Man City hand Arsenal a massive Prem boost!


Just as it seemed like Arsenal had fumbled away a gilt-edged chance at winning the Prem courtesy of, well, fumbling away a two-goal lead at Anfield at the weekend, Man City responded by defeating Bayern Munich decisively if not definitively in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal clash. What’s the connection? Well, simply put, the further Man City progress in the Champions League, the more likely they are to drop points in the Prem, both by desire and by necessity.

Pep has long obsessed over Champions League glory; after all, he hasn’t drunk from that chalice since 2011, a shocking record considering the wealth at his disposal, literally and figuratively. The closest he’s ever come in this decade-long drought was a runners-up finish in 2021, and it would be hard to overstate just how much winning would mean to the man who’s overseen some of the most-expensive squads ever assembled. All that’s missing from his resume—aside from having managed PSG—is winning a second Champions League title.

Man City’s 3-0 demolition of Bayern Munich eases the path to the semifinal a great deal, but there is after all that second leg left to play at Allianz Arena. Bayern have some work to do but are fully capable of doing that work. At our end, we have to hope for ze Germans to make Man City work for it, getting two early goals to make the Citizens toil and sweat and fret on their way to the semifinal and beyond.

As for us, it would be wonderful to simply see us sashay and swashbuckle our way to the title, swatting away all who dared to stand before us, but the cold, hard reality is that we are going to have to fight and claw and scratch and scrabble our way to the top. Hell, we’re on a pace to finish on 93 points, give or take. If that isn’t swashbuckling, I’d like to see what is. Man City are a relentless, remorseless eating machine. Argh.

Even before the setback at Anfield, we probably needed Man City to drop points. If nothing else, we have to go into St. James’s Park against a Newcastle side that have figured out how to score goals almost as well as they refuse to concede them. I”m not here to say that we should want Man City to win the Champions League or even the FA Cup. I’m only saying that the further they progress in each of those competitions, the more likely they are to drop points in the Prem.

Hell, they do have to host us just four days after hosting Sheffield United in the FA Cup and four days before going to Fulham. It’s quite possible that Arteta’s had us playing possum against Pep in our two previous clashes, lulling him into a false sense of security before unleashing some heretofore unimagined surprise in this penultimate clash. Wouldn’t that be something to see us stumble late on only to seize the title with a smash-and-grab at the Etihad?

Let’s hope that our rivals for the Prem title (when’s the last time we could legitimately label anyone thusly?) progress deep into Champions League play, making it all the way to the final before succumbing to whoever it is they meet there. I don’t want them to suffer, necessarily. When it comes to Man CIty, I’m a well wisher, in that I don’t wish them any specific harm.

We’re poised on the brink of congratulating ourselves on a season that falls short of winning the Prem but that still far-exceeds anyone’s rational expectations. Twixt the two, we have to admit that the process is enticing and tantalizing even if it doesn’t quite consummate. Whatever the future holds, let’s not let the dashing of heightened expectations sour us. It’s been a magnificent ride.

We’ll have to wait and see. While we do that, allow me to repeat an invitation: you can enter a raffle for a £25 Arsenal Direct gift card by commenting on this and other posts in April. Yes, it’s a direct attempt at bribing you to join the conversation. The more often you comment, the better your chances at winning. Have at it!

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15 thoughts on “Man City hand Arsenal a massive Prem boost!

  1. palladio43

    Of course, everyone, including me, I assuming that the only match that may matter will be the one with Ity, i.e., Arsenal will sweep all the others and leave it to that one match to decide the Prem. But, leave it to the Gunners, much like last year, to probably lose or draw one or more and render that match moot. Not, I might add, because I want it to happen, but because this is Arsenal and the curse of Fergie or Jose, plus “the ghosts of Highbury past” will somehow make it happen.

    1. consolsbob

      What you posit happens to every club when they have been in that situation. To suggest that Arsenal are in some sense unique, in losing or drawing ‘clinch’ games, is just plain wrong.

      We are a Team that have won the Top Division more than any other team apart from Liverpool and Man Utd and have won the FA cup more than anyone else. That hardly suggests that we are particularly week kneed.

      That is a slur the media loves to peddle.

  2. Eddie

    Excellent. As a season ticket holder I can certainly echo your views on the success of the season whatever the outcome and applaud the hard work and intelligence that’s gone into the simply incredible development of our players, both young and older (that’s Martinelli, Saka and Xhaka as well as Odegarde and Partey not to mention White, Saliba and Gabriel) that has illuminated the team’s play. Keep writing. Nice stuff.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Thanks! It’s strange to see how quickly we’ve been spoilt by how well this season has unfolded.A year ago, we were gnashing teeth and rending garments at slumping to fifth. Two years ago, some of us were ready to tar and featther Arteta.A lot of our fear of failing is borne of years of frustration, but what a tonic it would be to win the title after so long!

  3. mike richards

    Wow I’ve just found your site as I scout the web for positive plaudits from non pundits, and to ease my fears and to make me feel rest assured that the marathon is still a marathon. and we shouldn’t worry only for a tad. For goals like reiss and saves like ramsdale’s, I really hope that these moments are for a reason and not just flukes. I heard the queen was an Arsenal fan maybe she’s having a little Input wherever she maybe 🤔

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I’m glad you’ve found the site and could look past the splashy headline to find something worthwhile! If the Queen was a Gooner, that would only be a good thing–and might even help a little to explain those magic moments you mention.

  4. Chairman Gallant

    Our most relialistic road to winning this Epl is to win all our remaining matches while hoping that Man City drop points along the way.,especially as they are battling from three angles viz..EPL, FA cup and UCL…But make no mistake about it , Man city will beat us, because we are afraid of them.They have already beaten us twice this season.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I don’t think the players are afraid, but there is likely a psychological hurdle to overcome. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the reverse is true, that City’s players don’t rate us that much – and that kind of overconfidence can breed complacency. That, met with our desire, could lead to a famous result…

  5. Aubrey Tambala

    For having earned at a point at Enfield is not a mean a achievement…away game and more precisely at Liverpool backyard is not easy ..A league can be won with the difference of a point and it is possible for arsenal to get a point or maximum points at Manchester city’s backyard… Manchester city should be complacent that they will get maximum points when they play arsenal or all their remaining fixtures now

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Well-said! I just mentioned complacency in a previous reply. The fact that we’re upstarts in a sense added to the fact that we’ve lost twice to Man CIty might just convince them to relax ever so slightly against us, and that could give us the opening we need to pull off a surprise. I like the way you think…

  6. ezemba anthony

    All I know by the end of the season arsenal will crown champion of England guys keep up the good work

  7. Jon Shay Post author

    hard to say, to be honest. I don’t mind some extra time between the Man City and Chelsea fixtures. Hard to know what state we’ll be in after going to the Etihad…

  8. Thierry Henry 14

    I love Arteta for the work he has done at Arsenal so far, but Am also a realist.

    If Arsenal don’t win the league (and its looking very likely that we won’t) would we say we have had a better season than Manchester United???

    United already won the Carlin cup and almost through to the finals of the Europa league.
    Let’s say they manage to win the Europa and qualify for the champions league plus the fact that they already won the carabao cup, would we ague to have had a better season than them???
    I don’t think so…

    If Arsenal manages to win the league, it would rank above the Europa and carabao cup.
    But if we don’t, it wouldn’t necessarily be a horrible season, but it wouldn’t be a good one either…




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