Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says their top-of-the-table game against Manchester City will not decide the Premier League title. League leaders Arsenal are five points above Pep Guardiola’s side before Wednesday’s match at Etihad Stadium. However, City have two games in hand on the Gunners who have drawn three league matches in succession. “We knew we had to go to Etihad, it will be difficult, but will it decide the season? No,” Arteta said.
“The belief is there, I look at how the players reacted after Southampton, they defend each other in every moment. We really want it and we are again going to show it tomorrow night. “But it has to be perfect because that is what is demanded at this time in the season.” Arsenal, who last won the Premier League in 2004, drew 3-3 against bottom-placed Southampton on Friday, after squandering two-goal leads against both West Ham and Liverpool.
“If we win tomorrow we have not won the league. It will shift probably the percentage, but five games in this league is very tricky still,” Arteta said. “We knew from the beginning City and Liverpool were the teams to beat, what they have done for the last six to seven years they deserve credit. We wanted to close the gap, now we are toe to toe.”
Arteta said midfielder Granit Xhaka, who missed the Southampton game with illness, is a doubt for the City fixture, while centre-back William Saliba has shown “no real improvement” in his recovery from the injury he sustained in the Europa League penalty shootout defeat to Sporting Lisbon in March.