arsenal need to do to win the league – they have the quality in every single position. They have been consistent and they’re having a great season.

“The only thing they might regret is losing to Fulham away and drawing at home. For me, that was a turning point – they dropped important points in those two games.

“Arsenal are a top team, but they ended up losing and drawing games they should’ve won. They’ve been more mature, but those games will cost them a lot.

“They are still in contention; they’ve managed to be up there, and they deserve a lot of credit. A few years ago, they were standing in the same position as Manchester United are in today. The club is back to its best.”

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If City fail to beat Fulham, however, it would put the title challenge back into Arsenal’s hands, with Mikel Arteta’s side boasting a superior goal difference.

Sagna believes claiming victory at Old Trafford is an absolute must for Arsenal either way, saying: “That will be a tough game for both teams.

“I was watching the game last season – Arsenal were in control of the game and then they ended up losing.

“Arsenal are able to win against anyone. They have such great players, an amazing coach, and they will do the maximum to go there and get those three points.

“They don’t have any other option. They cannot afford to have a draw. It’s better to start with a clear mind than not knowing if you need to attack or defend.

“If Arsenal want to be champions, they have to win all their remaining games.”

City will play their game in hand away to Tottenham on Tuesday evening before hosting West Ham United on the final day next Sunday. Arsenal’s final game is at home to Everton.