Mikel Arteta makes stunning title admission amid Gary Neville claims


Arsenal should tighten up defensively, in accordance with Mikel Arteta, after conceding twice to Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night time.

His warning got here simply days after Gary Neville warned Arsenal that their penchant for gifting away gentle objectives may price them the title. The Gunners drew 2-2 in Portugal to place themselves in a robust place for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

Nonetheless, Arteta is worried in regards to the method through which the objectives had been conceded. “While you concede two poor objectives away from residence in Europe, it’s very troublesome to get a constructive consequence,” the Spaniard fumed to BT Sport after the sport.

“The sport had completely different phases as a result of we gave away too many easy balls in our personal half, giving them the flexibility to [exploit] transition moments, which they’re good at.

“In different moments, we had whole management of the sport and we misplaced somewhat little bit of risk right this moment, particularly with the 4 gamers we’re lacking in our frontline. [There were] some positives as a result of we confirmed a variety of character to get again into the sport, however we have to defend our field significantly better and be higher on Sunday [against Fulham].”

Final Sunday, after the Gunners survived a significant scare in opposition to Bournemouth, Neville emphasised Arsenal’s proclivity to concede poor objectives. The Cherries took an sudden two-goal lead earlier than Arsenal got here again to win 3-2 and re-establish a five-point lead on the high of the Premier League.

Regardless of getting away with one on the weekend, Neville insists Arsenal should tighten up if they’re to remain forward of Manchester Metropolis within the race for the home crown. “I believed Metropolis had a harder recreation [against Newcastle],” he stated on The Gary Neville Podcast. In my view, they had been extra prone to drop factors than both workforce – to be honest, I didn’t suppose both workforce would.

“So, Metropolis did their job and you then count on Arsenal to go and comfortably win. The truth that they’ve received on this method offers them further spirit and momentum, as a result of it’s a recreation that you simply’d count on them to win 2-0 or 3-0 just because Bournemouth are second from backside.

“Nonetheless, they made it extraordinarily troublesome for themselves. They’ve a variety of momentum, a variety of spirit, and the followers are behind them. I might inform them that they need to cease conceding objectives.

It sounds easy, however conceding objectives on the run-in is troublesome, and so they’ve conceded two in opposition to Bournemouth, one in opposition to Brentford, one in opposition to [Manchester] United, one in opposition to [Aston] Villa, and one in opposition to Metropolis. They’ve given up a variety of objectives lately, I imagine 11 within the final eight video games. So they simply must handle that somewhat higher as a result of they’ve 12 video games left. Metropolis are nonetheless not taking part in at their finest. We’re in a fierce title race.”

Arsenal play Fulham within the Premier League on Sunday, whereas Manchester Metropolis play Crystal Palace the day earlier than at Selhurst Park.



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