Brutal Gary Neville tells Oleksandr Zinchenko he 'lifted anxiety' with wild celebrations as he lays into Arsenal full-back amid title collapse

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Oleksandr Zinchenko was criticised by Gary Neville for "lifting anxiety" with his wild celebrations amid their title collapse after the Brighton loss.
  • Arsenal beaten 3-0 at home by Brighton
  • Title hopes virtually over
  • Neville came down on Zinchenko

WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners' 3-0 home loss to Brighton has left them four points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, who can potentially win the title next weekend with a game in hand. Although Zinchenko missed the Brighton fixture with an injury, Neville tore him apart for his wild celebrations with the fans earlier in the season. The former Manchester United defender believes the Ukranian's actions did not help the cause and instead "lifted anxiety" within the team.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "I look at little things that might be a little bit harsh. Zinchenko after the game against Bournemouth celebrating outside an hour after the game with the fans and screaming. You want your leaders in the team who have been there before to spread composure around the dressing room and to calm everybody down, you don't want them to lift the anxiety and lift the emotion," he said, speaking on Monday Night Football.

After Arsenal fans launched a scathing attack on Neville on social media for his remarks, the former defender hit back with a tweet: "If he was tooting his horn 15 games out after beating Bournemouth, calling huddles six games out v the bottom of the league [after doing 2-0 down at home to Southampton ] I'm filling in the blanks of what was going on behind the scenes!!!

"I've seen it before from emotional teams! The experience I'm talking about isn't just from winning titles! I lost 4/5 title races as well. Some emotions aren't positive ones for a group even if they look it!"

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Arsenal's title ambitions in tatters after their second defeat in four games, Neville once again stressed the lack of experience in the Arsenal squad that he has been voicing throughout the season. "At the elite level, you have to make sure you perform. The biggest moments in the most high-pressure environments, you have got to deliver in those moments. I always doubted whether this Arsenal team, looking at some of the things that were happening; the over-celebrations against Aston Villa," he added while discussing the Brighton defeat.

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Gary Neville

WHAT NEXT? Arsenal will return to action against Nottingham Forest on Saturday in the Premier League as they aim to get back to winning ways.

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