Neville predicted City to ‘absolutely batter’ Arsenal after seeing Odegaard and co. ‘in the tunnel’

Jason Soutar
Gary Neville smiling

Gary Neville has said he expected Arsenal to get “absolutely battered” by Manchester City on Wednesday after seeing the Gunners players “in the tunnel” before the game.

Arsenal were comfortably beaten 4-1 at the Etihad earlier this week thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Erling Haaland.

It was the Citizens’ third 4-1 victory in their last four Premier League matches and has made them the strong favourites to retain their Premier League crown.

Mikel Arteta’s side have sat top of the table for the vast majority of the season, but seem bound to lose out on the title with City performing at such a ridiculously high level.

The north Londoners are currently first, two points ahead of the reigning champions, who crucially have two games in hand.

Momentum is also hugely in City’s favour and Wednesday’s impressive victory was a clear sign that they will keep going and going with a historic treble in sight.

Arsenal are now without a league win in their last four having drawn three consecutive matches prior to the trip to Manchester.

Two of those draws came from being 2-0 up with signs of cracking under the title pressure beginning to form weeks before losing to City.

It was obviously a daunting fixture which Pep Guardiola’s side took by the scruff of the neck, and a lot of the post-match reaction has been about how good they are, not how poor Arsenal were on the night.

The result might have been a surprise to many considering how impressive the Gunners have been this season.

However, Manchester United legend Neville – who has not at any point this season fancied Arsenal to win the title – has revealed he predicted Arteta’s men to “concede four” at the Etihad.

Having seen the players’ body language and faces in the tunnel before kick-off, alarm bells were ringing in Neville’s head, and he changed his prediction of it being a “tight” game to it being a comfortable City victory.

“I think coming to Manchester City in a game like this, I think it warranted potentially looking at the game differently,” Neville said on The Overlap.

“If you’re conceding goals against Southampton, Bournemouth, and West Ham, you’re definitely going to concede goals against Manchester City.

“We have a group don’t we [him and Jamie Carragher], a group chat and honestly I saw them in the tunnel and I said: ‘Arsenal are going to have to do very well here not to concede four’.

“Literally in the tunnel, you just thought, they’re going to get absolutely battered, I didn’t think that really a week ago or a few days ago, I thought it would be tight.”

Arsenal are not in action again until next Tuesday when they host London rivals Chelsea.

The Blues are yet to avoid defeat since Frank Lampard returned to Stamford Bridge on April 6.

Lampard has taken charge of five matches, including both legs of the club’s Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Prior to that encounter at the Emirates, Manchester City play Fulham away, meaning the Gunners could be second at the time of kick-off on Tuesday.

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