It seems like every time Arsenal has picked up a big win this season, the question then resorts to everyone asking whether or not it’s time to say the league title is the Gunners’ to lose.
Such was the reaction following their 3-2 win against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. After yet another statement win, it’s finally time to say that Arsenal are the favorites to win the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta’s side showed their resilience and character as they responded to Manchester United going ahead and when the Red Devils equalized. What’s more is they are getting production from players who were riding the bench for the majority of the season.
Eddie Nketiah was the hero this time as he scored twice, including the winner in the final minutes of the game. Nketiah has taken advantage of the playing time he’s been given following the injury to Gabriel Jesus. Jesus’ injury was seen as a significant blow to Arsenal as he’s flourished since arriving from Manchester City. But with Nketiah, his absence hasn’t been as strongly felt as first feared.
The confidence instilled in this Arsenal team is evident judging by the comments following the match.
“To be honest, when I had just arrived, the quality I saw… obviously I knew the Arsenal team, I knew all of them before, but I still realized on the pitch, we have everything to achieve big things,” Oleksandr Zinchenko said.
“I started to speak in the dressing room saying: ‘Guys, forget top three or whatever, we need to think about the title.’ Some of them were laughing but no one is laughing now and all of us are dreaming.”
Arsenal are currently five points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand. However, they aren’t scoreboard watching just yet, instead focusing on their matches and taking care of their own business.
“No, honestly, we don’t care about City or any other team,” Martin Ødegaard said.
“We expected them to win so that was not a big surprise and we just focused on our game, to come here and win and that’s what we did. The way we won this game gives us a special feeling that will help as well.
“It’s a long season. We’re just halfway through, there are many games to be played so we have to stay calm and humble. Our only focus is the next game and that’s all that matters. We have to stay focused like this.”
Speaking of Manchester City, they are Arsenal’s next opponent though not in the league, but in the fourth round of the FA Cup. It won’t be until the middle of February until Arsenal host City at the Emirates.
Despite their success so far, Arteta isn’t going to let the team rest on their laurels.
“It’s great and we deserve where we are because of how we’re playing,” Arteta said after the match. “But there are a lot of things that we can do much better.”