Liverpool emerged as the victors in the thrilling Premier League title race, defeating Brighton 2-1 to take the top spot on the table. This victory places them two points ahead of Arsenal and three clear of Manchester City with nine games remaining in the season.

The outcome of the match preserves City’s unbeaten home streak, which has lasted since November 2022. However, it brings an end to Arsenal’s eight-match winning streak in the Premier League.

Despite the setback, Arsenal can take solace in the fact that they prevented Pep Guardiola’s side from scoring at the Etihad for the first time in two years. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed his satisfaction with his team’s defensive performance:

“Defensively, we were outstanding,” said Arteta. “The next step is to improve our composure on the ball in order to attack more effectively.

“They are undoubtedly the best team in the world, with the best manager. We have to strive to catch up. That’s the challenge we face.”

City dominated possession with 72 percent, but they struggled to penetrate a resolute Arsenal defense that has conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season.

“We didn’t create many clear-cut chances, but our approach was positive,” said City manager Guardiola. “It’s not easy to break down this Arsenal team, but I acknowledge our intentions were there.”

Guardiola acknowledged that Liverpool are now the “favorites” to win the title in Jurgen Klopp’s final season at the helm.

City have yet to secure a victory against any of the other top-five Premier League sides this season. They will need to break this trend when they host fourth-placed Aston Villa on Wednesday to keep their title aspirations alive.

“Whoever is in first place is the favorite, with Arsenal being the second favorite,” added Guardiola. “The title is not in our hands. All we can do is focus on winning against Aston Villa.”

Arsenal Still Seeking Improvement

Prior to this match, Arsenal had been in impressive scoring form, netting 33 goals during their eight-match winning streak.

However, the Gunners had a poor record at the Etihad, having lost on their previous eight visits, including a 4-1 thrashing last season that proved pivotal in City’s title triumph. As a result, Arsenal opted for a counter-attacking approach.

“Eleven months ago, we were here and the story was very different,” said Arteta. “We have to continue making progress. We still have areas to improve in order to match the standards set by City, who have won five Premier League titles in six seasons.

“We are improving, competing better, and understanding the demands of these matches. We need to come here and win. Today, we earned a draw, but we need to improve further to achieve our goals.”

Nathan Ake squandered a golden opportunity for the hosts in the first half when he failed to connect properly with a dangerous Kevin De Bruyne corner.

City were already without key defensive duo Kyle Walker and John Stones due to injuries sustained on international duty with England.

Guardiola was forced to field an even more makeshift backline when Ake was forced off in the 27th minute.

Arsenal struggled to test the City defense throughout the game.

Gabriel Jesus narrowly missed connecting with Bukayo Saka’s cross in what was a rare moment of threat from Arsenal.

At the other end, Erling Haaland was effectively neutralized by Arsenal’s solid centre-back pairing of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba.

The Norwegian forward squandered a rare goalscoring opportunity seven minutes from the end when he failed to connect with a corner at the back post.

Arsenal’s best chance to secure all three points came late in the game when substitute Leandro Trossard fired a shot straight at Stefan Ortega.

Ultimately, the draw keeps the title race alive, with just three points separating the top three teams.