‘We aren’t speaking about them’ – Granit Xhaka & Arsenal ignoring Man City in Premier League title bid
- Gunners remain top of the table
- Set to face City on Wednesday
- Arteta's side winless in three games
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners have occupied the loftiest of perches in the English top-flight for several weeks now, but suddenly have the defending champions breathing down their neck. City are due at Emirates Stadium for a crunch clash on Wednesday that could see them move to the summit if three points can be collected in north London. Xhaka insists that those in Mikel Arteta’s squad will not be giving too much thought to what City can do this season, with focus locked on their own efforts to savour a first title triumph since 2003-04.
WHAT THEY SAID: Swiss midfielder Xhaka told reporters after seeing Arsenal drop two more priceless points in a 1-1 draw with Brentford: “If we are honest, we are not speaking about them [City]. We are looking at ourselves, game by game. We didn’t win [against Brentford], we took one point. And Wednesday is big - for them, for us. So, let’s see.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal head into a meeting with City feeling a little hard done by, with replays showing that – despite a VAR check being carried out – Ivan Toney’s equaliser on Saturday should not have stood due to Ethan Pinnock being offside in the build-up. The Premier League’s referee chief, Howard Webb, has since apologised, with Xhaka saying of the incident: “We are disappointed because what we hear is that the blocker was offside, where we have got our player. I don’t know why they change the rules weekend by weekend. But it’s the referee’s decision not to give the offside, our decision to mark the players, the runners. We didn’t do it and you concede a goal like this.”
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal are winless in their last three games, including back-to-back Premier League outings, and will be desperate to establish positive momentum once more when Pep Guardiola brings his City side to the Emirates.