Arsenal before the Bayern game: ManCity moves past in the table – Sport

In the three-way battle for the Premier League championship, title contenders FC Arsenal and Liverpool FC wanted to avoid perennial champions Manchester City taking over the lead in the table in recent weeks. But this has now happened: City is back in first place for the first time since mid-February. Coach Pep Guardiola’s club outclassed newly promoted Luton Town in their own stadium on Saturday (5-1) and overtook their rivals by two points. They could have hit back on Sunday, but both clubs surprisingly lost their home games – first Liverpool against Crystal Palace (0:1) and then Arsenal against Aston Villa (0:2).

This means that Guardiola’s team can continue their reign in English football with their fourth league title in a row six match days before the end of the season. Necessary for this? Wins against Brighton, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham. So feasible.

The reactions in Arsenal and Liverpool to the “nightmare afternoon” as described by them Times titled, were virtually identical: broken players, dismayed coaches and frustrated fans. The mood brought it Guardian to the point, with the newspaper telling the two clubs that the title race was not over, but it felt like it was. The mass exodus from the Arsenal stadium was emblematic, even though the match against Villa ultimately lasted almost a quarter of an hour with added time. At the end of the game, “the white cannon emblem between the faded red seats” could already be seen in the opposite stands, he scoffed telegraph.

Liverpool FC could just use an adrenaline rush from outside

The fans may have wanted to avoid the malice from the opposing fans that they had previously directed at their Liverpool colleagues. The Arsenal sympathizers at the snack bars celebrated their defeat as a victory of their own. In this high spirit they then cheered on their team. The atmosphere was just as passionately impatient as it was against FC Bayern when the club played in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2010. The audience lacked the right balance – just like the players on the pitch.

The Gunners only knew the way forward, as if a football game only consisted of one half. Coach Mikel Arteta supported the approach with his formation by returning Kai Havertz to defensive midfield and resting the clock setter Jorginho. Arteta later told his team that they could have scored “three, four, five goals” before the break. However, all chances to score were missed, also because there seemed to be a lack of calm and concentration at the end due to the restless style of play. Aston Villa center forward Ollie Watkins observed that the opponents’ body language was becoming increasingly “tired and frustrated”.

Visiting coach Unai Emery, Arteta’s predecessor in North London, had speculated on this: The Champions League aspirant won with a late double strike within three minutes, the goals were scored by Leon Bailey and Watkins. Emery was delighted on the sidelines – and some Arsenal fans may have had a guilty conscience on the way home due to the first league defeat of the year.

In Liverpool, too, the fans are currently at the center of the action. You are in a clinch with the club management, which, after a joint exchange, confirmed that it wanted to stick to the ticket price increase for next season. At least the fan representatives ensured that the additional increase in membership prices was put “on hold” for the time being. People recently acknowledged the club’s actions with a gloomy backdrop against Atalanta Bergamo in the Europa League (0:3) by Liverpool standards – and against Palace the support in the first home league defeat in 553 days sounded at best marginally better.

Coach Jürgen Klopp’s team would need an adrenaline rush from outside. The German complained that his team lacked conviction. And he seemed to feel the same way himself, he felt “really miserable,” Klopp admitted. As has happened several times this season, his team fell behind early and missed top-class scoring opportunities. This time, however, the comeback failed to materialize; the strength is probably slowly running out.

The loss of the league lead now gives Arsenal and Liverpool the chance to calm down a bit and realign themselves. The pressure is now on Manchester City in the Premier League.

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